Married Life

Love Languages

Love Languages

What are love languages and why are they important? I first learned about this when I went to see a counselor with Nathan in the much earlier days of our marriage. 

The reason that understanding love languages and identifying which work for both you and your partner is that this is the key to a successful marriage. It isn’t just about a date night here and there. This is a way to really understand each other! 

Knowing your love language can literally save a marriage. Without this knowledge, it is easy to miss when your partner is being loving and caring. This leads to negative thoughts, resentment, and a lot of hostility. If these issues are left unresolved, divorice can soon follow. 

Words of Affirmation

Words of affirmation are positive reinforcement, or expressing gratitude. It can be a simple thank you for doing something. Or complimenting your partner on how they look. 

It is also important to note that insults are particularly upsetting and hurtful to people when their love language is words of affirmation. 

Acts of Service

Acts of service mean doing something for your partner, letting them feel supported. This can be picking up dinner on the way home from work so they don’t have to cook. Or waking up in the night to change a diaper so your partner can sleep longer. 

It is also important to note that for someone whose love language is acts of service, the lack of them shows apathy and ambivalence. These lead to feeling that there is a huge lack of support, which is quite damaging to a relationship. 

Receiving Gifts

Receiving gifts is pretty self explanatory. These can be flowers, tickets to a sporting event or concert, or even something small too. If your partner admired something in a store, go back and pick it up to surprise them with later. Paying attention to things like that is important to someone whose love language is gifts. 

It is important to note that missing these gestures, especially on holidays, birthdays, or any special occasion is especially harmful and damaging. 

Quality Time

Quality time is engaging in an activity that you both enjoy. It can be making dinner together, going for a walk, or any hobby. 

It is important to note that the absence of quality time or having a distracted partner leads to feelings of being unseen and unheard. 

Physical Touch 

Physical touch can be anything from hand holding and hugs to sex. Any good physical touch is welcomed by those who have this love language. 

It is important to note that without this, feelings of isolation are easily developed for those whose love language is physical touch. 

Notes

As I said earlier, I first learned about love languages when I went to therapy with Nathan many years ago. It was an interesting concept, but easy to identify which of the languages worked the best for both of us. 

The reason we need to identify our own love language is because it is an important communication tool in a relationship. If you don’t know what your love language is, you can’t tell your partner. Nor can your partner use it as a communication tool. 

It is also worth noting that our love language can change over time, and that is ok. I’ve noticed that as I get older and wiser, or maybe just older, my own love language has shifted to quality time. That is a big one to me, where when I was younger it was more physical gifts. 

Now quality time is the absolute one for me, and beyond important. But I also can look back at my experiences and see why it shifted as well. 

Discussion

What is your love language? Is this something you’ve talked about with your partner? Tell me your thoughts in the comments! Read more tips on marriage.

7 Comments

  • Stephanie S

    What a great read! I think I fit a few of the love languages. A few years back, my husband, and I had actually started a love language workbook series. It was really nice just learning about what we both want, and appreciate from the other.

  • Scott J DeNicola

    Gret read Erica and I agree that quality time is is the most importnat for me as well. Though my wife and I always make sure to say goodbye to each other in the morning when she heads out to work and we constantly stay in touch throuhgout the day. We’ve been together for close to 30 years so we are pretty in tune with each other but that doesn’t mean we stop trying.

  • Britt K

    Learning about and understanding the love languages was a game changer in our relationship. My husband and I both have very different love languages. We were trying to show love to one another, but it was like there was a big barrier of miscommunication. Since going through the book together, we have started focusing on trying to show love in a way that the other understands and it has been a huge positive for us. That’s not saying that we’re perfect, far from, but we’re working on it!

  • Kat

    This is so important and can lead to a lot of conflict if two people don’t have the same love language. It’s also interesting that we sometimes express our love in a different way than we like to receive it, i.e. someone might always give their partner gifts, but actually they themselves prefer to receive quality time. It’s interesting and useful to realise these things about ourselves.

  • Lyosha

    it is a very important post. I think it often happens in any relationships when people stop doing that for partner. My husband is not a person of touch so for him it is a work to make me feel good with his touch. He ‘invented’ a hack, he connects his actions with a much needed for me touch. everytime he goes on a tiny walk when he’s tired from work (to give his eyes a rest or just to do some muscle relaxation) he stops by to hug me, or kiss me, or pet my head (my personal favorite). surely it took time to realize this little trick is making our marriage so much better

  • Subhashish Roy

    It was so nice reading these thoughts of yours. Any relationship needs to be nurtured. The more the age the more important it becomes. A great checklist for what one is doing right and what’s been missed out. Loved it.

  • Kelly Martin

    Understanding your partner’s love language is so important for a healthy, strong relationship. It’s nice to have a date night now and then but the everyday activities like talking, taking a walk together and holding hands are so important for a successful relationship.

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