Never heard of love languages before?
“In a relationship, peoples’ styles of thinking are very different, so it would follow that what their needs in a relationship could be different,” he says. “Therefore, it’s important to understand what your partner’s language of love is. Because if you don’t know that, it’s likely you’ll get it wrong. And without wanting to, you might end up hurting each others’ feelings. Or, your actions might not be as well received as they would be if you spoke a language they understood.”
THE ESSENTIAL BUILDING BLOCKS
There are two people in the relationship, their expectations are different, their needs are different, their way of communication is different. Everything about them is different. There are similarities of course, but opposites attract quite a lot. When you’re attracted to someone that’s different to you, it is almost necessary you will run into things about the person that grate on you. That’s always the way. Someone leaves the cap off the toothpaste and the other person gets irritated, all these things manifest themselves in relationships. That’s why, understanding each other’s love languages can be vital to building and maintaining a healthy relationship. But first, it’s important to have the ‘building blocks’ in place. There needs to be love for each other, there needs to be trust, and there needs to be a desire to communicate with each other.
Words of affirmation: Put simply, telling someone you love them.
Acts of service: How you demonstrate that you are thinking of someone. You could open a door for them, or remember if they’ve eaten or not, or demonstrate some care for them. Even remembering they love cheesecake, and bringing one home could be an act of service.
Receiving gifts: Gifts are very symbolic, he explains. If somebody started talking about the value of gift, that would lead you down a different road. This gift is just about remembering someone.
Quality time: Spending time with each other. Put down the technology! It acts as a big deterrent in a relationships because people are often on their phones, and quality time tends to diminish, so that tends to lead to a lot of hurting these days.
Physical touch: This can mean anything from sex to just holding hands, to stroking someone’s hand, kissing. Some people like a morning kiss and an evening kiss, and other people don’t necessarily need that.
TALKING (AND ACTUALLY LISTENING) TO YOUR PARTNER
It may sound obvious, but first you should make some time to talk. People often think making time means turning up and being there, But you need to be present. If you’re always on your phone when talking to your partner, that’s not being with them. If you start talking, and you’re always denying everything, that is not talking. There are two parts of communication, one is talking and the other is listening. If you’re only there to talk, it’s not going to work. If the relationship is important, then trying to understand what is important for your partner should be just as important to you.”
WHEN IT’S TIME TO SEEK HELP
It’s definitely worthwhile seeking couples therapy if you want to build a healthy relationship with your partner. But there are other signs it would be beneficial to seek professional help.