“He doesn’t love me the way I want to be loved.” “She doesn’t understand how to meet my needs.” “My love is just never enough; I am giving all I got.” “I love and treat him exactly how I would want to be loved and treated.”
I’ve heard it all before. Often, couples come to a point where they feel disconnected from their partner due to not having their needs met. It’s not due to a lack of love; most times, it derives from not understanding how to love their partner. We tend to demonstrate love based on our own experience with love and how we enjoy love to be put into action. However, we do not all give or receive love equally. This is where knowing and understanding your partner’s love language becomes a valuable tool in your relationship.
I’m sure you’ve heard of the term “love languages”. Initially, love languages were created in 1992 by Gary Chapman, a marriage counselor. Gary realized that people come in all shapes and sizes, and so do their personal choices of expressing love.
Gary broke down the idea of these love language into 5 different types:
Words of Affirmation – Saying supportive things to your partner.
Acts of Service – Doing something helpful for your partner.
Receiving Gifts – Giving your partner gifts that tell them you were thinking about them.
Quality Time – Spending meaningful time with your partner.
Physical Touch – Being close to and cuddled by your partner, physical expressions.
Want to know how you and your partner can explore and discover what each of your love languages is? The first step is to build communication and verbalize your wants and needs. When your partner does something you enjoy, sharing what you liked about that gesture is a great place to start.
EXPLORATORY QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF AND YOUR PARTNER:
- How do you feel when you hear your partner offer encouraging, positive, and affirming words and compliments?
- When your partner helps you with tasks that reduce your burden or ease your stress, how do you feel?
- How do you feel when your partner gets you thoughtful or extravagant gifts?
- How do you feel when your partner gives you their undivided attention, and you engage in meaningful conversation or activities?
- How do you feel when your partner shows you affection through touch?
If you want to build a healthy relationship, it can take time and effort. It helps to tell your partner what makes you feel loved, and to show your partner love in the ways they want to receive it. What better gift for Valentine’s day than the gift of loving your partner in a way that makes them feel understood and valued?
Are you struggling to connect those dots with your partner? Do you need a little help improving the essential foundational blocks every relationship needs? To learn more ways to manage these challenges, contact Emily Martinez, LMSW at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 917.476.9381.