By: Danielle Bertini, LPC

There are many different ways that you can express your love to someone, as well as different ways that you might want to receive love. Not everyone speaks the same language. According to Gary Chapman there are actually five different love languages: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch (Chapman, 1995). Having a different love language from your partner can sometimes be difficult to navigate and cause some tension in the relationship. However, just because you speak a different love language, doesn’t mean that all bets are off when it comes to being in a successful and strong relationship. Here are some ways to cope with these differences (Chatel, 2016):

  • Know That Not Every Couple Speaks the Same Love Language

In the past, maybe you’ve been with someone who spoke the same love language as you. However, that might not always be the case. How we want to express and receive love can often be based on our past, our present, and our personalities. For example, if you came from a family where love was very much expressed physically, there’s a good chance you might express that same kind of love with your partner. However, if your partner didn’t come from a family where love was physically expressed, but rather with spending time together, they might just want to spend time together watching movie marathons on the couch with you. 

  • Establish What Your Love Language Is

Knowing that there are five different love languages, it might be a good idea to have a good understanding of what your love language is. Do you like more physical touch from your partner? Or do you like when your partner expresses their love to you verbally? A quick Google search can bring you to quizzes to help you better understand your love language. You might even be surprised what yours is, or is a combination of! 

  • Learn to Compromise 

Relationships are often about compromise. This same idea can come into play with love languages. For example, your partner might need to be more willing to communicate their love physically if that’s your love language, whereas you might need to be willing to perform more acts of service if that’s their love language. Compromise is key here.

  • Communicate What You Need to Feel Loved

Your partner can’t read your mind. I know, I know, shocking—right? Because of this, you need to tell them with words what you need from them. They can’t give you the compromise you might be looking for if you don’t communicate that with them. 

  • Know That You Don’t Have to Speak the Same Love Language to Have A Successful Relationship 

There are so many different components to relationships. Love languages is just one of those components. This can be great to hear for couples who might not speak the same love language. However, it is still important to keep in mind the compromising factor we spoke about earlier.

  • Accept That Love Languages May Not Change

It can sometimes be important to realize sooner rather than later that you and your partner speak different love languages, and this may never change. Of course, things in life can be fluid and everchanging, but sometimes they aren’t. With this in mind, it becomes even more important to realize the significance of learning to communicate, compromise, and even tweak how you go about things with your partner. 

References

Chapman, G. D. (1995). The five love languages: How to express heartfelt commitment to your 

mate. Chicago: Northfield Pub. 

Chatel, A. (2016, May 17). How To Cope When You & Your Partner Have Different Love 

Languages. https://www.bustle.com/articles/161169-how-to-cope-when-you-your-partner-have-different-love-languages.