According to Dr. Gary Chapman, a marriage counselor, there are five love languages.
I read his book The 5 Love Languages many years ago. I was intrigued by the concept of speaking a different “love language” than my partner.
Chapman explains that we all give or receive love in five various ways: words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch.
Learning more about our love languages undeniably strengthens our relationships. The way we receive love may not always be similar to how we give it.
We usually assume that our partner needs to act a certain way for them to gain our care and respect. We have a long list of expectations and if or when our partner doesn’t meet it, we fall into despair and may even fantasize about ending the relationship.
It took me many years (and many fights) to understand that the expression of love is not an easy one. It is highly dependent on our upbringing and the romantic experiences we’ve had. Each one of us is left with a different idea about love that’s (sadly) affected by our past traumas and wounds.
That said, realizing that my partner’s love language is different than mine has saved my relationship more than once. But what moved my relationship to a whole new level was discovering other love languages that are underrated and may often go unnoticed.
I may not have noticed them before because I have already been focusing on the most common ones. But opening my mind and heart to the small gestures has been a true blessing. It has taught me there are countless ways to make a person feel loved, heard, and validated.
We usually overlook these small gestures because we fail to notice that they, too, show affection and intimacy. In our relentless pursuit of a “big, affectionate show,” we miss out on the sweet bits that may as well deliver the same message of love.
There are things other than gifts or words of affection that show the depth of our partner’s devotion and love.
Your list may be different than mine, but the point is to pay attention to the actions that may be often disguised as “inactions” or “blah.”
Instead of focusing on or waiting for a single love language, open your heart to the many possibilities of love.
There are simple acts that, if seen, could save many relationships. Here are 14:
1. Hugs from behind when you’re busy doing something.
2. Knowing how you like your coffee, tea, or drink.
3. Remembering little things about you.
4. Valuing your intelligence, humor, or kindness.
5. Saving the last bite for you.
6. Keeping their word.
7. Telling the truth.
8. Speaking highly of you.
9. Negotiating with you.
10. Tolerating annoying (cute) habits.
11. Getting over a fight quickly.
12. Giving you space.
13. Putting themselves in your shoes.
14. Taking responsibility when they’re wrong.