Love satisfies our physical and emotional needs and human beings have an innate quality of giving and feeling love. So we have all heard of the famous form of communication known as “love language.” How couples interact with each other and express terms of endearment are important elements of what actually makes a relationship work. I mean the old-fashioned expressions of appreciation for each other and not social networking showcases of love. Understanding how we communicate with each other verbally and non-verbally is what can keep the magic going. Many experts have studied this and through their discoveries, we have found that there are actually five (5) different love languages. I am definitely no relationship expert on this, but I am going to break them down based on my own interpretation of their meaning.
The physical contact portion of a relationship is extremely important and one that is often forgotten after the newness wears off. Do you remember how giddy you were when you first started dating? How do you keep that constant thought of holding hands, snuggling, butterfly kisses, and hugs as lively as it once was? Has it diminished over a period of time and you miss those initial feelings that came with simple physical contact? Do you remember that first movie date and how you couldn’t wait to even touch arms when sitting in a movie theater? Maybe you even made the shoulder bump appear to be a slight bit accidental to feel the vibe before accidentally grasping for the hand during the scary movie you purposely selected. Small gestures showing physical displays of meaningfulness can benefit any relationship since we all want to feel loved.
Everyone loves feeling loved and receiving an unexpected gift reaffirms the feelings are mutual. We are not all materialistic people, but this doesn’t mean that the occasional gift isn’t important. Tangible items are important displays of love from one person to another. The monetary value of the gift is not nearly as important as the intent and thought that went into selecting the gift. When was the last time you purchased an unexpected gift for your significant other? Sometimes a simple handwritten card can be one of the most memorable gifts outside of special occasions. What about the thought of an actual handwritten note with lipstick on a bathroom mirror? Leaving a rose, buying a bottle of cologne, or even a romantic dinner could be dually beneficial especially if it comes unexpectedly. Challenge yourself to think outside of the box in a creative manner to give something surprising.
Spending time with each other goes without saying. You quite possibly could spend the rest of your life with this individual, but have you lost that loving feeling? You both work all day and then come home to each other only to spend time on multimedia devices in lieu of spending quality time talking about your day and each others feelings. Distractions that seem to be more important than social interaction can result in long-term consequences. Time spent communicating with each other is one of the most valuable elements for full transparency in a relationship. When you first meet, you can’t spend enough time together and at some point, we need to remind ourselves of that. Alone time away from kids and friends is critical for long-term sustainability. The ability to listen to each other’s thoughts and feelings is crucial to the application of the other elements within love language. This lays the groundwork and foundation for the other forms of love language.
Acts of Gratitude
You both spend a lot of time at work doing for other people, but how much time do you spend doing for each other. Gracious acts of kindness by helping out with simple things around the household can be interpreted as a true sign of appreciation. Actively watching an action movie your husband picked out that you have no interest in can show just how much you love him. By not doing these things, you are saying the other is not valuable to you. Your own needs and wants become more important than helping them even when they may have had a bad day. When was the last time you did something for your significant other that you really didn’t want to do? Did you ever just give in when you knew something you were opposed to was important to your partner? Be willing to do favors and help each other out at times.
Words of Affirmation
Sometimes the simplest of things can be forgotten. Just saying “I love you” or “I appreciate you” goes much further than you may think. When someone has had a long day and you let them know that you are there to listen, you value them, and you love them is one of the biggest displays of affection that we can give. How often do you tell each other “I love you?” Complimenting a new hairstyle or outfit is a form of love language. We all like to hear good things and especially from the ones who love us the most. Keeping positivity in a relationship keeps negativity from taking its place. Do you openly express your love for each other outside of the household around other people? Affirmation language is an expression of love that typically leads to some of the other elements noted above.
We all communicate in different ways and love is no exception. Understanding verbal and non-verbal cues are important to keep the fire burning. Just because you may favor one particular form of love language, don’t isolate yourself to only showing that form. In a perfect world, we would use every one of these daily. Begin by incorporating some of this love communication back into your relationship. Do something you haven’t done in a long time or something you have never done to communicate how appreciative you are of your significant other. Expressing each of these is equally important and I challenge all of you to administer and reciprocate the language of love.