I thought this article was very interesting. In the spirit of love and Valentine’s Day being behind us, maybe we can all do our part to make our relationships better. Finding out what love language your partner speaks is one of the best ways you can effectively communicate your love for them! I am definitely #1 without a doubt. I need someone to tell me why they love/like me. How it has affected them. That’s what floats my boat… what floats yours?
Which Love Language Do You Speak?
By Jenny Everett, SELF magazine
You’ve probably joked that you and your man speak different languages (the whole “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus” thing). But it’s actually more true than you think, according to marriage counselor Dr. Gary Chapman, author of The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts.
Related: SELF’s Guide to Superfoods
Chapman’s theory is that everyone speaks one of five “love languages” — and if you know each other’s “language,” it’s easier to express your affection.
His book was originally published in 1992, but the paperback (read: cheaper!) version just hit stores in January, so it’s getting a lot of attention this V-Day. We asked Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. (a.k.a. Dr. Romance), psychotherapist and author of Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting About the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage, to explain the “love languages” to help us figure out which one we’re most fluent in.
Love Language #1: Words of Affirmation
According to Tessina, this category of men and women feel especially warm and fuzzy when they receive compliments and words of encouragement from their significant other. “Contrary to what a lot of media images show, relationships aren’t as much about romance (although it is lovely) as they are about partnership,” she says. “Couples need to feel as through they’re working together and they can count on each other to be on their side. Compliments and encouragement help establish the good will in the relationship.”
Love Language #2: Quality Time
Some men and women crave their partner’s undivided attention more than others might. “This is living proof that your partner cares about you,” says Tessina. “It’s a non-verbal expression of love and it shows interest in who you are and what you are saying. Wanting to do things together is a sign of a healthy relationship.”
Love Language #3: Receiving Gifts
Flowers, chocolates and other presents can serve as a symbol of love. “These are mini-celebrations of your connection and love,” says Tessina. “They are material expressions of caring and they don’t need to be extravagant, they just need to be there.”
Love Language #4: Acts of Service
The category includes everything from setting the table to walking the dog. “These are all-important expressions of caring and cooperation,” says Tessina. “Being able to count on each other in these small ways is a big part of what your partnership is about.”
Love Language #5: Physical Touch
For some people, nothing says “I love you” like a little nookie. “One of the biggest mistakes couples who describe themselves as ‘best friends’ make is to let the physical/sexual side of their love go dormant,” says Tessina. “The difference between friends or congenial relationships and a thriving marriage is the physical affection and sex. Allowing the sex to go dormant leaves a giant hole that can easily be filled with temptation.”
Obviously, you want to work little bits of all of these “languages” into your relationship, but knowing each other’s “primary” language can be helpful in making sure you’re satisfying one another. Still not sure what categories you and your main squeeze fall into? Click here to take a quiz.
Oh, and no worries if you speak different languages. That’s totally healthy. In fact, Chapman says people are usually attracted to those who speak a different language than their own. Tessina agrees. “The first step is to notice the differences, then seek to understand each other. You can learn each other’s love languages, and then you’ll have a bigger repertoire.”
Which “love language” do you speak?