Quality time, gift giving and receiving, words of affirmation, physical touch, and acts of service…you probably know something about the five love languages described in Gary Chapman’s bestselling book, The Five Love Languages. But, are you aware of which ones relate best to you and your partner? Chances are, the two of you probably speak different love languages, and that’s OKAY! Acknowledging this difference and learning to speak your spouse’s love language can be a part of the success of your relationship. The following six reasons show how speaking your partner’s love language really does matter:
1. It allows your partner to feel valued and appreciated
When you know your partner’s love language, you can act on their wants and needs without them having to place a bid for attention and connection. For instance, if you know your partner’s language is physical touch, you can give them a back rub or cuddle on the couch with them after a long day. When you do little things like this without being asked, your partner will feel loved, valued, and appreciated.
2. You won’t encounter disappointment
Many people whose receiving love language involves gifts, assume that gift giving is how their significant other feels most loved as well. They may be confused when they spend hours trying to put together the perfect birthday present only to be met with a disappointing reaction. However, if you’re able to learn that your partner prefers quality time, you can plan a nice evening together instead. Not only will they feel more valued, you’ll spend more time focusing your efforts in the right direction.
3. It will ensure strong relational work
Your relationship with your partner is important; however, it may not always be a walk in the park. Your relationship with your significant other requires attention, intention, and plenty of effort. Instead of spinning your wheels, learn your partner’s love language so that you can more effectively manage this part of your relationship. If both of you value quality time, make sure you actively schedule times to be together, each day, each week, etc. Even small amounts of intentional quality time together make a big difference in your relationship. This is also a great way to steer your relationship along the right path.
4. Your partner will be more inclined to speak yours
Exploring one another’s love language is a unique activity to engage in together, and sometimes it just takes one person to get the ball rolling. You and your partner may want to read Chapman’s book together and discuss it, take the short quiz in the book to find each of your love languages, or engage in activities that can help you become familiar with both your own and your partner’s love language.
5. You will have a deeper understanding of your partner
Our love languages tell us a lot more than you may think. They provide insights into our internal world, to our past, the way we view things, even our morals, and values. When you know your spouse in these deeper ways, you can have more understanding and empathy toward them. Understanding and empathy, in turn, leads to fewer (or at least more productive) disagreements, and better communication skills.
6. Great way to make love last
It’s no secret that the high of early romance wanes after a while – whether that be after children are born, while raising kids, or after a big life event occurs – but, it doesn’t mean you can’t make your feelings last and grow into a deeper and more mature love for each other. The early limerence of love may subside, but discovering your partner’s love language is a great way for you and your spouse to spark the romance and get to know each other all over again. Speaking one another’s love language is one important piece of information that can contribute to the longevity of your relationship.
If you speak a different love language than your spouse, it may feel foreign and new to learn how to speak theirs. Consider counseling for some great tips and advice. Like anything, speaking your partner’s love language gets easier with time and practice!
Carlene Lehmann is a marriage and family therapist associate with the Relationship Counseling Center of Austin. She works with couples, individuals, and teens and families at RCC Austin. Contact her at 512-270-4883, ext. 105, or complete the form on our Scheduling page and request her as your counselor.