This may be familiar to you. When I’d come home to my partner after working hard all day I’d look forward to a big hug and kiss from her and be aching to hear her say she loves me. But sometimes the complete opposite would happen. I’d get home, she’d be in the kitchen making dinner and completely lose it when I walked in there to get a hug. She’d be so upset that I hadn’t made the bed or put the washing away. I was so confused and hurt and wondered why she couldn’t just show some love. This happened regularly and it felt like a wedge was slowly being driven between us.
Eventually we got sick of what was happening and both attended a seminar. During that seminar, we both had those “OMG, that’s totally us!” moments. We learnt some pretty awesome information and something changed.
Does your relationship suffer from the other person not understanding you?
Do you feel like you’re unloved by your partner?
Do you want to know why your partner does (or doesn’t) do those things that annoy you?
This article uncovers the mysteries behind why your partner does those things that tick you off and teach you simple ways to change that. After all, doesn’t everyone want a better relationship?
Just like the language that we speak, everyone has a love language. To put it simply, it’s the way that we’ve learnt to receive and give love. When people give us love in the way that we expect it – then we recognise it as love. But, when we aren’t receiving love the way that we expect it then our love tank starts to run dry.
The same also works when we are giving love – when we’re giving love the way we think it should be given and it’s not accepted we can feel like our partner is cold and unloving. When this continues to occur we can give up on giving love.
To simplify this as much as possible, Gary Chapman wrote a book entitled “The 5 Love Languages.” This book continues to have amazing results in helping transform people’s relationships and helping people understand each other. The old question of “why is my partner so …?” simply drops away.
So let’s summarise the main components of each love language and what you can take away from each. Obviously, further study should be considered by purchasing the book.
Acts of Service
This love language is all about showing your love by doing things for your partner. This might include cooking dinner, doing the ironing or taking out the garbage. When your partner does a random act of service, such as cleaning the bathroom – this is the ultimate message of them saying that they love you.
If you recognise that your partner is like this, then keep a list somewhere of the acts that they respond to most. Put a reminder in your calendar to perform one of this at least once per week and take note of how much your partner appreciates this.
TIP FOR MEN: this will probably earn you extra brownie points – hint hint…
This love language is all about hugs, kisses and holding hands. The more that you and your partner are wrapped around each other, stroking each other’s hair or smooching in public the more your love tank will fill up.
If you recognise this in your partner then get into the practice of touching them when you’re together. It might be something as simple as holding hands when you’re walking along the street or running to give them a massive long hug when they get home from work.
TIP FOR MEN: this does not necessarily mean you can take your partner to be for a love making session and expect that their love tank will fill up! Make it a habit to touch her in ways that are non-sexual and you’ll earn extra brownie points – hint hint…
Words of Affirmation
This love language is all about hearing words that fill your love tank. You love hearing phrases like “you’re so amazing”, “I’m so glad we’re together” and of course “I love you!”
If you recognise this in your partner, then make it a habit to tell them how much you appreciate them and tell them all the positive things that you think about them. A really fun way to do this is to write on post-it notes and hide them in places like their favourite pair of shoes.
TIP FOR MEN: start getting comfortable with being descriptive when telling your partner. Pick a couple of romantic movies and pull out some great one-liners that will have your partner melt in your arms.
This love language is all about spending time with your partner that counts. This means just you and your partner time. Date nights are a MUST to fill your love tank.
If you recognise this in your partner, then make it a habit to spend distraction-free time with your partner. This means putting the mobile phone away and spending some quality one-on-one time with them. Make it a habit to plan at least one date night a week and a dedicated time each day – e.g. an hour every night for dinner and talking about each other’s day.
TIP FOR MEN: partners who register high on the quality time scale need to have their one-on-one time deposited in the bank regularly. If you’re spending time with her and you message your mate on the phone, consider all the time before that to be disregarded by her and it’s time to start from scratch.
This love language is all about receiving amazing presents from your partner to fill your love tank. The more presents, the more expensive they are and the more grand that they are the better.
If you recognise this in your partner then make it a habit to purchase random gifts for them. The more spontaneous and the more often the better. Also, be prepared for a flurry of presents for every anniversary, birthday and important date on the calendar.
TIP FOR MEN: put some thought into it – this means NO GIFT VOUCHERS! Also consider little regular gifts like a chocolate with a single rose.
How to get started
Step 1: to identify your and your partner’s primary love language. This can be done by downloading a simple test from Gary Chapman’s web site. This is a fun way to discover and learn a bit more about each other.
Step 2: put into practice what to do about your partner’s love language. At first it might seem a bit weird or forced but I’m sure it seemed quite strange when you first got on a bike.
Step 3: really bung it on when your partner is going through a tough time – whether it be them being stressed at work, or just feeling down – pull this out of your hat!
So let’s return to the story about me and my partner. After attending the seminar our eyes were opened to each other’s love languages. She was definitely an “Acts of Service” and I am definitely a “Physical Touch.” She would look around and notice that I had not helped around the house – in her mind this was my way of saying “I don’t care about you and don’t love you.”
At the same time, I would come home and she would be upset and tell me to get out of the kitchen. To me this was particularly hurtful as I would interpret this as her saying “I don’t love you”.
After we both recognised that we were just speaking a different language but both trying to say the same thing we breathed a sigh of relief – finally all our negative thoughts just fell away and we had time to show each other love.
Keep an eye open for our next post where we’ll be discussing whether there is actually such a thing as “One true love.”