How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count The Ways
Now that you have learned about the five love languages and taken the quiz to find out your primary (and secondary) love language, let’s look at ways to increase our fluency in love languages.
Fill Your Love Tank
I’m not a mind reader, are you? Think back to times you felt loved, and how things were when you first met your partner. Did things change? During the beginning of a relationship, we are more aware of each other and often more willing to go out of our way to impress and win the heart of the one we are attracted to. Once we have ‘won’ our partner, we may relax and stop doing the very things that were meaningful love language for our partner. Does this apply to your relationship or a past one?
The purpose of this blog is to help you learn to express your needs to your partner in practical ways so they will clearly understand what is meaningful to you and can happily help you fill your “love tank.”
Before I get into practical ways to ‘speak’ each love language, please take a piece of paper, writing instrument and write down a specific list answering each of these questions:
- What do you do regularly to express love to your partner?
- What does your partner do, or fail to do that hurts you most deeply?
- What have you most often requested of your partner?
The answers to these questions may hold keys to learning more about your own love language and what makes you feel loved.
It isn’t always easy to learn a new language, one that does not come naturally, or that you were not taught growing up. Choose to make opportunities to learn and express love in new ways fun and enjoyable. Expand your repertoire. You do not have to do everything at once. It is okay to experiment. What works for you both, what can be improved, what feels good, what is uncomfortable. Where there is discomfort you have an opportunity to explore our resistance and blocks with an expert energy healer.
Ideas to Improve Speaking Each of the Five Love Languages
1. Words of Affirmation
It can be awkward at first saying things you think your partner should ‘know’ by now. But when you watch and see how the positive things you say “land” with your partner and their softening loving response to you, it becomes easy to but importance on making an effort to say words of affirmation with sincere words.
- Pay a sincere compliment. e. “You look beautiful/handsome today”
- Tell them a reason you love them, something you love about them.
- Tell them what they say or do that makes you feel loved
- Choose your words carefully. Words are important!
- Look for positive things to say to your partner to appreciate them. You may find inspiration in songs, TV, books, and conversation.
2. Quality Time
Do you spend time with your partner, or do you spend quality time with them? There IS a difference. It is easy to think “we went to the movies or that party.” This was not the time however that you spent connecting with each other, appreciating each other or loving each other.
Be deliberate with your time. Be PRESENT when you spend time together.
- Take a walk together and talk, asking questions to let your partner know you are engaged.
- Play cards or a board game together.
- Make a list of activities you can do together that you would both enjoy. Make plans to do one activity a month.
- Plan a vacation or weekend away with each other.
- Cook a new recipe together for a meal
- Learn where your partner enjoys sitting and talking. Plan to go there (the back porch, the park, or elsewhere) and talk at an agreed-upon day and time.
- Make time to share the events of the day with each other, even for 10 minutes.
Finding quality time where you are devoted to your partner without distraction is a huge gift for each of you and your relationship.
3. Receiving Gifts
On the surface, you may perceive this love language as being materialistic. To the partner whose love language is receiving gifts, this is more about a visual symbol of love, and the time, thought and effort that went into the gift. The cost of the gift is not the issue.
- Free but thoughtful gifts to which you can attach meaning
- A flower from the garden
- A nice rock you found – a smooth stone could symbolize the polishing of rough places once in the relationship
- A feather – to symbolize your partner as the ‘wind beneath your wings.’
- A single Rose or flower from the Flower shop
- Give the gift of your presence at something your partner would like to do (and then participate gracefully, positively with an open heart and mind)
- Keep a gift idea notebook. Write down what your partner says they would like. This may help you when you are ready to give a gift, large or small.
- Something handmade
4. Acts of Service
Doing something your partner would like you to do is an act of service. This is a meaningful love language for some.
- Make a list of the requests your partner has asked you to do. Do one a week as an expression of love for your partner.
- Give your partner a love note with an act of service you will do to show them your love
- Do something you do not usually do as an act of service: cooking a meal, a load of laundry, or wash the dishes
- Take out the trash
- Ask your partner to make a list of ten things they would like you to do, and prioritize the list. Use the list to plan your strategy for the month.
- If you felt nagged to do something, use this to realize this is important to your partner, and make a plan to do it as an expression of love. You can leave a card “because I love you”.
5. Physical Touch
Human contact is so important. Nowadays it has become more challenging with the #metoo movement. However, with our partners, touch is one way we have of connecting with each other. Physical intimacy is important to most, however, non-sexual touching can play a huge role in relationships where one or both partners have physical touch as their love language.
- Reach out and take your partner’s hand
- Hug your partner
- Rub your partners back or give them a shoulder massage, with no expectations
- Touch your partner in the presence of others, in simple ways to let them know you are there for them, such as holding their hand, putting your arm around them.
- Lay your head on their shoulder
- Greet your partner when they come home with a big welcome hug or small touching experience.
- Give them a kiss
- Have a conversation about what non-sexual physical touch they like best
Becoming Multi-Lingual in Love Language is fun!
No matter what language you are learning to ‘speak’ your partner will appreciate your efforts. You are helping to fill their ‘love tank.’ Building a stronger bond feels good. Don’t we all love to feel good?
Isn’t this one of our core desires? And to quote a sampler I once cross-stitched:
“To Love and Be Loved…is the greatest joy on earth!
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