How do I love thee?
Let me count the ways…
1. I say it with words of love and affection
2. I touch you with love and affection
3. I give you gifts
4. I spend time with you
5. I do things for you
I’m sure that Shakespeare in his wisdom about human relationships would have agreed with these five ‘languages’ of love. It’s actually the modern-day author Gary Chapman who came up with them.
If, for instance, your main language of love is words of affection, and your least strong language is doing things, yet your partner is the opposite, then you’re going to have problems. You’ll be declaring your love with words which will just brush off your partner, or even annoy them: “Huh, it’s just words, it doesn’t mean anything”. While at the same time they will be doing all sorts of things to demonstrate how much they love you and you won’t even notice. And because they’re not verbalizing their love for you then you might not feel loved at all.
There are two main types of loving: affective and effective. Affective is saying it in words or touch, effective is doing things for the other, including giving gifts.
Ask yourself which is the most important thing for you to receive from your partner as a sign of their love for you – words, touch, gifts, actions or time?
Now ask them what it is for them. You might be surprised at the difference.
Once you know what your preferred love language is, and what your partner’s is, you can pay more attention to expressing it in a way that they can receive; and you’ll become better at noticing when they are expressing their love, even when it’s not your primary style.
Which makes for more love and understanding all round!
You can take a quiz to identify your love languages at www.5lovelanguages.com