Very often I am asked by my social media community about strengthening romantic relationships. While there is no one method of building intimacy with your partner, knowing your (and your partner’s) love language can be a good start to knowing HOW to love each other.
Love is both a noun and a verb. While you may agree with the ‘noun’ bit and know that you feel love for your partner, you may be confused about the ‘verb’ part and are unsure of how to show it. A lot of times just knowing how to love your partner or how to express love in a way that reaches them can strengthen the relationship in itself. It can help partners feel close to each other, share intimacy and passion, thereby building commitment.
What are Love Languages?
Love languages as a concept was developed by Dr. Gary Chapman to help people find how they want to be loved and to help them love others better.
Imagine feeling a lot of love and emotion for your partner but it is not GETTING TO them? What if all the love you feel for them does not even reach them…?! Surprise Surprise! Love Languages helps you do exactly that. It helps you know what your partner appreciates the most, so you can love them THEIR WAY. It not only makes life and communication easy for loved ones, it also ensures that your efforts yield results.
How can you know your Love Language or your partner’s?
Ideally, you and your partner can take the free quiz, and share the results with each other! But in a nutshell, being aware and mindful of how you/ your partner react to an effort they make is what helps. Example- You pay your partner a compliment and they cannot stop smiling- likely to be ‘words of affirmation’ OR you buy your partner a thoughtful gift and they tell you “you are the best partner ever”- it is likely that ‘receiving gifts’ is their primary love language.
You may feel and express love with ALL the love languages mentioned below, however most people will always have one primary preference over all others, so if you get confused, do not worry! Talk about them with your partner openly.
Words of Affirmation
Some people feel loved when their love and presence in their partner’s life is affirmed and reassured. If that sounds like your partner, below are some examples that you can say to them to make them feel loved.
- “I appreciate your presence in my life.”.”
- “I love your dedication and honesty towards me/ the relationship.”
- “I will take care of your needs and wants.”
- “Thank you for taking the time to think this through.”
- “I am lucky/ fortunate to have you in my life.”
- “I missed seeing you last night.”
- “You are wonderful to be helping the kids with their homework.”
In relationships, acknowledgment and appreciation are vital. Instead of assuming that your partner knows that you love them/ care for them, let them know how you feel and let them know OFTEN. They are probably looking forward to hearing from you.
Acts of Service
For people with acts of service as their love language- Actions speak louder than words.
- Help them with cleaning their vehicle.
- Cook a breakfast for them.
- Ride the train with them if they are unhappy doing it alone.
- Arrange a head massage for them.
- Help them with a work project.
- Take care of the kids’ homework.
- Help them find/ make alone time to rest and recharge
Doing something kind and thoughtful for your partner can help them feel safe, secure and loved. For the times when you hear “I know you love me but I want to SEE it”- the above may help your partner to SEE it. Actions can sometimes be more powerful and help to express love in more than one way.
Some people feel loved when they receive a gift. Try to find/ buy/ make gifts for the person that would hold a special meaning for them. For some people receiving a surprise gift means that you thought of them, even when they were not with you.
- Buy flowers for them.
- Plan a traditional/ family gift for an occasion like an anniversary.
- Pay for a dinner date.
- Send a box of chocolates or their favourite dessert.
- If they like to read- a book of their favourite author
- Find merchandise of their favourite band or sports team.
- If they like scents/ fragrances- a perfume/ candle/ potpourri etc.
Gifts do not always have to be expensive, but they should be something that would make sense to them. A Spotify playlist with all their favourite songs can be a wonderful gift that they cherish and listen to on their way to work.
Love can be expressed in multiple ways and the feeling of touch is icing on the cake sometimes. If your partner feels loved with physical intimacy, below are some examples that can help:
- Give a hug when they are stressed or overwhelmed
- Hold hands when out for a walk
- Offer a foot massage at the end of a long day
- Wrap your arm around them on a date
- Steal a kiss when they are not expecting it
- Take a couples dance class with them
- Tickle them to lighten the mood
Physical touch does not have to be sex all the time. A lot of times it is about the feeling of reassurance and validation that your partner is there for you and is supporting you, without verbal affirmation as well.
Most people would love being able to spend time with their partners without distractions or other things running on their TO-DO lists. But if your partner’s most prominent love language is quality time, the ideas below can help:
- Schedule dates with less distractions in the environment
- Do not use your phone when having coffee/ a meal with them
- Plan a staycation/ vacation with just the two of you
- Sitting with each other in silence at the end of a hard day
- Taking a daily/ weekly walk before ending your day
- Play games together
- Workout together
Try to find and make time for deep & heartfelt conversations as well as for activities that your partner enjoys to do with you. The idea is to show love to your partner by giving your undivided attention.
Now, go have fun with all this new knowledge!
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