In part one of the ‘love languages’ blog I shared some of the misconceptions people enter their relationship with, the assumption that their “in-love” euphoria will last forever and that it can sustain a healthy relationship. I, on the other hand, presented the idea that people receive and communicate their love differently and identifying this love language will help you to build your relationship intentionally. I shared 3 out of the 5 love languages mentioned in “The 5 love languages” by Gary Chapman. Some people feel the most loved when they are encouraged and are verbally affirmed, for some nothing is more important than spending time together while others see a gift as a symbol of love. These are the three love languages we discussed in the previous blog. In this blog, I will continue to expand on this subject.
Acts Of Service
If your spouse often complains that you don’t help enough around the house or that you don’t do anything thoughtful or nice for him or her, then acts of service is most likely your partner’s love language. Oftentimes, complaints like these are perceived as demands or nags. I, for instance, really appreciate it when I come home to a clean house after a long day at work and I know Sharif really appreciates it when I make him his favorite snack or meal. It is an honor for me to serve my husband. Sharif for instance really likes it when I do his nails or give him facials (sorry babe, the readers need to know the truth), so I gladly do these for him because I know it will make him feel loved. Similarly, Sharif is always trying to help me out around the house, whether it is fixing things or cleaning up, because he knows these small gestures make me feel loved. Love is given freely, it isn’t forced, so you should never feel pressured and you should never force your partner to “serve” you. Service should flow out of love.
Consider organizing an at home spa date for your partner. Acts of service can mean household chores, but they don’t have to. Write down a list of non-chore ways you can serve your partner. Ask your partner to make a list of things they would want you to do or things they need help with. Make it a priority to do at least one of these a week. If your requests tend to sound more like complaints or nags, consider rewording your requests. For instance, if your significant other responds well to words of affirmation, then try to compliment him first. Try saying: “I love how helpful you are around the house. I was hoping that you could vacuum the living room before I get back home.”
When people think of physical touch in a relationship their minds instantly gravitate to the sexual aspect of it, but actually physical touch involves much more than just sexual contact. To someone with physical touch as their primary love language, touch could either make or break the relationship and when it comes to touching not everything goes. Your spouse may find it irritating or annoying to be touched in certain areas. For instance, if your spouse is insecure about a certain part of their body, they might not feel confident with you touching that part of their body. It is of extreme importance to communicate this to your spouse. When someone who has physical touch as their primary love language is going through a tough time, nothing is more comforting than to be held or hugged. Even something as simple as holding hands can mean the world. The man’s desire for sexual intercourse is physically rooted whereas for the woman it is fueled by her emotional desire. A lot of men often will assume physical touch to be their primary love language because they have an intense desire for sexual intercourse. But if he does not enjoy physical touch in a non-sexual way, the chances are that physical touch might not be his primary language at all
Touch your partner in the presence of friends and family, whether it is holding their hand or placing your arm around him/her. Discuss with your partner which areas they are comfortable with you touching and try to find ways to make your partner feel more confident in their body. Organize a spa day at home and give your partner a massage.
We have now discussed all of the love languages and ways you could exercise each language. The love languages are:
Words of Affirmation
Acts of Service
I don’t believe that these are the only ways to show love to your partner, but it’s helpful to be aware. Knowing how you receive love and understanding what makes your partner feel loved is extremely important if you want a happy relationship. This may not only be important for your relationship with your partner, but with your children, family and friends as well. Some of you might have read this blog and immediately identified what your love language is. Others may find it a bit more difficult to identify one exact love language. If this is you, fill these questions in for yourself and you might find the answer you were looking for.
Name something you often request from your partner
In my case I tend to ask Sharif to come sit on the couch with me or I ask him to come help me around the house.
Name something your partner does that upsets you or something they fail to do that would hurt you
I tend to get upset when I feel Sharif doesn’t understand me or doesn’t listen to me. But I also feel hurt when I’m getting little help with daily tasks, this makes me feel like I’m not appreciated.
How do you often express love to your partner, this could give an indication of your own love language
I love cooking for Sharif, and just taking care of him by making sure everything is tidy, his clothes are clean etc.
As you may or may not have noticed I am definitely leaning towards Quality Time and Acts of Service and Sharif’s love languages are Words of Affirmation and Acts of Service.
Once you both know what your love language is, you can now start to be more intentional about how you show your love to your partner. This causes less disappointment and frustration and will hopefully lead to a more life giving and happier relationship. Now obviously these love languages will not solve all of your problems, but it will definitely spare you many along the way.
Thank you for reading, till the next one!
Photography: Sharif Jacobino
Editor: Joshua Sakoetoe