Love… As some of you may know, I am in a relationship. Which I prefer to call a partnership. Although we are very different in character, we share similar hopes and dreams in what we want out of life and together we strive to reach our collective goal. Throughout our almost four years of partnering up, we have learned that we like receiving and giving love in very different forms… For a good year I thought we were special in discovering that, but it turns out that Gary Chapman, a marriage counselor for over 30 years, believes that there are “five basic love languages“. Who knew 😉
Words of affirmation
Now, I can’t lie, I am big on words of affirmation. Psychologist William James said that possibly the deepest human need is the need to feel appreciated and I feel appreciated through words of affirmation. I grew up in the Netherlands, where you just have to ‘act normal, don’t be silly’ and therefor there weren’t many words of affirmation to be found in my childhood, it went without saying that my parents loved me. I think it comes with time, new generations, children as an evolution of the family they come from, to realise expressing emotions are good for the soul.
Try some of these verbal compliments on your partner and really take in their reaction:
“You look sharp in that suit.”
“You look incredible in that dress.”
“I really like how you’re always on time.”
“You can always make me laugh.”
Spending quality time together is important to create a partnership. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes we eat our dinner in front of the telly but there are times that we switch off everything and really connect back in with each other. We don’t take our phones into the bedroom, this isn’t just because phone radiation is a scary thing… It also keep us from zoning out on our phones and not saying ‘good morning’ before picking up the phone. To be honest I am a little spoilt with how much time I receive from my partner, it is a compliment to him that I love spending so much time together and I try not to take it for granted…
Thoughtful gifts are a major plus but honestly I prefer receiving gifts that I can eat so I don’t accumulate more stuff than I already have… I know there are girls out there who believe receiving a designer bag or pair of shoes shows that a man loves and respects you and if you have found a partner that is happy to give love in that way, good for you 🙂 If your partner’s primary love language is receiving gifts, you are in luck, it is one of the easiest love languages to learn.
Acts of service
I’d like to think acts of service’ to be ‘little heroic gestures’. I’m happy to cook and clear the dishes but cleaning the kitchen after is my nightmare… And even though it only takes 5 minutes to do, I dread it. It’s as if my partner reads my mind and picks up where I’ve left off and for that I’m always grateful! If your spouse’s love language is acts of service, then “actions speak louder than words.”
I suppose no partnership is complete without physical touch, whether it’s a kiss, a gentle stroke or having sex. Dr Gary Chapman says: “We have long known that physical touch is a way of communicating emotional love. Numerous research projects in the area of child development have made that conclusion: Babies who are held, stroked and kissed develop a healthier emotional life than those who are left for long periods of time without physical contact.” In my personal experience I’ve not always been treated well in this department in previous relationships and I think it will leave a permanent scar. Although the scar tissue has healed more than I ever thought it would, with my current partner’s guidance, I look forward to giving and receiving physical love for years to come 😉
I hope this was somehow useful and please read up on The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary Chapman