While I do love to write about personal development on here because I think it’s pertinent to a creative life, particularly one that involves balancing a full-time career and a side hustle, relationships are not something I planned on covering often. However, y’all loved my post on What I’ve Learned From Living With My Fiancé. It’s one of my all time most read posts, and certainly one of my most popular on Pinterest.
So, I’ve decided I may keep with this relationship theme every once in a while. I mean, at the end of the day, it relates back to writing about weddings, right? If anything, it’s the most important part of the wedding. And today I’m sharing with youThe Five Love Languages, a book that I truly believe everyone needs to read.
Before I even begin, just buy it. Seriously, it’s under $10.
WHAT IS THE FIVE LOVE LANGUAGES?
The Five Love Languages is a book by Gary Chapman, a relationship counselor, that has gained cult status in recent years. I can’t even remember where I first heard of it, but I decided on a whim to add it to my Amazon cart a couple years ago. I read it in just a sitting or two – it’s a short, quick read – and was immediately all in on this relationship manual.
Chapman’s premise is that everyone has a primary love language, or way that they receive and give love, and it may not line up with their partner’s love language. When there’s a disconnect, someone may feel like they aren’t receiving love from their partner, but in reality, they just are inclined to express it in different ways. They key is figuring out both your love language and your partner’s so that you can make sure both you and your partner are fulfilled within the relationship. Throughout the book, Chapman tells stories of different couples that either enriched their relationships or were able to overcome hurdles all by shifting the ways they interacted to line up with their love respective love languages.
WHAT ARE THE FIVE LANGUAGES?
The five love languages are words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch. Of course you may be gravitate towards several of these love languages, but there is only one that is your primary love language.
- Words of affirmation: You need to hear why your partner loves and appreciates you – words actually do speak louder than actions here. Also, don’t expect the words of affirmation person to forget something you’ve said – positive or negative.
- Acts of service: You’d love to come home to folded laundry, an empty dishwasher, and dinner in the oven. The things your partner does that remind you that they’re trying to make your life more comfortable are the surest way to your heart.
- Receiving gifts: If your partner goes on a trip, a souvenir that shows they were thinking of you goes a long way. It doesn’t matter how big or small the gift is, it’s truly the thought that counts.
- Quality time: Double dates aren’t going to cut it, you need time where your partner’s attention is focused completely on you. It’s essential to get activities together on the calendar where you can just enjoy each other’s company.
- Physical touch: I’ve read that every guy thinks this is their primary love language until they read the actual definition here. This is more about a supportive hug or holding hands when you’re facing a new situation together.
One thing to note is that they way you prefer to receive love may not be the same way that you are drawn to give love. As you study and understand you and your partner’s love language, you don’t need to adjust the way you receive love, only the way that you are giving it to your partner, but you also should work to recognize when your partner is giving love in their primary language and appreciate the effort there.
HOW CAN I IMPLEMENT THEM IN MY OWN LIFE?
Adjusting the way you show love and affection to your partner is surprisingly easy once you understand your partner’s primary love language. For example, my love language is words of affirmation (surprising for a writer, right? ha.) and Adam’s is acts of service. Those also happen to be the ways we are inclined to show it, which makes for a lot of compliments that Adam isn’t totally comfortably receiving and…well, I can’t complain when he does things for me, so I’m good to go there!
But, that means that we both have to work to speak the other’s love language. This means I do things that he’ll interpret as acts of service like going to the grocery store because it’s his least favorite errand, folding laundry, filling up the tank in the car if I’m out and about, or planning healthy meals for the week. It comes down to going a bit above and beyond to knock out a few of the things that need to get done. For Adam, that means verbally expressing when he’s proud of me or when I look nice (he’s got it easy-peasy).
ONE FINAL NOTE
You’ll be surprised when you read the book how quickly it becomes apparently what your love language is and, also, what your partner’s is. Then, once you’ve got a handle on each other’s love languages, it’s a surprisingly easy shift to begin relating in a way that leaves both of you feeling fulfilled. I’m a big believer that the right relationship shouldn’t be hard, but it does take effort and commitment to learn how to interact with and appreciate your partner each and every day.