They say knowing one and the other's love language might just save a relationship
More than two years ago, Doctor of Philosophy Gary Chapman released The Five Love Languages: How To Express Heartfelt Commitment To Your Mate. The book eventually became a bestseller, with thousands reading up on the different ways to show love and taking the personality test to see which ones they manifested and appreciated most.
The importance of knowing relies on the balance between the two individuals. You may not show love the way your partner appreciates love and vice versa—which is where misunderstandings might ensue. After all, the “You don’t show me that you love me!” and “Yes, I do!” argument arises far too often. And even if you aren’t in a romantic relationship, this might help in keeping friendships and family relationships intact.
But hey, let’s hear it from people that have actually experienced it, shall we?
Tara and Mike
Words of affirmation vs. Acts of service
Together 3.5 years
Some time into their relationship, Tara didn’t understand why Mike wouldn’t say romantic things or write her love letters like her previous boyfriends would. But as their relationship progressed, she realized that Mike showed his love through other means: he would cook for her and plan their day ahead so she wouldn’t have to think about it. In this time, Mike eventually learned that Tara’s love language was words of affirmation, so he put more effort into saying how much he loved her.
It is, of course, a give and take, and Tara had to make adjustments, too. She’s now more accustomed to picking up on her partner’s love language and appreciates it for what it is.
Andrew and Lulu
Physical touch/Words of affirmation/Quality time vs. Acts of service/Quality time
Together 11 years
For Lulu, the importance of knowing her partner’s love language is in that it helps her make him feel happy and loved. Because she knows how best to interact with him when he’s a little down or happy, or something else in between, it gives her the opportunity to best respond. Knowing how Andrew seeks love allows her to be his best partner.
Knowing someone’s love language is important throughout the year, but it gets particularly helpful during the gift-giving season. It can, after all, get a little stressful to think of a gift for someone special. But if you know what they’re looking for and you know what they appreciate, half the battle is over.
If they speak fluently in Quality Time, then plan a day—or even a night—with and for them. If it’s Acts of Service, take something off their hands. Words of Affirmation means writing a letter, reassuring them that you love them and are proud of them; you can even make it extra special by sending a letter through the post. When it comes to Physical Touch, give them an evening of uninterrupted cuddles while watching their favorite show. Then again, if they’re into Receiving Gifts, then go on and buy something you know they’ve been eyeing without fear that they won’t appreciate it.
Understanding someone is about more than just knowing what they like and what they don’t, it’s about learning how to read the lines between putting the dishes away and their “I love you, goodnight”-s.
What’s your love language?
Art Alexandra Lara