• Julianna Navarro

5 Ways To Show Your Love

A very popular book, “The Five Love Languages” by John Chapman has inspired many couples to look inside their relationship for further understanding on how they feel loved. Every couple has their unique connection and language by which they understand each other, but as Chapman points out, there are five very common love languages that take place in every relationship. Essentially, your love language is the way in which you naturally give love to your partner in a relationship and it’s the way you want love to be shown to you. Although all the love languages are nice to receive, each person typically has one or two love languages that take priority above the others.

Relationships are not just about knowing ourselves and our preferences, but it’s about exploring our partner’s. Learning your partner’s love language helps you understand what makes them feel good and it gives you a compass on how to show love to your partner in the most effective way. Our preferred love language isn’t always the same as our partner’s, so we could be showing love to them in a way that they don’t even feel it, without us realizing that our efforts have little impact when shown in that way. So, what are the five common ways to show love?

1. Quality Time

Quality time is exactly how it sounds; time you spend with your partner that provides quality to them or meets their emotional needs in some way. For some couples, this is sitting in silence side-by-side watching a movie. Other couples would prefer a deep conversation over dinner. Quality time can involve other people or a group, but most often it is time dedicated to just the couple.

How would you define quality time?

That’s just it. It’s not about how you would define it; it’s about how your partner defines quality time. Ask them what their ideal vision of quality time looks like and move forward with intention to meet their needs.

2. Physical Touch

This is kind of self-explanatory but there are some key points to talk about with the physical touch love language. Physical touch in this sense, is not sexual in nature. Meaning, it is not done as a means-to-an-end to engage in sexual activity with your partner. Your intention to engage in physical touch with your partner should be to do just that, touch them. Most people that have physical touch as their main love language grew up in a family that displayed a lot of affectionate touch and showed love in that way as an everyday interaction. Physical touch doesn’t have to be sexual in nature, it can be intentional and purposeful to show support to your partner. Unfortunately, physical touch may not feel like a safe way to show love for some people, due to their own personal history. This feeling should be explored between partners, not in a hope to move your partner from their position, but in a way to understand your partner’s feelings towards physical touch and connect with them. Eventually, when practiced enough within the relationship in a safe capacity, physical touch will just come naturally.

3. Words Of Affirmation

Words cut deep. They can be both hurtful and very positively impactful at other times. A vast majority of couples claim this as their main love language because words leave imprints on our memory very easily. It is how we associate and connect certain experiences in our brain. Therefore, it can be very important to speak freely within a relationship with your truth but also with an intention to regard your partner’s feelings and consider the impact it may have on them. Words of affirmation is essentially compliments you give to your partner. These compliments that affirm your partner’s ego can be surface level “You look great in that top” or deeper “You are such an intelligent person”. They can also be ways to give gratitude to your partner for their efforts: “I really appreciate you picking up the dry cleaning”. This is the quickest way to positively reinforce behavior, and thus encourage preferences that you find satisfying in a relationship.

4. Acts Of Service

Like most learned behavior, if you grew up watching your parents’ complete tasks or responsibilities for one another to help each other, you will be more likely to have acts of service as one of your primary love languages. Acts of service are the little nuance tasks you do for your partner because you know it will take pressure off their responsibilities and reduce their stress. These tasks are typically most effective when they are done with consideration, without being asked, and with no expectation to get anything in return. Although, it is always nice for our efforts to be recognized and validated by our partner, if they are not noticed, you can give yourself the validation you are wanting by giving yourself credit.

5. Gift Giving

Just like it sounds, giving a gift to your partner. However, the meaning behind the gift is the focus of this love language. Gifts do not have to be expensive, but they should be significant in nature to your partner. It’s a way for you to show your partner that you are listening to them when they talk about what they like and what’s important to them. For example, if your partner has been saying their feet hurt after running around all day, a small gift of comfy shoe insoles might be just the perfect way to show them this love language.

Take some time to reflect on the most memorable times you felt loved as a person and think about what love language was shown to produce such an amazing feeling. Share this information with your partner and start the conversation of exploring each other’s top two love languages. The effort you put into your relationship always shows up in the long run!