Sometimes we feel like we put so much effort into our relationships that we aren’t on the same page as our partner. Nothing seems to be working, whether we show them love by doing extra jobs around the house, expressing how we feel about them, or giving them a big hug at the end of a hard day. Whatever you do to try to express love for your partner, they don’t show their love for you in the same way – why is that?
The popular relationship book The Five Love Languages by psychologist Dr. Gary Chapman explains that the way we communicate love for one another must be done in our spouses ‘love language.’ This concept means that every person receives and understands love in a specific language and what makes us feel love isn’t necessarily the same for our partner.
By better understanding the languages, we can, in turn, understand our partners by identifying how they show us love and how we should show them, love – overall strengthening the bond and communication in the relationship. We look at the five love languages, which primary love language you and your partner identify with, and how you can use them to your advantage.
Words of affirmation
While we all want appreciation from our spouse, literal words of kindness can bring your partner’s mood up like crazy. A simple “I love you” can be all it takes, or saying “I appreciate what you did for me” can show them your love in the most effective way. If using words of affirmation is your partner’s primary love language, express your love to them with the spoken word, but use them well. Your partner will take everything you say to heart, whether good or bad, so be careful what you say during a lover’s quarrel. Give them praise; you’ll quickly see your partner shifting into a better, lighter mood!
One of the best ways to show love for them is by shutting off the outside world, so it’s time to put your phone on Do Not Disturb and pay attention to them. Whether you share things about your day, listen to them talk, plan for the future, or prepare dinner together, you’re investing in a deeper connection with your partner by providing undivided attention. Next time they enter the room, stop what you’re doing and watch them – if they notice you and start talking, provide open body language and show them you’re ready to give them all your attention.
Acts of service
Acts of service are quite a common love language, so if your partner receives love by seeing you help out around the house, there are easy solutions to show your love for them. They don’t want to hear “I love you.” They want to see it – go grocery shopping or fold the laundry because they will love it! Something as small as preparing breakfast or washing the dishes after dinner shows your partner you care and want them to relax. While you might not be talking to your partner about love, doing simple acts of service for them can speak to them on a much deeper level.
Gift-giving is part of life, especially on special occasions like birthdays and Christmas, but your partner receives love by receiving physical things when it isn’t a holiday. It’s a physical token of your appreciation and shows them you’re thinking of them. To your partner, it shows you understand them with something as simple as a homemade present or flowers you picked on the way home, instantly boosting their mood!
From simply holding hands, hugging, kissing, sitting next to each other, and making love, your partner understands touch as your way of showing them, love. If their primary love language is physical touch, they need to feel your presence when you are together. It’s a very direct way to express love to your partner and can be quite effective when delivered with tenderness and care. Next time they’re standing in the kitchen, give them a hug from behind or a soft kiss on the forehead – their face will light up with a smile and make their day.