Understand How Your Relationships Flow
I first discovered the 5 Love Languages in college. As a woman walking into adulthood, I was eager to understand how I could be a better partner to anyone who came my way. From my first interaction with the Love Languages Quiz, I realized that the underlying message was always centered around self. Upon taking the quiz, I was asked a series of questions that probed me about how important affirming words and help from my partner was. Not only did I have to consider the myriad of unsuccessful relationships I had been in up until that point, but I had to really assess if I was providing myself with the same love, devotion, and understanding that I expected from my partner.
Once I was able to understand my own love language, I was willing to be a better partner in all of my relationships. Through the quiz, I learned that my main love language was quality time.
After getting a fair understanding of your love language, you should go begin to practice your love language more. You’ll begin to enhance your own self-love, which will be reflected in the relationships in your life.
In any relationship, patience is needed. When you make an effort with yourself, you will be more willing to tow the line with your partner.
So why do you need to understand your love language for a more satisfying partnership?
Understanding the way you communicate your love, will help you be more willing to understand your partner.
There is an ebb and flow to relationships. If you are really in tune with your partner, then you know when the energy of your relationship shifts. Sometimes the shifts we experience in relationships are momentary and sometimes they are so long-lasting they create unmendable rifts.
The rhythm of relationships is unique because of the specific energy each person brings.
Knowing the shifts of your relationship goes beyond knowing what makes your partner mad. You both must understand how you give and receive love. And before you can understand the love of another, you must know the language of your own love.
In the 5 Love Languages Gary Chapman writes, “In the area of love, it is similar. Your emotional love language and the language of your spouse may be as different as Chinese from English. No matter how hard you try to express love in English, if your spouse understands only Chinese, you will never understand how to love each other.”
Love will never be a one-size-fits-all deal.
The five love languages – affirming words, receiving gifts, physical touch, quality time, and acts of service (definitions below provided by the 5 Love Languages site)- are all unique to the individual.
Quality Time: Nothing says “I love you” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there—with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby—makes you feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed activities, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful. Whether itʼs spending uninterrupted time talking with someone else or doing activities together, you deepen your connection with others through sharing time.
Words of Affirmation: Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important— hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten. You thrive on hearing kind and encouraging words that build you up.
Physical Touch: A person whose primary language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, and thoughtful touches on the arm—they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive. Appropriate and timely touches communicate warmth, safety, and love to you.
Acts of Service: Can helping with homework really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes. The words he or she most wants to hear: “Let me do that for you.” Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t matter. When others serve you out of love (and not obligation), you feel truly valued and loved.
Receiving Gifts: Don’t mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you. A missed birthday or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous—so would the absence of everyday gestures. Gifts are heartfelt symbols to you of someone else’s love and affection for you.
The best way for you to understand your love language is by understanding yourself. Everyone wants to be in a fulfilling relationship, and learning your love language will encourage you to understand what you need from your partner.
Beyond the phrasing, our love language ultimately offers us the healing and elevation that we need to thrive in our relationships. Unfortunately, the misunderstandings of our past block us from walking into new partnerships with open hearts.
So, what’s your love language? Once you know, you have the power to create dynamic shifts in all of your relationships.
Check out the 5 Love Languages Quiz here!
By, Lyneisha Watson