Where one person feels loved, another will not necessarily feel the same. Unfortunately, most people tend to express their love for others in the way they themselves like to be loved. If their partner does not respond positively to their expression of love, they become frustrated. The problem is not the sincerity of love, but the difference between love languages. There are five different love languages:
1. Ratifying words: using words for recognition and encouragement
“You look beautiful today.” “I really appreciate what you’ve done.” “One of the things I like about you so much is…”
Your words can focus on your spouse’s appearance, personality or character trait, or anything he or she has done for you.
2. Receiving gifts: Giving gifts as an expression of love
A gift actually means, “I was thinking about you.” The gift doesn’t have to be expensive, because it’s the thought that counts. Gifts can be bought, made or discovered in nature.
3. Acts of service: doing something for your partner that you know he or she will appreciate
This can be anything: cooking, washing up, vacuuming, cleaning the toilet, washing the car, mowing the grass, walking the dog, changing diapers. The saying ‘gestures say more than words’ is especially true when acts of service are your spouse’s main love language.
4. Quality-time: give your partner your undivided attention
This doesn’t mean watching the same television series together on the couch, but taking the time for a sincere conversation where you look at each other. Or a good conversation during a walk or dinner. If your partner often complains that ‘you never spend time together’, he or she probably doesn’t mean that you’re not together often, but that you don’t give your husband enough undivided attention.
5. Physical contact: Physical contact with your spouse
In a relationship, this can mean walking hand in hand, kissing, hugging, making love, putting an arm around your shoulder or cuddling on the couch while watching a movie.
Each of us has one primary language of love – the language that appeals to you deepest. It’s similar to a spoken language. Most people grow up with one language, the one you understand best. The same goes for love. The problem is that people tend to speak their own love language, instead of their partner’s language. They assume that what works for them will also make the other person feel loved. But that’s a false assumption. For a healthy, balanced relationship, it is important to discover – and learn to speak – your partner’s love language.