Why It’s Important to Know Your Partner’s Love Language
As a couple’s therapist, I pay attention to and listen to the ways couples interact with one another. One of the most important ways a couple interacts is how they vie for one another’s attention and how each partner goes about meeting the other person’s needs.
As a Gottman Method Couples Therapy trained therapist, I call making this sort of attempt to interact a bid for connection. The way we respond to our partner’s bids for connection is called “turning towards” or responding positively to our partner in such moments. Turning towards our partner’s bids is how we meet emotional needs and demonstrate our love and dedication to the relationship.
Prioritizing the emotional needs of our partner means that we care about our partner’s feelings and how they are experiencing the relationship. We want our partner to feel loved, valued, appreciated, and respected, and meeting the emotional needs of our partner is how we accomplish this.
Best-selling author Dr. Gary Chapman would refer to these efforts as speaking to our partner’s love language. The 5 love languages as written in his book are quality time, receiving gifts, words of affirmation, physical touch, and acts of service.
People express love differently and understanding how our partner expresses love is vital for the purpose of knowing when our partner is showing us, love. Conversely, it’s just as important to understand what helps our partners feel loved so that we can demonstrate our love for them in ways they can receive.
Understanding our partner’s love language/s can help with increasing connection, enhancing appreciation, improving communication and intimacy. Knowing our partner’s love language also assists with preventing problems in the relationship by managing expectations on what it means to be loved.
According to Dr. Gary Chapman, “one of the most significant indicators of a successful relationship is your ability to connect with your partner on multiple levels. If you are trying to express love in a language that your partner doesn’t relate to, it will be no surprise that there will be dis-connect”.
Knowing our partner’s love language can lead to fewer instances of miscommunication because it means that we understand how to reach our partner in an emotionally deeper way. Once we know and understand our partner’s love language, it becomes easier to recognize when our partner is making a concerted effort towards the relationship. It becomes more obvious when someone is being loving and dedicated to the relationship, which often leads to us feeling more fulfilled in the relationship.
It should be noted that whenever we speak our partner’s love language (or vice versa) it’s like putting money into one’s emotional bank account. Whenever our emotional bank account is full, we have more to give back to the other person, thereby meeting their needs and speaking to their love language in return.
To gain more understanding of our partner’s love language it’s important that we pay attention and tune in to our partner, looking for evidence of when they are feeling loved. If people are paying attention and partners are still missing each other on this level, it never hurts to ask questions and to continue seeking out information. Getting to know each other’s love language comes down to open and honest communication and taking a deep interest in how the other person experiences love and connection.
If you and your partner need support or guidance in deepening your connection, improving your communication with love languages, or anything else in your relationship, I invite you to contact me today for your complimentary consultation.