By Darren Carter | EAP Counselor | The Village
Valentine’s Day tends to be a time for people to focus on their relationship with their significant other. Perhaps you feel out of touch with your partner, and want to take steps to improve that relationship. A necessary component to any satisfying relationship is building a culture of appreciation where you and your partner feel loved and appreciated. Gary Chapman, author of “The 5 Love Languages,” gives us a guide on how to enhance our relationship with our partner.
According to Chapman, there are five different love languages. All five are important, and we all express love through all five at different times. However, each person typically has one or two dominant love languages. If we can tailor how we express appreciation and love to match our partner’s dominant love language, and vice versa, it strengthens the culture of appreciation and enhances satisfaction in our relationship.
Curious as to what are the five love languages?
- Quality time: The first love language is quality time. Quality time means making it a point to maximize your time with your partner. It is a good idea to schedule date nights, whether going out or staying in, without children from time-to-time, and to be open to activities your partner enjoys, even if they do not interest you.
- Words of affirmation: The second love language is words of affirmation. For many, verbal compliments and affirmations on why they are appreciated are what they need the most to feel loved. A simple “I am proud of you” or “Thank you for helping me do the dishes” can go a long way.
- Gifts: Receiving gifts is the third love language. Gifts don’t have to be expensive. Individuals who have this as their dominant love language may appreciate the gesture because it means their partner was thinking about them and went out of their way to do something kind for them.
- Acts of service: The fourth love language is acts of service. This means doing things for your partner that you know they will appreciate. This could mean cooking dinner, putting the kids to beds, doing projects around the house, etc.
- Physical touch: The fifth and final love language is physical touch. Physical touch could mean holding hands, back rubs, hugs and kisses, or sexual intimacy.
As you can see, there can be many differences within any given love language. Quality time may mean something different for you than it does for your partner. Unsure on which is more dominant to you and your partner? Take this quiz and find out.
Conflict can arise when we are not doing the things that our partner needs to feel appreciated and loved. We can run the risk of assuming that just because our love language is acts of service, for example, our partner’s is the same. It’s important to identify and discuss our needs in relationships and how we feel most valued and loved.
If you would like to know more about the five love language, or if you would like to schedule an appointment with a counselor, please give The Village a call at 800-627-8220 or request an appointment online.