Leanna Stockard, MA, AMFT

Have you felt that you have tried everything possible for your relationship to feel “normal” again? Have you tried time and time again to connect with your partner by doing things for them, attempting to cuddle at night, or trying to spend alone time with them? While your efforts may be meaningful for you, you may be missing the mark, because you may not be speaking your partner’s Love Language. Gary Chapman, author of “The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts” describes how we need to put forth the effort to learn and speak our partner’s love languages to work on keeping each other’s “emotional love tanks” at full capacity. When we feel that our “love tanks” are at full capacity, there is more opportunity for connection and closeness in our relationships.

The expression “treat others the way you want to be treated” may resonate with us to this day. When it comes to the Love Languages, it is highly possible that we may be showing our partner our own love language, and overlooking the opportunity to understand what theirs is.

The Five Love Languages

Physical Touch

Gary Chapman discusses the power of appropriate physical touch for those who value this love language. It could be an action that takes only a moment, such as holding hands or a kiss goodbye, or it could also be something that requires more, such as being sexually intimate.

Quality Time

Quality time is time spent where you are providing each other with full attention. This love language can be felt with meaningful conversations that include full understanding and listening or activities where you are fully engaged with one another.

Words of Affirmation

Words of Affirmation are the use of words that we use to build each other up. They could be expressed with words of encouragement, compliments, or sharing your appreciation.

Acts of Service

Acts of service involve doing things for your partner, and it communicates that you are in tune to their needs. This may look like doing a load of laundry, taking the dog out for a walk, or pouring your partner a glass of wine after a long day.

Receiving Gifts

Gift giving and receiving often shows that your partner was thinking of you, and that and wanted to show you how much they care. A thoughtful gift could be something that reminds you of your partner or receiving something that you have always wanted.

When we understand our own Love Language, it will be beneficial to communicate it to your partner. Understanding you and your partner’s Love Language can be extremely helpful in working toward building love and connection with them. However, just knowing which of the five Love Languages is the most important to your partner may not necessarily be enough.

I believe that it is also helpful to know what exactly their needs are within each Love Language. For example, if you share a Love Language with your partner, for you, Acts of Service could mean doing a random load of laundry from time to time, but for your partner, it may mean spontaneously cooking dinner, because you know they hate to cook. By being fully in tune with your partner’s Love Language, it will provide you with a better guide on how to show your partner your genuine love and affection that is meaningful to them. Speaking your partners love language can help you feel more loved, connected, and overall closer as a couple.

If you feel that you are struggling to connect and fill up your “emotional love tank” with your partner, it may be helpful to connect with a therapist! Contact Symmetry Counseling to get connected with one of our talented clinicians today.