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A friend of mine raves about a book written by author and marriage counselor Dr Gary Chapman titled; Five Love Languages. The premise is that everyone has his or her own communication style of showing love. If you know what your communication preference is and the preference of your partner, you will be better equipped to communicate with each other and express your feelings, and importantly know how your partner is expressing theirs.

Determining Your Own Love Language
You can help discover your own love language by asking yourself these three simple questions:
• How do I express love to others?
• What do I complain about the most?
• What do I request most often?

Now learning to speak in your spouse’s (foreign) love language may not come naturally for you, but the rewards may be life changing. So what are the Five Languages of LOVE?

Words of Affirmation
If this is your love language, compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important – hearing the reasons behind that love sends your heart a flutter. Insults can leave you crushed and are not easily forgotten.

If this is your partner’s love language: Set a goal to give your spouse a different compliment each day for a month.*

Quality Time
Nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention. Being there and paying attention to this type of person is critical. Giving them priority in that given moment makes your significant other feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful.

If this is your partner’s love language: Ask your partner for a list of five activities that he’d enjoy doing with you. Make plans to do one of them each month for the next five months.*

Gifts
Don’t mistake this love language for materialism. To the individual whose primary love language is receiving gifts, the cost will not matter. The perfect gift or gesture shows that they are known, they are cared for, “Look, he was thinking of me,” or, “She remembered me.” A gift is a symbol of that thought. A missed birthday, anniversary, or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous.

If this is your partner’s love language: Keep a “gift idea” notebook. Every time you hear, “I really like that,” write it down. Select gifts you feel comfortable purchasing, making or finding, and don’t wait for a special occasion.*

Acts of Service
Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes. The words he or she most want to hear: “Let me do that for you.” People who speak this love language seek to please their partners by doing things for them, such as cooking a meal, washing the dishes, walking the dog, are all acts of service that require thought, planning, time, effort and energy. No help at all can be devastating.

If this is your partner’s love language: What one act of service does your spouse comment a lot about? Why not decide to see the nag as a tag? Your spouse is tagging this particular task as a really important thing to him or her.*

Physical Touch
This language isn’t all about the horizontal tango. A person whose primary language is physical touch is, not surprisingly, very tactile. Hugs, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, or face can all be ways to show love and care. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive. Holding hands, kissing, hugging and sex are all expressions of love for the person whom physical touch is their love language of choice. Sitting close to each other as you watch TV requires no additional time, but communicates your love loudly. Touching each other when you leave the house and when you return may involve only a brief kiss, but speaks volumes.

If this is your partner’s love language: While eating together let your knee or foot drift over and touch your partner.*

I hope this helps. Good luck learning your new love language, if your partner’s is different. It may also help you learn more about yourself, your partner and your relationship too. You can go to
www.5lovelanguages.com for more info.

* Tips from,“The 5 Love Languages Explained” at www.personalitycafe.com

Image Credit: Cadencia Photography

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