Relationships and marriages can be difficult, and often it’s frustrating when you try to tackle a difficulty in your relationship to no avail. Maybe things change for a day or two, or even a week, but they then slowly start to slip back to the way they were before.
Often in relationships, we love our partner how we want to be loved, for example by giving them gifts and words of affirmation, but the way that we love them is often the way that we want to be loved and not necessarily be the way in which they want to be loved. It’s a high 5 that just doesn’t quite match up.
Atonement in a relationship is about loving your partner in the way that they want to be loved.
If you’ve ever googled anything about relationship difficulties, you’ve probably come across the term ‘love languages’. The phrase has become very well known since Dr. Chapman released his bestselling book, The Five Love Languages.
The Five Love Languages
According to Dr. Chapman, there are five main love languages: words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch.
Words of affirmation
This love language expresses love with words of affection and compliments. People with this love language feel loved when hearing a simple ‘I love you’, verbal compliments, or a simple expression of appreciation. By uttering words of affirmation, people with this love language will feel appreciated, loved, and feel that they have been thought about.
Acts of service
This love language includes anything you can do to help and support your partner such as doing the dishes, running errands, or helping them out with a project they’re working on. The key to this love language is offering acts of service without being asked by your partner. They will appreciate that you have taken the time to think about what you could to do help, and offered to do so.
This language isn’t necessarily materialistic in essence but is appreciated as a sign that you have thought about your partner while they were not with you and made the effort to buy them a gift. It is an indication that you appreciate them, even when they are not with you.
In essence, actions speak louder than words.
The key to this love language is having no distractions and giving your partner your undivided attention. Try making sure that you put aside some time at least a few times a week to spend some quality time with your partner without the distractions of sitting in front of the TV, or using your phone. Sometimes the business of life can get in the way of spending quality time together.
People with this love language enjoy any kind of physical touch, be it hand holding, a foot rub, a back massage, or even just a hug. Making an effort to increase the amount of physical touch in your relationship, could be the key to tackling any difficulties you are having if your partner has this love language.
Discovering yours and your partners love languages
First and foremost, in order to find out more information about what your partner needs, you need to figure out what yours and your partners love languages are. Luckily, Dr. Chapman created an online quiz that you can take to find out exactly that! You can take the quiz here.
It has been suggested that in order to discover another person’s love language, you can observe the way they express love to others, and towards yourself. People tend to give love in the way that they want to be loved. Dr. Chapman suggests that better communication can be accomplished when you can demonstrate love towards your partner in the love language that they understand and desire.
By taking the time to learn, understand and respond to your partner’s love languages can improve communication and strengthen your relationship.