Relationships are strange; has your partner ever complained that you don’t tell him you love him, despite your many acts of love? Do you feel unloved despite the many gifts and kind things your partner gives and does for you? Do these feelings make you feel ungrateful or vice versa: like your partner is ungrateful? Are they causing a strain on your relationship? If you answered yes to three out of the above questions, fear not, you’re not alone, and you aren’t ungrateful, neither is your partner; you both just haven’t figured your love languages out.
The idea of love languages, was introduced by Dr. Gary Chapman in his book: “The Five Love Languages.” Having been a marriage counsellor for thirty years, Dr. Chapman noticed that people express love in 5 primary ways:
Through Words of Affirmation – e.g. saying “I love you”
Through Physical Touch – e.g. holding hands, cuddling
By giving gifts – They don’t have to be expensive gifts, just occasional thoughtful gestures
By performing acts of service e.g. helping out with laundry, cooking for him
By spending quality time e.g. watching a movie together, pillow talk, going on dates.
While everyone expresses the 5 languages from time to time, most of us have only two default expressions: a primary and secondary language. These defaults are also the manner in which we prefer to receive love, so if your default expressions are words of affirmation and physical touch, it’s very likely that getting compliments and making physical contact with your partner makes you feel loved and safe.
In an era where the divide between genders is continually growing and causing strain in marriages and relationships, learning to love your partner in the proper way is a skill that’s becoming increasingly rare and increasingly valuable. It will require a lot of observation and experimenting to know your partner’s preference in receiving love, but it’s a venture that’s worth it after all, the only reasons we stay in relationships are love and security; remove those and you have a cohabitation.
So next time, your partner pines to hear you say you love him, don’t see it as neediness, understand that it’s how he feels loved, and likewise if you find your partner doesn’t speak your love language, take time to bare your feelings and educate him on what it means to love a woman like you. Peace.
P.S You can take a quiz to determine your love language here