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How Do You Speak Love?

In the third instalment in our Month of Love, we take a look at how we communicate in our relationships.

When you interact with another person, how they receive your intention is wrapped up in their frame of reference, not yours. This makes relationships sometimes difficult to navigate when the other person’s way they feel and receive love is different from yours.

When we experience conflict in relationships we often blame lack of communication but what if we look at from a different perspective and see that it is not necessarily a lack of, but rather a different style of communicating love…

Gary Chapman, author of the book “The 5 Love Languages” identified five different ways in which we not only communicate, but want to receive, love.

He explains these languages as:

  1. Words of Affirmation

“Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important—hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten.”

  1. Acts of Service

“Can vacuuming the floors really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes. The words he or she most wants to hear: “Let me do that for you.” Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t matter.”

  1. Receiving Gifts

“Don’t mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you. A missed birthday, anniversary, or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous—so would the absence of everyday gestures.”

  1. Quality Time

“In the vernacular of Quality Time, nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there—with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby—makes your significant other feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful.”

  1. Physical Touch

“This language isn’t all about the bedroom. A person whose primary language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face—they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive.”

Once you are able to identify your love language and that of your partner, being conscious of how you both communicate might open a whole new world of awareness and appreciation for one another.

If you would like to find out more about your love language, take a look at this quiz here.