Happy Valentine’s Day!
On this special day, we try to show our partners how much we love them. When we think about Valentine’s Day we often picture images of flowers, chocolates and romantic dinners. While we may enjoy these traditional rituals we sometimes look for those personal touches that makes one another feel loved. What if there was a gift that came free of charge and truly added that personalized touch we often look for when finding that perfect gift for our significant other?
The gift this article is referring to is the gift of love communication. By this we mean gaining a deeper understanding about how our partners “feel” love and how we can speak to them in their primary “love language”. An individual’s love language refers to the specific types of actions that leave them feeling truly loved. There are five categories, each with its own types of actions that strongly translate into feelings of love for that individual. Please refer to the link below to learn more about the five categories and determine your primary love language.
Many of us do feel love from each category but the goal here it so determine your partner’s primary love language and therefore the category in which they feel most loved. We do not consciously decide or pick our primary love language. What determines our primary language is a combination of factors such as, our previous romantic experiences, our childhood upbringing and how we engage with people on a daily basis.
As an individual you might not even realize what your partner’s primary love language is because you are speaking to them in your primary love language. For example, if one partner’s primary love language is “act of service” while the other partner’s primary love language is “physical touch” there can be mixed signals and a break down in intimacy. Let’s use the example of Jane and Steve.
Being Valentine’s Day, Jane is making dinner for her husband Steve because her primary love language is “acts of service” and she thinks Steve would feel so loved if she makes him his favourite meal. Steve comes home with beautiful flowers and hands them to Jane. Jane smiles and fills a vase with water amongst the chaos of finishing up the final touches for dinner. Steve gets changed and sits at the table and they quietly eat their dinner. Jane senses that Steve is in a bit of a low mood and attributes it to him having a bad day at work. After dinner Steve continues with his evening as usual and Jane clears the table, albeit feeling somewhat resentful. The two of them carry on as their usual evenings do before going to bed.
You will notice that in each case, each partner tried to do something to show love for the other. Jane made Steve a wonderful meal and Steve brought home a beautiful bouquet of flowers for Jane. Despite these being nice gestures there was a lack of focus on each other’s primary love language. As a result, each partner may have been confused on the signals they were sensing from one another.
Steve’s primary love language in this case is “physical touch” and he didn’t receive a strong enough love signal in his primary language. Despite the chaos of dinner Jane could have maybe stopped, looked at her husband and given him a genuine hug and kiss to thank him for the flowers. Furthermore, Jane could have made an opportunity to incorporate physical touch by holding Steve’s hand at dinner or cuddling with him afterwards. Any of these actions speak to Steve in his primary love language.
Jane’s primary love language is “acts of service”. Steve perhaps could have noticed the effort Jane was putting into dinner and grabbed a vase for the flowers, maybe poured the two of them a glass of wine and also perhaps cleaned up the dishes after dinner. Any of these actions would have deeply spoken to Jane because her primary love language is “acts of service” and doing things for her, especially when not requested would deeply speak to her.
It is also important to discuss the love language promoted on Valentine’s Day. This love language is called “receiving gifts.” Many people operate with this being their primary love language. This means that many of the traditional actions surrounding Valentine’s Day will be interpreted as strongly as they are intended to be for these individuals. Having a different primary love language does not mean that your partner does not like having dinner made for them or they do not like receiving flowers. It just means it is not their primary language and coupling the traditional Valentine’s Day rituals with an action that truly speaks to your partner’s primary love language can certainly go a long way in building connection and intimacy.
When it comes to intimacy, often times the discrepancy in communication comes about when each partner speaks a different “love language.” This is more often then not the case and by learning about your partner’s primary love language and speaking that language through your actions will certainly help spice up the romance and leave each of you feeling loved.
Click here to take the love languages quiz: http://www.5lovelanguages.com/
By: Ashley Masri, ND