Have you ever felt unappreciated by your partner? Or like you’re both constantly arguing two sides of the same coin? Do you often feel like you’re not being heard or that your partner doesn’t show you affection even though they say they love you? It’s possible that you both speak different love languages.
Originally developed by Dr Gary Chapman, there are five love languages that people both show and recognise love in. And just to make things more complicated – it’s highly like your love languages are different to your partner’s. Confused? Don’t panic; I’ll explain.
The five love languages
- Words of Affirmation (saying “I love you”, telling your partner how much you love them)
- Physical Touch (cuddles, stroking, kissing, sex)
- Gift Giving (buying thoughtful presents, “spoiling” your partner with gifts)
- Quality Time (making time for your partner, being focused on them when together)
- Acts of Service (helping your partner, spending your time in a way that helps them and their needs)
How to use the love languages
This may seem straight forward (or completely and utterly confusing), however really understanding these love languages – and taking time to recognise how they apply to your relationship – can go a long way towards helping both you and your partner feel more appreciated, cared for, and, well, loved.
Picture this as an example: your love languages are Words of Affirmation and Gift Giving – whereas your partner’s love languages are Acts of Service and Physical Touch. So you need to be told that you’re loved, and surprised with thoughtful gifts from time to time. This doesn’t make you needy or high maintenance, by the way – it’s just these acts mean the world to you. So you then show your love to your partner in these same ways … you tell him you love him and buy him nice new undies when his get holey – but it doesn’t feel like it’s met with much enthusiasm. Your partner on the other hand, will fix anything that breaks around the house, cook you breakfast, and is constantly coming in for kisses and cuddles (sometimes a bit too often for your liking) – but hardly ever actually tells you he loves you … and almost never gets you anything unless it’s your birthday or anniversary.
The thing is, it’s not that either of you love the other more or less – you just show it in different ways, and notice it in different ways. It’s not surprising though, that if you don’t realise that this is what’s happening, it’s easy to start feeling neglected or unappreciated. Once you understand your partner’s love language though, you’re in a better position to notice the subtle ways they show their love – and you can then also start ensuring you try to show your love in ways they’ll appreciate.
Have a think about your relationship
Do you send them a text every morning to let them know you’re thinking of them (Words of Affirmation)?
Does your partner want to spend loads of one-on-one time with you (Quality Time)?
Do you surprise your partner with their favourite food or a little trinket you found that you know they’ll love (Gift Giving)?
Does your partner want to hold your hand lots, even if you’re just sitting next to each other on the couch (Physical Touch)?
Do you enjoy packing a lunch for your partner every day so that you know they’re well fed (Acts of Service)?
Remember, it’s likely that you’ll respond to a few if not all of these – but most people tend to feel more strongly about one or two, so it’s worth figuring out what these are.
Written by Bunny T
A mama of two who advocates for mental health awareness (yes girl!), Bunny is a badass babe blogging about womanhood, motherhood and the adventures that happen in between. You’ll usually find her exercising (running after kids), partying (drinking coffee) and rocking out (sleeping).