We all want to be loved.
And the opportunity to give love in return.
But what happens when the love you give is misunderstood or the love you receive doesn’t feel like love to you?
We give love to others in the way we wish to receive it but in many cases our desire to make someone else feel loved, backfires.
No matter how hard you work to show your partner how much you care about them, they just don’t feel loved.
According to author Gary Chapman, there are 5 core love languages.
Each of us understand one of these languages but may completely misunderstand the other 4.
Learning the different languages and identifying the one that your partner understands can have a huge impact on your relationship. When you know what someone needs in order to feel loved, you can use words and actions to demonstrate your love in a way that they understand.
Speaking the language of love is a key component in avoiding misunderstandings, resentment and conflict. When we feel loved, we want to do more for the other person. And so the cycle of love grows and blossoms.
Our most basic emotional need is not to fall in love but to be genuinely loved by another, to know a love that grows out of reason and choice, not instinct. I need to be loved by someone who chooses to love me, who sees in me something worth loving – Gary Chapman
Which love language do you speak?
And which one does your partner speak?
Words Of Affirmation
One way to show love is to speak in a way that affirms the other person. You can do this by complimenting your partner.
“Your hair looks beautiful today”
“I love how you look in that suit”
“I love how you make me laugh”
Verbal appreciation is one of the most powerful languages of love there is.
When you pay someone a compliment it lets them know you see them.
That you notice them and appreciate them.
Just because you live in the same house, doesn’t mean you spend quality time together. You may sit in front of the television together in the evening but there is a big difference between quantity and quality.
Quality time involves giving your undivided attention to your partner. Time without distractions and outside of your usual routine. Think back to when you were first dating. You wanted to know everything you could about them; you couldn’t get enough of each other.
But the busyness of life has a way of getting in the way of love. Or more correctly, the demonstration of love that we each need in order to feel appreciated.
If your partner’s primary love language is quality time, make the effort to go on a date, go for a walk by the beach or through your neighbourhood. Remove yourselves from the distraction of your routine and take the time to be completely present with each other. There is no surer way to reconnect and reignite your passion.
Love is not about money but for some people, the act of giving is a key component in feeling loved. Valentines Day may have become overly commercial but the intention behind it is pure. It’s a chance for you to show your partner how much you love them through the giving and receiving of gifts.
But why wait until Valentines Day? When you give an unexpected gift, it lets your partner know that you have been thinking about them. That you know them well enough to find the perfect thing they will love. If your partner’s face lights up when you give them a gift, then you can be fairly sure this is part of their core love language.
Acts of Service
For some people the greatest demonstration of love is to see you do something you know they will appreciate. This may be as simple as cooking a meal once a week, or taking care of the kids for a few hours on a Saturday so your partner can have some time to themselves. Or it could be giving a foot massage, cooking a special meal or simply emptying the dishwasher.
This is not about stereotypes and role definition but about making the time to do something to make your partner’s load a little lighter. Making the effort to share the load really lets your partner know that you see how hard they work and that you are there for them.
We have long known that physical touch is a powerful way of demonstrating love for your partner. Embracing, kissing, holding hands and sex are special acts which you do not share with anyone else. For some people, physical touch is vital. Without it, they don’t feel loved. Physical love allows these people to feel secure in their relationship with their partner.
It can be as simple as touching their hand as you walk through the room they are sitting in. Or a hug and a kiss each morning and evening as you leave and return to house. It doesn’t take much time or thought but can mean so much to your partner.
It is so easy to fall into routine with your partner and forget to show them how much you love and appreciate them. But for a relationship to survive, both people must feel loved, seen, appreciated and secure. Without this, arguments and resentments can arise creating friction that runs like an undercurrent through your relationship. And when someone doesn’t feel secure and important to their partner, they may look for that feeling somewhere else.
Knowing your love language and discovering the love language your partner speaks, is a powerful way to transform your relationship and reignite those feelings of love that you are looking for.