It’s Valentine’s Day, what do you plan to give or do for your partner today?
- Buy flowers/chocolates or both.
- Valentine’s Day card with a heart-felt message.
- Romantic dinner at their favourite restaurant.
- DIY dinner date with a home-cooked meal.
- Head straight to the bedroom.
- I really don’t know what they like.
If you’re struggling to figure out what will make your partner happy and feel loved this Valentine’s Day, then you might need to learn more about love language.
Knowing your partner’s love language could be the difference between an intimate, romantic celebration where you feel loved and connected, and a complete flop with both of you staring at your phones the whole night just counting down the hours to bedtime.
What are the five love languages?
In his popular book The Five Love Languages, Dr. Gary Chapman discusses five universal ways people express and interpret love. The purpose of this is to help couples communicate with one another and help them understand what their partners really want and expect from them.
- Words of affirmation
Using compliments, words of encouragement, and other words that express love. What you say is just as important as how you say it. For people who prefer this love language, they value hearing “I love you” and other compliments the most. At the same time, negative and offensive comments will hurt them deeply.
- Quality time
Giving the person undivided attention. People who prefer quality time may not need their partners to express words of affirmation, but they want to sit down, engage and be listened to. They dislike any form of distraction, such as cellphones or TV.
- Receiving gifts
Some people find immense joy out of tangible gifts. People who prefer love in this language enjoy being surprised with visual symbols of love whether there’s an occasion or “just because.” This does not mean they are materialistic; people feel loved and appreciated when they receive thoughtful and meaningful gifts from someone special.
- Acts of service
“Actions speak louder than words” is the very essence of this love language. People who speak the acts of service language want their special someone to do things for them with the intention of easing a burden. This includes simple things like cooking for your partner, taking the trash out, washing the dishes, changing the sheets, or other things you won’t normally do.
- Physical touch
People who speak this love language value physical connection more. This does not only relate to sexual intimacy. Love can be shown through everyday physical gestures like kissing, hugging, or simply holding hands. It doesn’t mean that these people are overly touchy; just the physical presence of their loved ones gives them a sense of safety and security.
Dr. Chapman’s book is filled with real-life examples of couples who experience relationship problems as well as practical advice on how you can effectively communicate with your partner.
Understanding Your Love Language and Your Partner’s
Your love language may be different from your partner’s. Likewise, the language you give love may not be the same as how you receive love (or how love is demonstrated to you). Most of the time, you will need to learn a love language unfamiliar to you in order to connect with your partner. For instance, your partner is used to receiving words of affirmation but your love language is acts of service. You may need to work on paying your partner more compliments while he/she helps you out in the house.
Guessing your love language won’t do. You can take the free quiz here to find out which love language you speak. You can have more than one love languages.
Get your partner to do the quiz and discuss the results, which points you are similar or completely different.
If you’re not in a relationship, you can still take the quiz to help you understand why your previous relationships did not work out and know what to look for in potential new relationships.
The more you know about your love language and your partner’s, the easier it will be to express love and nurture the connection between you. Once you find out what your partner’s love language is, find ways to express your love to them every day in the ways you know he/she will appreciate.