All the way back in 1995, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, a man named Gary Chapman wrote a book called “The Five Love Languages”. He reckons that there are five ways in which we express and receive love, and that we all have one or two dominant languages. The problem is that we all assume that our partners speak the same love languages that we do. If we like physical touch, we give more of it. If we like receiving praise, we give praise to show our love.
So unless you’re dating/married to/cohabiting with someone who happens to speak the same love language as you do, your romantic gestures aren’t being appreciated as much as they should be and you’re probably not getting enough bang for your love buck (stop sniggering).
The five languages:
Words of Affirmation.
Words count. You like to be told that you are loved, you like to be praised when you do something right, and you thrive on encouraging words. Insults can shatter you and you don’t forget them easily.
To express love: tell your loved one how much you admire some of their character traits or accomplishments. Tell them why you love them in a hand-written card.
Acts of Service
You appreciate it when someone gives their time and their effort to help you. They ease your responsibilities, give generously of themselves, and make you feel valued when they serve you out of love (and not obligation).
To express love: identify some part of a loved one’s life that is giving them stress, and tell them you want to help in whatever way you can. Sometimes the best way to help is by taking care of other responsibilities, so that they can focus on what they’re struggling with. Making them tea also counts.
Some people like to touch and to be touched, and not necessarily in a sexual way. A hug. A pat on the back. A touch on the arm. All of these can be powerful expressions of love. Physical presence is important, and neglect can really hurt you.
To express love: Identify the moments where it is appropriate and supportive to touch, and do it. The classic mistake in relationships is thinking that touching is about sex. Cuddling after sex will earn you far more points.
Many women complain about needing quality time. Many men speak this language as well. Quality Time means that no one and nothing else is as important to you as your loved one is. It’s phones off, knife and fork down, TV off, focus brought to your relationship.
To express love: simply spend time with your loved one, and focus entirely on them. Turn off your phone. For your partner, invite her to a date at home, tell her you can’t wait to see her, cook dinner for her, and talk the night away. No TV.
This isn’t about spending as much money as possible. We love gifts because they represent love, thoughtfulness, and effort. If you speak this language, a thoughtful gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized above all else. Gifts are heartfelt symbols of someone’s love and affection for you. Sometimes thoughtless generic gifts can be just as hurtful as no gift at all.
To express love: give gifts that you’ve thought about. Give gifts that have meaning. Pick a flower from your garden the next time you visit your lady. These gifts don’t have to be pricey, and often the best gifts are given for no reason at all.
If you’re having trouble finding that perfect gift (it is tough, we know), tidyandco.com aim to help you give a better gift. The site’s Gift Finder asks you questions about your loved one, and then searches for gifts that have the highest chance of being meaningful to that kind of person.
That doesn’t mean you get to do nothing though. They give you a personalised shortlist of gifts, but you’re the one who has to find the winner.
Also, just because your loved one’s primary love language isn’t Receiving Gifts, that doesn’t mean there isn’t something awesome on Tidy & Co. for that person. Tidy & Co. also sell experiences like rock climbing, art classes, and Hot Air Balloon rides for the Quality Time lover. There’s also Soy Massage Candles, so you can give your lover a back rub, which would fulfill her need for Physical Touch, Quality Time and Acts of Service.
Now that you hopefully know your own love languages, as well as those of the person you love, all you have to do is start speaking theirs, not yours. You’ll get a much better result. Check out tidyandco.com to get some good ideas on out-the-box gifts, even if you don’t buy a thing.