LOVE. This word can mean so many different things to so many different people. But one thing’s for sure…we all want to feel it. When one person’s way of expressing love is different from their partner’s — which is often the case — trouble ensues. Chances are you and your partner don’t speak the same love language, and that’s totally fine. What’s important is that you understand and learn to speak your partner’s love language. That’s the key to a successful relationship.
Loving someone the way you desire to be loved ( rather than the way they desire to be loved) can over time cause serious emotional damage. You run the risk of your partner feeling unloved and you feeling unappreciated. The best way to find and replicate your partner’s love languages is to look closely at how they express love. Pay attention to how they react when you express love. Does your partner beam up when you bring home a random, little gift that shows you were thinking about them today? How does your partner respond when you cuddle with them or hold their hand? Is that something they constantly ask for? Make a conscious effort to focus your attention on your spouse. You will learn a lot about how they desire to be loved.
Let’s delve into a few examples.
Meet John & Sally. Sally’s main love language is words of affirmation. She feels the most loved when John leaves unexpected love notes/cards at home, and when he randomly texts her loving, encouraging messages during the day. Sally feels the most distance from John when she receives non-constructive criticism, from him, and when she feels he isn’t recognizing or appreciating her efforts. Because John’s love language is physical touch (not to be confused with sex), he thrives on hugs, holding hands, & getting messages from Sally. He hates feeling physical neglect, long stints without intimacy/affection.
Though outwardly, John and Sally look similar, they couldn’t have been raised more differently. In fact, one of the only things similar about their upbringing is that they both received love…but not in the same way. Sally’s family was very verbally expressive. She was constantly reminded of how pretty, smart, and loved she was. Though John’s family loved him just as much, they were less talkative and more hands on. Hugging was big in John’s family.
Though John and Sally are now adults, they still have the same main love language as they did from their childhood. How we express and receive love is based on our past, our present, and our personalities.
It can require a lot of practice to be able to speak someone else’s love language fluently (similar to learning a different language). Initially, it may feel boring or tiring, because this isn’t your way of expressing, but the rewards (a deeper connection, better understanding, a more secure feeling, & a happier, more meaningful relationship) are totally worth it.
At CWC Coaching, our team consists of licensed therapists, life coaches, and counselors. We assist clients with self-improvement, career development, negative self-talk, psychological pain, self-sabotaging behavior, past hurts and finding your purpose. If you are ready to increase your self-awareness and happiness, breakthrough limiting behavior and understand your purpose in life, we’d love to help guide you on this journey.