WHY ARE THE 5 LOVE LANGUAGES SO IMPORTANT?
In all my years of counseling, diverse couples, marriages, and partners, it’s become clear that everyone benefits when they begin to apply them in all their relationships.
Rarely do couples share the same love language. It can create a lot of frustration when you think you are doing a good job expressing love and yet the other person is just not feeling it. If you don’t understand the love language concept, then you can feel stuck. But it, you understand that they speak a different language, then you can learn to speak that language.
WHAT ARE THE 5 LOVE LANGUAGES?
The love languages were originally written by marriage therapist Dr. Gary Chapman in his book, The Five Love Languages. The book has a religious theme that doesn’t resonate with many of my clients, but the foundation of this basic couples theory still offers important guidance.
Basically, there are five main ways we demonstrate love in relationships. Everyone has a need for all five languages, but each of us prefer one of these more than others. Usually each individual values one or two of the five more than the others.
Most of us communicate love to our partners primarily through our preferred love language- which doesn’t always match our partner’s preference. This miscommunication means sometimes our efforts go unacknowledged. And sometimes we don’t see all the love our partner is throwing our way.
Sometimes we can have trouble connecting with love even if it is all around us.
IDENTIFYING YOUR LOVE LANGUAGE…
Think of a time you felt truly loved in your relationship. You were sure your partner loved you dearly. What were they doing? What specific actions did they take? Why were these actions important or meaningful to you?
Or think about daydreams or fantasies you have about being well-loved. What’s going on? How does the person in your dream tell or show you they care?
Now read the languages below to see which best fits with the scenario you described above.
Most people enjoy all of these Love Languages but you will see one or two of them are especially important. Knowing which is your primary or favorite helps your partner better connect with you when showing love.
Knowing which is your least priority helps you identify loving practices you might overlook in partnership.
Your preferred Love Language can change over time, of course, so identifying it clearly and talking about it with a partner will help you two connect in more meaningful loving ways.
Focus on the love you share this week with this framework in mind and watch what happens!
Gina Senarighi has been supporting loving couples and healthy teams for nearly twenty years. As a former couples therapist turned retreat coach, workshop facilitator, and author she's transformed partnerships, leaders and communication strategy all over the world.
Her uniquely non-judgmental, inclusive approach to couples work puts even the most concerned participants at ease. She's not your average sit-and-nod supporter- she'll hold hope even when it's hard and always help you grow.