Do you know how your partner gives or receives love? Do you know how to fill your partner’s love tank?
Better yet, do you know how your own love tank is filled? Know thyself and be free! If you know what to ask for, you’ve won half the battle.
You might have it all wrong and this could be causing the majority of friction in your relationship. It’s amazing how many of us do not stop to ask simple questions that involve basic communication. What does he or she like the most? Am I using the most effective communication method with this person? How can I engage with this person and communicate my love?
There are marriages lasting fifty years where partners have not even asked these basic questions. They may be miserable in a relationship that could have been totally different if basic guidelines were adhered, which were congruent to their partner’s born preferences. Ignorance is not bliss.
5 main love languages
1. Sensual Touch – You might be used to giving words of encouragement to your partner when they really need you to hold their hand, provide a massage or a kiss. In the past, maybe you had a partner who really appreciated your giving gifts to them? Have you bothered to find out if your partner is a physical, sensual person in general? Once recipe for a particular partner may not work for all partners. You need to investigate and find out the truth.
2. Words of Affirmation – I’ve talked to many people in relationships who bang their heads against the wall with phrases like “I can’t believe she doesn’t appreciate what I do for her!” So what do they do? They keep performing the same acts repeatedly and expect a different result. This is the definition of insanity. Have you asked your partner what they appreciate the most about you? Could it be the words of affirmation and praise you give them when they need it the most? Words are powerful and you change someone’s life course with targeted praise. Praise can be a game-changer for your partner and oneself.
3. Acts of Service – What about washing the dishes for your partner or taking out the garbage more often. Have you changed your routine to see what works? Acts of service may the most potent form of love for your partner and you aren’t even aware of this fact. Do you enjoy certain acts of service from your partner? These are acts that are unsolicited and come from unselfishness. Getting out of oneself and serving someone else is anathema to many who are absorbed with themselves most of their lives. Make it a habit every day to consider, “what can I do for my partner today?” It could just be one simple house chore per day. See how it affects your relationship in general. Do you believe in karma? What you put in, you will get back. That’s how life treats us. This Acts of Service fits perfectly into the nature of our universe and sometimes it takes a reminder to transcend old patterns of selfishness that are built on survival techniques learned as a child.
4. Quality Time – I was shocked when my partner told me her most appreciated aspect of relationship with me is when I take time to hang out with her. Just simple acts like taking a walk or going out to dinner are the most important things to her regarding our relationship. I honestly never knew this until I asked her about her specific, preferred love language. She did not hesitate. She did not have to think hard about it. She immediately replied “quality time”. I would have never known this and I would have spent a lot of wasted time trying to please her in other ways that just don’t fit into her preference.
5. Receiving Gifts – Who doesn’t like to receive gifts? It seems everyone loves gifts, but you might be surprised to see the affect of a gift can wear off quickly with some people. Why? It’s not personal. It’s just not their love language. You are not connecting in the right way. Even though I know my partner’s love language is “quality time”, I still like to surprise her with a gift once in a while. I have to admit though; it’s usually not appreciated like spending quality time with her. Why be dishonest with myself and try to fit a square peg into a round hole?
Find the Right Love Language
Hopefully, reviewing these five techniques may have stirred up some consideration about your partner and what they really appreciate. Think back and try to remember moments when they have really appreciated you. What was the act involved? If you have a very open relationship, maybe you can just openly ask them and find out.
In addition, similar to most aspects of our life, self-examination is revealing and imperative to progress as a human being. We may not even know our preferred love language until we start journaling or reflecting on our best times with our partner. What feels the best when interacting with this person? How did it feel when they gave me a gift? Have I been secretly longing for a gift from them? Do I feel safer in this relationship when my partner proposes to spend time with me such as a dinner date or a walk in the park? Why do I feel this way?
These are some common questions to consider regarding our love language and you must have the courage to expose your weaknesses and preferences with your partner. This is scary at first, but revealing your preference can save years of heartache and change a relationship. In addition, it simultaneously gives the partner permission to reveal their love language.