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The 5 Love Languages

Updated: Nov 30, 2022

When do you feel loved by your partner, and when do you make the other person feel that you really care about them? It is important to know what the other person's (and your own) love language is.

So when is it that you feel truly appreciated by your partner? Is it when he surprises you with flowers? Maybe it is when he has washed the floor, or when he gives you a good hug or invites you to a trip to the cinema?

We all have a love language, and the art is to use the right one for your partner, because we are quick to use what we know best (our own..) and then the response we expect does not arise. So what is the love language? Psychologist Gary Chapman has come up with what he refers to as the 5 languages ​​of love. That means different ways in which we show care and love. His book is a bestseller!

Let's say you feel loved if your partner spends time with you, while he actually shows his love by doing practical things for you. Because that is what his mother did and that makes him feel loved. Then he would feel that he is doing his very best to show you his love, while you might feel the opposite. You might think that the practical things he does is a normal and ordinary thing, while at the same time you feel disappointed that he doesn't spend time with you or give you gifts. You may end up feeling like he doesn't care about you at all. At the same time, he will feel that you do not appriciate his love and what he contributes with. The key is for her to tell him what he need to do, that her love language is time and gifts, and if he gives her that she will be happy. And she needs to aknowledge his language and do things for him.

The trick then is to understand what your partner's love language is, and to use this language - and not your own if it doesn't match.

Chapman's 5 love languages ​

1: Appreciative words

Acknowledgment means what we say to each other that acknowledges the other's actions, personality, attitudes or values. It is about the need to hear that one is loved and wanted. You need to show why you like being with your partner. What you like about him/her. You must be good at giving your support.

You can, for example, do this in everyday life by sending a nice text message, be good at showing/expressing joy when you see each other again after a long day at work. Not to mention, noticing and giving thanks for the little things.

2: Time for each other

Time for each other is probably for many an art to find in a hectic everyday life. Prioritizing time to be together is, however, for many a love language - and thus especially important to put on the calendar.

If you suspect that this is your partner's love language, you can show that you would like to spend time with him/her. Feel free to invite along on a date, or invite to a pleasant time together for just the two of you. By all means - don't forget to make sure that your mobile or PC gets in the way of being completely connected to your loved one during this time.

3: Gifts

Let me reassure you first - this does not have to be expensive! Here, it is often the thought that counts. A gift can be small or large, expensive or simple. For example, you can give a flower, a thing, or why not a lovely memory. Perhaps you know that there is a book or a show your partner has been talking about for a long time? By giving something that you know the other person has wanted for a long time, you say more than a thousand words if the recipient values ​​symbolic signs of love.

4: Services

For some, it's all about services. If the partner does things like cooking, setting the table or making sure it's nice and warm on a cold winter's day, that person feels loved and looked after. By doing favors that express that we care about our partner, we can please him/her more than we know. Doing is loving!

5: Physical proximity

Being physically close is about far more than sex. The physical is an essential part of closeness in a relationship. Both for small and large, touch is life-giving.

For some, physical proximity is a prerequisite for being able to feel belonging. In order not to feel rejected by a partner, physical closeness, sexual contact and touch must be a natural part of the relationship. You can provide physical closeness to a partner by giving him/her a hug, kissing, having sex, lying close or holding hands, etc.

Become fluent in the language

We all have one or more favorite languages. And it seems we tend to assume that our partner has the same language – the same way of showing and perceiving love that we have ourself. As mentioned before, this is often not the case! We need to be aware of both our own and our partners' love language. This way we can manage to reach each other better. This way we can all feel loved and cared for.

Feel free to take the first and best opportunity to have a chat with your partner to find out what are effective love languages.

Want to read more about the topic - get the book: Chapman, G (2001): The five languages ​​of love: how to express warmth towards the one you love or take the free test on net.

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