Love has multiple languages, forms and customs.
Are you aware of which language you speak and which is the language of your partner?
Do you understand each other, can you make the other person feel how much he or she means to you? Which language do you speak and which do you prefer to ‘understand’?
In order to really understand each other, to be able to see and sense each other, it is super valuable to understand each other’s language. You don’t have to both speak the same language, but being able to ‘understand’ each other is very nice.
Gary Chapman is a well-known American relationship therapist and founder of the principle of love languages. He names the 5 love languages as follows;
1. Being together; quality time, consciously with attention
2. Physical contact; touch & intimacy
3. Service; do something for the other
4. Giving gifts
5. Positive words; sweet, meaningful language
Personally, I could add another language that rings true for me and is extremely important in my own relationship: Openness. This is a language that we both speak and therefore flows easily for us. One of the most important parts of our foundation. In this we understand each other and find each other, even though this is sometimes extremely exciting.
Which language do you speak (or do you speak together) and which language do you prefer to receive?
Explore your love language
To gain (even more) awareness of which language you actually speak and which language belongs to your partner, you can do the following exercise.
Make sure that you experience all 5 love languages at least once in the form of giving AND receiving over the next 2 weeks. Perhaps one language already flows very explicitly for you or both of you, and you use this exercise for confirmation. Or does this research ensure that you can feel what is most pleasant for you and you.
The most important thing in this exercise is; Attention.
Write down the 5 love languages for yourself and write down how you are going to give them to your partner, how you are going to let him/her experience them. So think about this in advance and carry it out with all your attention and awareness. Don’t just rush in, but take your time. Share with your partner when you are doing something so that he/she can actually receive full attention.
After you have both experienced all 5 languages together, so vice versa, both giving and receiving, you take stock for yourself and then with each other. Give a grade per language and share this with each other. What did you enjoy receiving the most, what touched you the most? Which ones did you find difficult or did you feel resistance to (signal to do further research!)? Which one did you enjoy giving, which one felt natural and flowed?
After this, it is of course your joint homework to start living with your languages and making them part of your relationship.