Updated: Oct 19
You know how sometimes we can feel that our partner or date isn't interested? Or maybe they don't actually love us? What if I told you that they may be showing you just how much they care but they are speaking a different language entirely?
Whether starting out dating someone or in a longer term relationship there is always a part of us looking for ‘proof’ that the other person is interested. That they love us. Sometimes it can feel as though a part of you knows that they care but you just don’t feel it. What if I told you that they were showing their love, but it just happened to be in a language different to yours?
THE LANGUAGE OF LOVE
Welcome to the love languages. Gary Chapman was the first person to introduce the concept of love languages from his work as a marriage counsellor with couples. A love language is a way that we show love to another person and also the way that we experience another person showing us love.
The problem with not knowing your own love language and not knowing another person’s is that it can lead to feeling that the other person doesn’t ‘see’ you. It can feel really disheartening to feel that you are the one making the effort in your relationship but the other person doesn’t appear to feel the same way. So let’s take a look at the love languages. Have a read and see which one most resonates for you. You will have one that sticks out the most but there will also be one or two which are reasonably high too.
THE FIVE LANGUAGES
Someone whose love language is time is a person who will dedicate any type of time to you. This isn’t just about going out for dinner with you, a person with this love language enjoys spending time together even during tasks such as preparing a meal or even if you are just watching TV.
Acts Of Service
If you identify with Acts Of Service as your love language, you likely love helping people out with the smallest and even biggest of tasks. You show your love and feel most loved when someone is giving you a hand to carry the shopping to the car or maybe they take the bin out for your or cook you a meal when you are busy. They are helping you out in some way or you may find yourself enjoying helping others you care about.
This love language does not need to be expressed with huge gestures of hugs and kisses, it can be quite simply, having one hand on the shoulder or arm as you’re talking. It can be holding hands while watching a film together or giving or receiving touch in some other casual way.
Words of Affirmation
This person loves to give compliments and also receive them. People who score high on this love language find that they verbalise the great qualities and achievements that they see in others and are not afraid to voice them. For them, receiving words which are positive and supportive enables them to feel seen.
The impression here is that someone whose love language is gifts will be expecting frequent and expensive presents from partners. For someone with this love language it’s the display of thought for the other person while you aren’t with each other which promotes the feeling of love. So going to France and bringing them back a bottle of wine or passing a shop and noticing a trinket that your partner would like. With this love language it is also how the gift is given so carefully chosen wrapping paper or bag, for a person whose love language is gifts it is the whole process of receiving, opening and being thought of while away.
Now that you’ve been introduced to the love languages does that mean if someone doesn’t share the same love language as you it isn’t a perfect match? Not at all. Relationships are built around communication, listening and being present for our partners. Knowing what makes our partners feel good means that we can communicate that to them in a way they understand.
USING THIS INFORMATION IN DATING
I’m very much an observer and really listen to what people say and how they express themselves to understand what their love language might be. I also find it fun with dates who are interested in learning more about themselves, to share with them the love language quiz so I can be more mindful for how they want to experience love and also to notice when they are looking to show me love.
Carla Crivaro is a trauma-informed and certified Sex, Love & Relationship Coach, she works with men and women internationally to reach their goals in delicious sex, profound love and authentic relationships. Carla helps men and women understand themselves and each other, sexually and relationally, in and out of the bedroom. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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