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 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 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 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.
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.
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.