It’s a time of international crisis, and as such it is more important than ever to treat each other with kindness. If you are stuck inside your home with your loved ones, it’s more important than ever to pay attention to how you communicate. Love languages is one way we can all do that.
If you haven’t taken it already, the love languages quiz is an easy thing to do that can make a huge difference in the way you act with your partner. Many times in relationships, people fall into the pattern of loving their partner the way they want to be loved, when in fact they should be focusing on how their partner receives love. The love languages are:
Pretty simple. For someone who values gifts, this one says that their partner is thinking of them, that they’re on their mind even when they’re not together.
Words of affirmation
This includes any genuine words meant to praise and build the other person up.
Genuinely just good, beneficial time together. Specifically, this means time with your partner’s undivided attention.
Acts of service
This means doing something for your partner, even something small, that you know they’ll appreciate or like. Just cooking them dinner or doing a chore can be a perfect act of service.
As simple as it sounds. Positive, loving touch of any kind.
Each person has a primary love language that speaks to them most deeply, as well as other secondary languages that also work better for them. The other types of language will often do little to affect them. For example, someone may respond most to quality time and physical touch, but getting them a gift won’t make them feel as much love. The quiz takes a few minutes to go through, and doing it as a couple can give you important insights for how to love your partner in the best and most meaningful ways for them. Here are a few ways to use your love languages to improve your relationship:
Think about tiny ways to use their love language every day
None of these have to be big things every time. If they like gifts, bring home something little for them that you spotted at the store, even if it’s their favorite candy or gum. If they prefer physical touch, reach out and stroke their hand, arm, or leg when you’re sitting together doing your own things. If it’s acts of service, do the dishes without them asking. If they need words of affirmation, throw tiny and genuine compliments into your conversations. And for quality time, make the extra effort to spend a few great moments together every day, even if you’re busy.
Don’t make it about your own love languages
Even if the ways you prefer to express love differ, when it comes to loving your partner and showing them, avoid reverting to your own love languages. Use theirs, and trust that they’ll keep yours in mind in return.
Don’t deny them if they ask for something that falls into their love language
If your partner kindly asks for a massage or how they look or for an evening in together, try not to turn them down. Oftentimes these simple requests are them showing or telling you that they need you to express love for them in the way that works best. Whenever possible, agree to requests like these, and realize that you’re doing more for your partner than you may realize.
Annie Burdick is a writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon, but transplanted from the Midwest. She also works as a community inclusion specialist for adults with disabilities. Previously she's edited and written for magazines, websites, books, and small businesses, on an absurdly wide range of topics. She spends the rest of her time reading, eating good food, and finding new adventures in the Pacific Northwest.