After the birth of our second child, my husband and I struggled. Our relationship got harder as the demands on our time multiplied. During this time, we learned a “secret” that was part of what transformed our relationship.
This remarkable idea was that each person feels and expresses love primarily in one or more of five different ways. I would clean our house and make a nice meal to show that I loved him. But what he needed was to hear my affirmation. He would say something positive about me and I would thank him and feel appreciated. But I didn’t return the affirmation and I secretly wanted him to be helping me more with the dishes. We were missing each other. It was a formula for both of us feeling like we weren’t very connected, wanting to be and not knowing how to get there.
Discovering the Five Love Languages made all the difference. It helped us to both begin to feel loved again. We learned how to express love in a way our spouse could easily receive it. We also worked together to figure out ways we could spend more time with each other, even with the demands of parenting two children. And in the midst of it, we both grew and learned to receive love in multiple ways.
If you’re parenting alone or with your partner, discovering love languages could be one step to help you. Learning your primary love language, and the love languages of your current or future partner, could be a tool to make your relationship and parenting work.
- Words of Affirmation – If words of affirmation is your primary love language, you feel most loved when someone tells you things like, “I love you” or “You look great today!” or “I’m so glad to have you as a friend.” The words are so significant.
- Acts of Service – Actions speak louder than words if your primary love language is acts of service. It is incredibly meaningful and speaks love to you when someone does your laundry or takes out the garbage.
- Receiving Gifts – Some people feel most loved when someone gives them a gift. Gifts can be as simple and inexpensive as a wildflower picked along the roadside, a handmade card or a candy bar. What matters is the love behind the gift.
- Quality Time – If your primary love language is quality time, what matters most to you is when the person you love spends time with you. You crave his or her undivided attention. You can do activities that you both enjoy, like going hiking or playing tennis. What’s important is that you both know you’re doing it to be together, not to become world class tennis players.
- Physical Touch – A pat on the shoulder, a hug or having your special someone reach out to hold your hand speak volumes of love to the person whose primary love language is physical touch. The physical contact is of supreme importance and speaks love beyond words.
Want to learn more about the Five Love Languages or ready to discover yours? 5lovelanguages.com has a quick assessment, free of charge, to help you discover your primary love language. There are also information and resources to help.
Whether you are in a relationship now or wanting to start your next relationship off on the right track, give it a try. Learning your love language, and being able to discover the love language of your partner, could be an important step toward having a great relationship!