How to Identify Your Love Language
Often, when working with couples in therapy, I find that both partners have shared goals but lack an understanding of one another or struggle to communicate their thoughts and needs effectively. Understanding your partner plays a large role in being able to better communicate. The 5 Love Languages are a great tool to use to increase this understanding and aid a healthier dynamic within your relationship.
The 5 Love Languages were discovered by Dr. Gary Chapman and highlight the idea that different people have different ways of expressing and understanding their idea of love. Even in committed relationships, it is important to understand that our partners may view their idea of love differently than ours. Knowing your own love language, and knowing your partners, can help to mesh these different ideas of love and expression into a more cohesive way of understanding each other.
First, let’s identify the different types of love languages and explain them in easy-to-understand terms:
Words of affirmation - Value verbal acknowledgment, encouragement, compliments, and words of appreciation.
Quality time - Value spending undistracted time with your partner.
Gifts - Value visual signs of love, regardless of price, with an emphasis on thought and meaning behind the gift.
Acts of service - Value your partner going out of their way to help you.
Physical touch - Value physical acknowledgment and intimacy.
There are many online sites available to take The Love Languages Quiz. You can follow the link below that will take you to the official site and you can have your results in just a few minutes! It is important to note that you may want to select multiple answers to each question, but don’t! Out of the options given for each question, choose the one that has the most meaning for you.
I have my answer, now what do I do with it?
Knowing your love language gives you insight into your understanding of showing and receiving love. With this insight, you can better communicate with your partner and be loved in a way that is most meaningful for you. Knowing your partner’s love language is helpful in the same way. If you both understand love differently, the thought and showing of love can be miscommunicated.
Your love language is quality time, but your partner’s love language is giving gifts. Your partner may get you something nice each week to show their love, but the message is lost because you would much rather be spending time on date nights or cozy nights in together. Without knowledge of each other’s preferred way to be loved, the message gets lost.
If your partner is aware of your love language, they can communicate their love in ways that are better received by you. Instead of buying you a gift each week, maybe a date night gets planned or a fun getaway. It works the same way on the other end too. Now that you know your partner’s love language is giving gifts, you can give them something as a special token of love, even if it’s not what you would prefer.
Being able to understand each other and love in ways that are most meaningful for each other allows an increase in connection. This increased connection paves the way for a healthier relationship overall.
My partner knows my love language is quality time, but they keep giving me gifts. What should I do?
Everyone processes the meaning of love and how to show affection differently. It’s common that even if your partner knows your love language, they don’t always show this effectively. This gives you an opportunity to understand them better.
If your partner’s love language is giving gifts, but yours isn’t, it provides you an opportunity to flip your perspective. Knowing your partner’s love language allows you to recognize that receiving gifts from them isn’t because they are ignoring your love language, it is because this is what love means to them. You can flip the script from “they aren’t respecting my own love language” to “they are showing me love in a way they know how.”
This also paves the way for more honest and vulnerable conversations. Expressing that you understand their way of showing love, but also that you have different values, allows more honest communication and effort moving forward.
What if I have more than one love language?
Sometimes, you can score evenly or close to evenly for more than one love language. This isn’t a bad thing! This provides more ways to understand your meaning of love. It’s okay to value both words of affirmation and acts of service. In communicating this with your partner, it gives them more options to express their love to you in a way that is most meaningful.
At the end of the day, communication is key. Communicating your needs and your way of thinking is an important part of having a healthy dynamic within your relationship. The Love Languages are a great way to have a better understanding of your values, and your partner’s values, thus prompting the start of healthier communication.
When people are loved in a way that is meaningful for them, they tend to invite the idea of healthy communication in, so this works full circle!
If you’re wanting additional help to enhance your relationship with your partner, contact us for your complimentary consultation at 954-391-5305. You deserve to have a healthy, thriving relationship!
Alyssa provides counseling for adults and couples at our beautiful Plantation, Florida office and also offers online therapy through our secure telehealth platform for those who reside in the state of Florida.
For more information about Alyssa Woolslair and her approach to couples counseling or marriage therapy, click here.