Do you love your partner like crazy but find that sometimes things feel stale? Do you wish you could feel the spark that was there at the start of your relationship?
Do you notice that the things you do together feel stuck on repeat instead of spontaneous and fun? Do you wish you knew how to subtly get out of this rut and back to being flirtatious and connected on a more frequent basis?
You are not alone. Relationships are intricate things that require a deep level of commitment and compromise. Even those who love deeply can find themselves exhausted and checked out at the end of the day. The rigors of daily life can do that to you without warning. But you don’t have to let life rob you of the chemistry and passion you once had or that you desire. You just have to be willing to notice where exactly it has gone off track.
I wasn’t consciously seeking advice on this matter at all. I pressed play on a Mel Robbins podcast series and began listening as she talked about a book by Dr. Gary Chapman called, “The 5 Love Languages.” I was immediately sucked in to the conversation and felt as if she were speaking a gospel I was meant to tune in to. It was 30 minutes or so of free marriage counseling and I wished my husband were listening in as well.
I have been with my husband for decades. Married now for 21 years. But together pretty much since I was in middle school. That's roughly about 33 years. Considering I am only 46, let’s just say we’ve been together for most of my life. Like all relationships out there, we have experienced the roller coaster of ups, downs, twists, turns, plummets, and peaks that come with a partnership.
Dr. Gary Chapman's New York Time's best seller summarizes the different ways in which we demonstrate love. This includes the ways in which we give love and also how we seek it. It doesn't matter if you are a man or woman. These five love categories are universal to us all. They are based on the premise of personality and preference. And it keenly points out that most of us don't know our own love language preference and likely cannot articulate that of our partner. Even if you have been with someone forever and a day, you may actually find out some things you didn't know if you are willing to put in a little work and investigate further.
Take a Look!
Where does your love personality identify most?
Words of Affirmation: Action is not always the way to the heart. Some people thrive on well thought out words of assurance and praise. And they don't want to have to hint around or ask for it. They need to hear "I love you" or "you look amazing" on a regular basis to feel loved and cherished. Random greeting cards and handwritten post-it notes are encouraged and welcomed.
Quality Time: This type of love preference is displayed through undivided attention. Being present in the moment, putting the phone down, and making eye contact to say I am all yours ignites this lover. They need your ears at all times and whatever you do, don't cancel a commitment when they are looking forward to it. Your time is being counted on!
Receiving Gifts: I am not referring to lavish, expensive items here. I am talking about the little things in life. This lover appreciates even very small gestures and thrives more on the thought behind why the gift was given. They take great comfort in knowing someone is paying attention to the things that make them happy and light them up. Grabbing some fresh flowers "just because" is a perfect way to nourish this love.
Acts of Service: "Can I get that for you?" "I already took care of it." "What do you need me to do?" These are the questions and statements that speak to this specific love language. Randomly unloading the dishwasher, folding the laundry, and making an appointment to have the car serviced without being asked will score you major brownie points in this relationship. It's all about sharing the load. (Without being asked!)
Physical Touch: Intimacy is displayed in many ways, not just in the bedroom. This love language demands the act of being touched often. Unsolicited hugs, pecks on the cheek, holding hands, and a quick shoulder rub are the way to this lover's heart. Keep in mind, close proximity and cuddling are a must, not an option. Avoiding touch with this type of love language will immediately cause an alarm for rejection.
I am not sure about you, but I can identify with a couple of the love language categories mentioned in his book. I will admit "words of affirmation" and "receiving gifts" are tried and true ways to my heart. If I had to choose for my husband, I would say he thrives most on "acts of service." But I would also be very interested to hear what he thinks after I subject him to reading these descriptions and revealing his thoughts on his love desires!
I'm excited that I now know these "love languages" exist. I can keep them in mind and investigate further. Not only when it comes to my partner but with any close relationships. I can apply these love strategies to my interactions with my children as well. They have two very different ways of accepting and expressing love. Everyone longs to get their needs met in slightly different ways.
Consider grabbing the book to dive deeper in uncovering what it is you truly desire when it comes to love and affection. Then see if you can't get your partner to play along, too. Maybe you already know each other inside and out. Or maybe, just maybe, you'll uncover some truths and longings that you had no idea about. Either way, it's always a great time for a refresher when it comes to keeping love alive and thriving. 💖
I'm curious... what is YOUR love language? Please leave your comment below!
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