When we start dating someone, we tend to feel what people call the “honeymoon” stage in which everything is perfect. Neither individual in the relationship can do anything wrong and everything is all rosy and perfect. Both partners are putting their first foot forward and are showing off their true colors. After a few months, partners start to argue or have differences. That is when the honeymoon stage is officially over. Being able to identify what your love language is and what your partners is can be helpful in managing difficult times and differences that each of you may have.
Words of Affirmation
With words of affirmations, the partner would praise or thank the other partner. Each partner is essentially using words to build up the other person while also increasing self-esteem. Using words such as “thanks”, “please”, “I appreciate you,” etc. For example, saying “Thank you for filling up the gas tank” compared to saying “You need to fill up the gas tank since you drove it last.” Choosing your words can change the way your partner reacts to you in the relationship.
This is as simple as it can get: giving gifts to your partner. Gifts are meant to be surprises but providing your partner something that they have been looking at or mentioned that they wanted/needed. There does not have to be any certain occasion, just a “I thought of you when I saw this” or “I know you have been looking at this.”
Acts of Service
The definition of this can be tricky, but it just means doing something for your partner without them asking you to do it. If it means doing the laundry, doing the dishes, taking the trash out, bathing and putting the kids to bed, making dinner, etc. Doing something for your partner that you know they would enjoy and that they usually do.
Physical touch and intimacy is holding hands, hugs, kisses, etc. Any expression of love that you can provide to your partner or that they can provide to you can is one of the love languages.
A lot of time, partners will say we do spend a lot of quality time together, watching television or going out to dinner (while on the phone), but is that really quality time? Being able to connect with your partner on a deeper level and communicate with them is quality time. Active listening is a part of quality time. Spending time together and assuring that your partner has your undivided attention is a major key in quality time.
After this very brief introduction into the 5 love languages, how would you rank your love languages? Does 1 or 2 of them really stick out to you? Do you recognize yourself always seeking one of them? Asking your partner to also look through this list and see what matches their personality can help your relationship get stronger. Being able to fulfill their needs to necessary for a good relationship. If your partner responds positively to “acts of service,” trying to do more for them that they would not expect can strengthen your relationship.
If you feel like your relationship is struggling and you need support, feel free to contact our talented therapists at Symmetry Counseling. At Symmetry Counseling, we offer individual therapy, couples therapy, and family therapy.