By understanding the Love Languages desired by your partner you develop intimacy and meet each other’s needs. An open heart sees clearly and decisive actions follow. These actions improve your ability to connect with others and see their needs. SpiritQuest offers a powerful retreat session taking a deeper look at what is required to grow intimacy with each other.
The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman
One helpful tool to improve relationships was developed by Gary Chapman, author, speaker, and counselor. The 5 Love Languages is a system, outlined in his book, to help you discover how to better connect with those you care about. It also teaches how to more clearly express your needs. Whether you want to connect better with your child, a spouse, or a friend, the 5 Love Languages can be a fun and insightful resource.
The book outlines 5 basic “love languages,” that cover the most common ways people express and desire love. While we all have a little of each, one type usually predominates for everyone.
#1 Love Languages: Words of affirmation
Those that speak this love language feel in their bones that words heal and words hurt. These people respond to encouragement and appreciation. If this is your partner’s or child’s language of love, avoid saying: I’m glad you did the dishes before they turned green. Instead, offer appreciation and gushing approval over their contributions. For these individuals, insults aren’t easily forgotten and playful banter should exclude too many barbs. Say the words “I love you” often. Even better, follow it up with a specific reason why.
#2 Love Languages: Quality Time
For a partner who chooses this love language, you need to put down the phone. Learn to look away from the computer, set down the fork, and look them in the eye. When they speak, it is important to be present with them and avoid distractions. These people appreciate quality over quantity. Your undivided attention is what they crave. Stop and learn to really be present with your loved ones if you want them to feel “seen” by you.
#3 Love Languages: Physical Touch
A hug, a kiss, a touch of the hand or cheek can qualify as the physical touch. These people need to rub shoulders with you, walk close, and feel your presence. For this type, even meeting eyes can feel like being touched. The truth is all of us need to be touched, and touch releases oxytocin, a natural love hormone, that makes us feel connected, loved, and calm. Dogs and their caretakers release this hormone during even a short pet session. “Physical touch” people need a touch more than average. So if this is your partner’s language, hold his/her hand and hang on for an extra minute or two.
#4 Love Languages: Act of Service
Sometimes love isn’t all hugs and nice words, it’s willing to go out of your way to ease your partner’s burden. If your friend’s language of love is this type, you’ll need to show you care by being thoughtful and easing their burden before they ask. Even little acts say “I love you and I care.” So be thoughtful and clean the kitchen even if this is usually their “job.” If your friend is stressed, jump in an offer to help or take a task off their hands. Love is work sometimes and to this type, action speaks louder than words.
#5 Love Languages: Gifts
The person that loves giving and receiving gifts as expressions of love isn’t materialistic. They simply find this love language to be one of thoughtfulness, sacrifice, aesthetics, and planning that goes into gift-giving to be a satisfying and expressive way of saying “I love you.” A good gift means, to this type, that you were paying attention, and are willing to go to some effort for them. It doesn’t always need to be big, even a note left in the right place can be seen as a gift.
Increase Your Awareness of Love Languages
Use your language of love, to better understand how to express your needs to a partner, or simply work through your own feelings of disappointment. If you feel your partner or friend lets you down, can you shift your perspective and see how they ARE actually expressing love to you. This system is helpful not only in seeing how to better care for others but to see ways people care for you. Click here to take your Love Language quiz.
Spiritquest offers personalized couples retreat packages for you and your partner to understand and share all love languages. Our packages help couples find their authentic voice and express their needs and desires to their partner.