How to Connect with Your Partner’s Love Language
The love languages are everywhere these days, but few couples know how to actually integrate them naturally into their relationship. Most people have a mix of languages, and just because your partner prefers one type doesn’t mean that the others aren’t important either. A healthy relationship respects every person’s needs, wants and natural communication style. By learning more about your partner’s love languages, you can deepen your connection, enjoy greater intimacy and feel closer in everything you do.
Who Came Up With the Five Love Languages?
The first mention of the five love languages was made by author Gary Chapman in his 1992 book, “The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate.” Since its publication, psychologists have been interested in learning more about the love languages. Multiple studies have found that love languages are real and effective tools in relationships, but only if both people in a relationship are able to control their own behaviors.
In other words, you need both self-awareness and accountability to make love languages really work in your relationship, but that sentiment goes for most things in love. Now, let’s take a closer look at each one and how to connect with them in your relationship.
Words of Affirmation
If someone feels loved through words of affirmation, they will feel best when they recieve genuine verbal expressions of love. It can be as simple as saying, “I love you,” randomly throughout the day or a statement of appreciation.
For someone who’s love language is words of affirmation, everything you say is taken to heart. This means you should always be mindful of what you say and even how you say it; what feels like a small complaint to you could feel heartbreaking to your partner. Conversely, a small word of appreciation or affirmation might feel like gold.
Spending time together in any way makes people with this love language feel deeply loved and connected to their partner. Ask them about their day, and have conversations with no distractions. Be fully present in your conversations, maintaining eye contact and asking open questions.
Even chores can become meaningful if you do them together; share a conversation while folding laundry after the kids have gone to sleep, or wash up after dinner together. Any and every moment can be meaningful to someone with this love language if you are fully present and attentive.
Acts of Service
Some people misinterpret this language as a partner wanting everything to be done for them. Rather than being catered to, they really want their partner to provide in small ways that show they care about their well-being. Offering to do the weekly grocery shopping, making them a cup of coffee in the morning or surprising them with a breakfast in bed all make people with this language feel loved.
Gifts don’t have to be big to make an impact on someone. Make them a playlist, pick up their favorite snack on the way home from work, or leave a sweet note somewhere for them to find. Even a handmade present shows your partner that you’re thinking of them, and they love it if you tell them why a certain thing made you think of them.
Holding hands, hugs and soft kisses for no special reason mean the world to people with this love language. The next time you watch a show together, put your arm around them and cuddle on the couch. Put your hand on their leg when you’re sitting side by side, or give them a long hug from behind for no reason. Physical touch is not always about sexual touch, though many long-term couples forget this as they grow accustomed to each other’s presence and stop showing the little acts of touch that always gave them butterflies earlier in their courtship.
If you want to connect more with your partner, couples counseling can also help. Contact Foundations Family Counseling to learn more about our Colorado couples counseling and marriage counseling services.