For an overview of this 4-part series please read the previous blog – https://turningpagesbookshop.com/what-is-really-going-on-in-our-relationships/
To read – Part 1 – Assess and Recreate Expectations – Click Here
Part 2 – Examine your beliefs on love
We often don’t realise that our partners have a completely different way of showing love. This creates issues when they do not show it the way we do. These differences can lead to the development of beliefs about our relationship that fuels fear. We might think our partner doesn’t love us anymore or that they are taking us for granted.
This might not be the case. They may just have a different way of showing you they love you. So, it’s important to discover these things about your partner as well as yourself.
People feel loved in different ways. For some, feeling loved means more than just hearing the words, ‘I love you’. Everyone speaks a different love language, as it is known. If you take the time to discover what your partners love language is, it will strengthen your bond and create a long-lasting relationship.
It’s important to look at:
- How you show love?
- How do you expect to receive it?
- How does your partner show it?
How you show love
Generally, we all give and receive love in five different ways. These are:
- Words of affirmation
- Acts of service
- Gift giving/receiving
- Allocation of quality time
- Physical touch
These five features are what create the Love Language.
Words of affirmation
When someone’s love language is Words of affirmation your words of encouragement and spontaneous compliments mean the world to them. Even a quick text message to let them know you love them and miss them, has a lasting effect.
With these people it’s important to verbalise and communicate that you love them and more importantly, why you love them.
I feel amazing when I spend time with you.
You give me goosebumps.
I love that you know me so well.
You always make me laugh, thank you.
Positive, affectionate, and encouraging words build these people up and make them happy. While harsh words and criticisms can bother them for a long time.
Acts of Service
People that fit this love language appreciate anything their partners do for them to ease their workload or to make their life easier or more enjoyable.
This might include things like:
Doing the grocery shop
Doing the vacuuming
Making them breakfast
On the other hand, laziness or making promises and then breaking them can make them feel unimportant and unappreciated.
When you speak this love language, your partner giving you a gift validates you and makes you feel special and important to them. This doesn’t mean you are materialistic but simply feel valued and cared for if your partner gifts you something. It doesn’t have to be anything lavish. In fact, the smaller things often mean more to them.
Examples of appreciated gifts:
Buying them their favourite snack, e.g. Chocolate
Surprising them with flowers
A book by their favourite author
A self-made song playlist
On the other side, generic or unthoughtful gifts or forgotten events can damaging to the relationship.
When you pay attention to your partner, without distractions, you are giving them quality time. Some people speak this love language and appreciate nothing more than you giving them your full attention and the focus is on them.
For these people when their partner is fully present it makes them feel important and loved. So put away your phone and screens and give them some quality time.
Spend half hour talking to them about their day when you get home
Meet them for a lunch date
Schedule a date night, just for the two of you
Enjoy a walk together
If you fail to actively listen or long periods without time alone together can make them, feel unloved and the relationship will suffer.
If you respond to physical touch, you need regular affection. Physical touch from your partner is necessary for you to feel loved and it is the way you show your love for them. Appropriate touches create a feeling of security and make you feel warmth and safety.
Examples of touch:
Holding hands or linking arms
Hugs and kisses
Cuddling on the couch or resting their legs on your lap
A massage after a long day
With this type of partner physical neglect can drive a wedge between you and them.
Most of us have at least one or two love languages. It’s important to remember our own love language is often different to our partners and that is okay. But knowing your own love language and communicating that to your partner and more importantly knowing your partners is crucial to the survival of a strong and happy partnership.
How Do You Expect To Receive Love?
Receiving love can be as simple as expressing gratitude for support or connection. However, receiving love can also be difficult for many people. Some of us carry with us self-limiting beliefs or blockages to love. It’s just as important for us to be open to receiving love, as it is, giving love to our partners.
It all begins with a choice to receive others’ love and trust their intentions. Being open to receiving allows for love to flow freely to us without carry any feeling of shame, unworthiness, or obligation. This can be very hard to do for many of us. In many cases truly receiving love is harder than giving it.
Because of this we quite often reject our partner’s love without even realizing that we are doing it. Think about it for a minute. So, your partner has the love language of gift giving. You come home from a long day at work, and he has cooked dinner and cleaned the kitchen for you. Although you appreciate his effort and are relieved that he has helped you on such a stressful day, your response is, “Oh you didn’t have to do that. I was happy to make dinner when I got home.”
To you it’s a natural response. You didn’t want your partner to feel burdened or that you expect such things from him. That would be too much, right?
Wrong! What your partner is hearing is, “I didn’t want you to do that” or he feels rejected and that whatever he does isn’t right. This can become wearing on your partner and he/she may just give up trying or become resentful of the rejection.
By dismissing compliments or minimizing gestures you are creating blocks to true intimacy.
This is where the Love Language comes into play, once again. You need to know your love language and communicate it to your partner. It is again also important to understand your partner’s love language so when he is showing you love, you accept it and respond accordingly.
The most important things are:
Know what makes you feel loved
Teach your partner how to love you.
Accept that you’re worthy
Open yourself up to vulnerability
How Does Your Partner Show They Love You?
It can be hard if your partner doesn’t often say ‘I love you.’ This is especially true if you say it a lot. Aside from the love language processes already discussed, there are other ways your partner may be showing you that they love you.
They consider your happiness
When someone loves you, they are concerned for your happiness. They could show this by planning fun dates, helping out with things when you need it, and caring about your needs. Bear in mind, this doesn’t mean they will do anything you ask of them and that’s perfectly fine.
They show gratitude
When a partner frequently thanks you for actions, be it big or small, whether it’s something you have done for them, for the family of for the organization of the house, their consistent display of gratitude is a display of love.
If you are wondering how your partner feels about you, take a closer look at how they treat you. Are they, kind, respectful and warm or are they distant, dismissive, and degrading?
Remember, words as well as actions speak volumes, regarding their true feelings toward you.
They open up to you
This is hard for some people and may take some time. But if your partner loves you and trusts you, they are more likely to open up to you about themselves. By sharing a deeper, lesser-known thing about themselves with you, they are showing you what you mean to them and that they want to get closer to you.
They’re excited about the future with you
If you share long term plans, and they speak openly and candidly about their hopes and dreams they are showing they love you. They may show excitement and passion for the future are really signs of their passion and excitement for being with you.
They want to spend quality time with you
When someone is in love with you, they make an effort to spend quality time with you. They enjoy being around you and sharing things together. Making and strengthening a connection with you is a priority for them.
It is important to know that life will always throw challenges and obstacles at relationships, but if you truly love each other you will work through them and come out the other side stronger. People are different in so many ways and this is why people show their love in many diverse ways. Your partner may not be someone who feels comfortable being overtly loving but if you understand how they show they care then you will feel much more secure in your relationship.