So you’ve been dating your Valentine for a while… He’s yours, she’s yours.
But you feel like your Valentine does not love you as much as you love them.
You feel like they don’t even try to make you feel special.
You talk to your partner about it, but they reassure you that they like you and that they will try to work it out. Then after a few weeks you are back to the same problem: feeling unloved. Or maybe you’ve done so much for them, but they still tell you it isn’t enough.
Does this sound familiar?
Before you go breaking up with each other, perhaps consider what your love language might be.
The concept of Love Languages tell us that the secret to lasting love is partly about understanding your partner’s love languages. Love languages was coined by Relationship Counsellor, Dr Gary Chapman, the author of ‘The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts’ which has sold millions. Dr Chapman determined that there are 5 love languages:
- Words of affirmation
Like verbal compliments and words of appreciation, best expressed in simple, straightforward statements.
- Quality time
By “quality time,” I mean giving someone your undivided attention. I don’t mean sitting on the couch watching TV together. Turn the TV off, put away the devices and talk. Take a walk together, get a meal, as long as it is with a person and not a cell phone.
- Physical touch
Holding hands, kissing and hugging are all ways of communicating emotional love, and not just the physical kind.
- Acts of service
By acts of service, I mean doing things you know your partner would like you to do.
Cook a meal, set a table, clean the dishes, do the laundry. Even changing the baby’s nappy. These are all acts of service. They require thought, planning, time, and effort. If your partner’s love language is acts of service, then actions really do speak louder than words. Like Elvis said; a little less conversation, a little more action. If you are giving roses to someone who wants you to just take the garbage out, but you haven’t gotten off your back end to move the bins, then your romantic gesture may not have the desired effect.
- Receiving gifts
When you receive a gift, you can hold in your hand and say, “They were thinking of me – here’s proof.” The gift itself is a symbol of that thought. It doesn’t matter how much it cost. What is important is that you thought of your partner.
So, what is your love language? You can check out Dr Chapman’s website:
Or you can spend the time with your partner talking, and find out for yourself.
But, what happens if your love languages don’t match? What if your partner says, “I’m not a gift giver. I didn’t receive many gifts as a child. It isn’t my thing.” Congratulations; you have just made the first discovery in becoming a better lover. If your partner’s primary love language is receiving gifts, you can learn to become a gift giver. Schedule it into your calendar if you have to. In fact, it is one of the easiest love languages to learn. If your partner’s primary love language is different to yours, and you want the relationship to work, then get on with the business of learning your second language. It might take some time and effort but nothing, and no one, worthwhile comes easily!