What to Do When Your Partner Has a Different Love Language
Everyone expresses love differently. According to author Gary Chapman, each expression can be sorted into one of five “love languages,” although he goes on to specify that some people may use one particular language more than another.
Chapman’s book “The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate” explores all five languages:
- Words of affirmation
- Giving and receiving gifts
- Acts of service
- Quality time
- Physical touch
Talking different love languages
Can people with different love languages fall in love? The simple answer is yes. At the start of a relationship, both people will naturally find the bridge in their love languages, even if they don’t realize it. In new relationships, it’s common for both people to use every love language available to them to maximize the relationship’s chances of success. However, when the fervor dies down, partners may return to utilizing only the love language they prefer.
Chapman wrote, “For love, we will climb mountains, cross seas, traverse desert sands, and endure untold hardships. Without love, mountains become unclimbable, seas uncrossable, deserts unbearable, and hardships our lot in life.”
One reason why mountains suddenly feel unclimbable is that each member of the couple has stopped communicating in the other’s love language. If the couple can learn to again communicate in each other’s love language, the relationship can continue to grow.
How to thrive in any relationship
The miracle cure for any relationship is communication. You have to learn how to communicate and express what you need so you feel loved. Together, both of you can work toward showing and receiving love in the way you both need it.
To quote Chapman, “(Real love) is emotional in nature but not obsessional. It is a love that unites reason and emotion. It involves an act of the will and requires discipline, and it recognizes the need for personal growth.”
As a partnership, you both need to grow together and create a relationship where both parties get what they need to feel safe, appreciated and respected.
Start by asking how the other person feels love. You might consider taking the 5 Love Languages Quiz and sharing your results with each other. Of course, the quiz should act as a starting point only and should never replace communication.
After learning your partner’s love language, talk about how you can improve in showing your feelings in a way they’ll recognize. Return to this conversation every week or so to ensure you’re both improving and growing.
Whether you’ve been together for two weeks or five years, you can improve your communication with your partner and create a blossoming relationship.