Dr. Gary Chapman’s book, The Five Love Languages is worth a read
In Dr. Gary Chapman’s book, The Five Love Languages, he explains how couples often have a different “love language.” This difference can then lead to feelings of frustration or feeling “unloved” by one’s spouse. He goes on to describe five distinct love languages. The first is Words of Affirmation, which includes compliments and words of love. The second is Quality Time, which includes giving a person your full, undivided (i.e. not on your cell phone) attention. The third is Gifts, which is about the thoughtful effort behind the gift and not the monetary value of the gift. The fourth is Acts of Service. This one is about making the life of your partner easier by doing things to help them, i.e. chores, errands, etc. Finally, there is Physical Touch, which is about both sex and affectionate gestures like holding hands or hugs.
Everyone has a primary “Love Language,”
This is often based on what made us feel loved as a child. Problems arise when the expectation is that one’s partner will give and receive love in the same way you do. When this does not occur – i.e. because one partner expresses love through physical affection and the other through acts of service, both partners end up feeling unloved. The first step in connecting as a couple is to learn each other’s love language. So, it’s important to talk about and identify with what feels like a loving act to you. Is it vacuuming the floor for you? Maybe it’s surprising you with a thoughtful gift? Is it complimenting you or holding your hand? Or going out for a date night? Once this is identified, the next step is to accept your partner’s love language without judgment. There is no one “best” way to express love.
Finally, couples must learn to behave in ways that will make their spouse feel loved – even if that behavior is not your primary love language. For example, if your spouse is always seeking to make plans to do something together, recognize that spending quality time together may be the way in which your spouse feels loved. Finally, it’s important to remember that couples don’t necessarily need to have the same primary love language. However, in order to have a happy relationship couples must learn to speak each other’s language.