Does your partner know how strong your love is?
What works best for you and what for your partner, when it comes to receiving love? Is it the things you say? The things you do? The time you spend together? Or something else entirely?
Express your love through one of the five languages of love; choose the one that is most valuable (and easiest to interpret) for your partner, and it can help you strengthen the intimacy and connection between you.
Two decades ago, relationship counsellor Gary Chapman formulated a very simple yet practical theory of Five Languages of Love.
The concept suggests that although we might like receiving love in many different ways, everybody has one or two ways, (aka: languages of love), that they prefer. They are the channels through which we can accept love most easily, and through which we can also understand the behaviour of our partner as love.
The five languages of love are:
Words of Affirmation
Acts of Service
When we receive love in our favourite language, we can feel that we are being loved. When we receive it in another language, we might overlook it sometimes.
Do you know which of the five languages are your favourites?
And do you know which ones could be the favourite love languages of your partner?
We tend to express our love in the language that would please us. If we like being told “I feel great with you”, we might tend to use some nice words to show our love. If we like getting valuable gifts, we might try to find a special present for the partner we care for. So you can identify your preferred language(s) of love through what you wish, as well as through what you tend to give.
The question is whether your partner favours the same love language as you, or whether she / he might prefer to receive more of your love expressed through another language. In a love relationship, the couple do not need to favour the same language of love. But it is very helpful to know what language is preferred by your partner, if you want her or him to perceive your love intensely!
Although the concept of five languages of love was primarily developed for married couples, it can be equally well applied to any personal relationships, including parents, children, siblings or other relatives, friends and even colleagues.
Enjoy expressing the fact that you love and care.
Whether it is to be a present for your partner or someone else, you can apply the theory of five languages of love, and choose a present that speaks the right (= the most appreciated) language.
What do you think the person´s favourite language of love is?
Words of Affirmation:
Make sure to include some words in your present. It could be a poem, a short story, or a song. But it can also be a card or a dedication which will increase the value of any other present. The words could say what you value and appreciate about the person or your relationship, what the person and the relationship mean to you. You can add something encouraging and supportive.
Acts of Service:
It can be your acts as such, without even presenting them as a gift. Or create a present that includes an act of yours – you probably know what the person hopes for from you. For example, it might be something at home, a habit of yours that sometimes drives your partner crazy, and you offer to change it, or it could be a particular contribution to the household. You can give the present in a funny way: a voucher, a funny illustrative card, or an item that symbolizes or refers to the act.
Think of a present that will include some quality time spent together. It is important that it fulfils what “quality time” means to your partner, as your interpretations can be different. For some people, quality time includes being just the two of you, paying full attention to – and receiving full attention from – each other. For others it is about what you do together: going out, dining by candlelight, enjoying arts, doing sports. Perhaps you can arrange a shared evening, a weekend, or a trip etc. Sometimes, switching your phones off can be the most valuable thing.
Try to find something personalized, something that expresses that you know the taste of the person. You can for example relate the present to a big passion of the person, an interest that you don’t necessarily share, but you want to show that you accept and encourage it: e.g. a sport, or cosmetics. If you know nothing about the field, it would be better to consult someone who does. A voucher can work as well, especially if you give it a tiny personal touch (e.g. your own packaging). People who like receiving (and usually also giving) gifts, may be tickled pink to receive a tiny present away from any birthday, Christmas or other holiday – “just like this, just because I love you”.
For people with strong touch language of love, the present jumps higher in value if you accompany it with a proper warm hug. Touching shoulders, arms, face, hair, holding hands, kissing and other touches, will depend on the nature of your relationship, of course. If you are seeking something you can pack as a present, think in terms of massages, spa treatments and the like. Needless to say, if it is for your partner, the best massage is the one by you!