During a recent counseling session, the topic of love languages was brought to light and it dawned on me that many people like me may not fully understand the meaning and the significance of the topic.
The 5 love languages was first introduced to the world by Dr Gary Chapman. As an experienced counselor, he noticed a behavioral pattern in the couples he counseled. He noticed that people had a distinctly unique way in which they express and receive love and affection. Strangely, he also found that people are usually drawn to partners who have a totally different set of love languages.
This, of course, presents a problem in any relationship and the friction and conflict that arises from the potential misunderstandings can lead to frustration, anger, resentment and the feeling of neglect and being unloved. All strong and powerful ingredients of a failed marriage or relationship.
For those of you who have never heard of these 5 love languages, they are Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service and Physical Touch.
Words of Affirmation
A simple explanation for this is simply to verbalize your feelings of love, affection and appreciation to your mate. If your mate is the kind who loves compliments, chances are they take criticisms hard as well.
Putting ego aside, there are many men who fall into this category secretly because we have always been told that we need to be the stronger of the genders, that showing emotions are a sign of weakness. What this does is simply put us in an emotionally vulnerable state because because we cannot openly ask to be loved.
Add into that the ego issue, men crave respect more then anything in the world. They love to hear how strong, how clever, how intelligent, how sexy and how good a lover they are and the list goes on and on and on. Giving your man respect goes a long way in keeping him satisfied.
As shared, being drilled constantly that showing affection or emotions are a sign of weakness, men are ill-equipped to show affection in this love language. Whether it be feeling of being overly mushy or just absolutely being unable to express their feelings, the majority of the male species will be found wanting here. If your mate happens to be one of them, it is important to identify and recognize that this is an issue.
Best option you have is to work it slowly by prompting him to give you compliments by opening asking him for his opinions but be patient. You may not always get the response that you want, especially in the beginning. Instead, try the good old psychological magic trick of classical conditioning. Simply put, reward openly when he does give you a compliment, be it a hug, a kiss, an act of intimacy or anything he enjoys… let him know that you are overjoyed when you receive those compliments and that you will return in kind to the form of love language that he relates to best.
Although it seems and sounds simple, achieving this is perhaps one of the hardest things to do. Unfortunately, we are born to fulfill our own needs before others and we want instant gratifications and few are willing to invest the time and effort needed to build and maintain it when it doesn’t immediately bring results. But to understand the love language of your partner and accepting the way he or she gives and receives will make you a happier and a more satisfied and loving couple.
For those who are struggling with their marriage or relationship like us, this could be the breakthrough that you have been looking for.
Stay tuned as we continue to explore the other love languages in coming posts.
Source: The 5 Love Languages