From a young age we’re taught to treat others how we want to be treated. While this is true in the sense that we wouldn’t want harm or pain caused to us, so we shouldn’t cause these for other people, do we apply the same strategy when it comes to loving our partner? Do we show them affection the way we like to receive it so they know how much we care? I was always under the impression, when trying to convey my feelings to my partner, that doing things that I would want was the answer. It was only recently that I discovered that we all feel love in different ways. Love language isn’t universal; there are different languages that we all understand.
The five love languages
The five love languages and how they are defined is as follows:
Words of affirmation – Showing verbal appreciation for your partner
Gifts – Giving gifts as a sign that you’re thinking about your partner
Acts of Service – Doing things for your partner such as doing chores without asking, cooking them dinner etc
Quality time – Spending one on one time with your partner, talking with no electronic distractions
Physical Touch – Anything that involves physical contact, from holding hands to sex.
The times where I feel the most love are acts of service. When my partner tells me he’ll take out the garbage for me or cook me dinner. Words of affirmation come to a very close second. Being appreciated and told how much I mean to him makes me feel dizzying amounts of bliss. For all of my partners, including him, I would put extra effort into doing the same because I wanted them to feel the way I did. It wasn’t until recently that I learned that love language is not one size fits all.
When I asked my partner how he felt love, his answer surprised me: quality time and physical touch were his two primary love languages. All this time I went above and beyond in a language that he understands, but, doesn’t make him feel as loved as he could if I used his preferred language. Knowing what I know now, I can make him feel as loved as he makes me feel. I’m able to express my feelings by leaning into him more for closeness and pulling him in for extra kisses. Every time I run my fingers through his hair and kiss his forehead, I know that he can understand how I feel about him. I can put my phone down, crack open a bottle of wine and dedicate two or three hours to riveting conversation, because that is one of the languages he understands the most.
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