Do you cuddle with your husband and all he does is tries to buy your love with chocolates? Do you take your wife on dates and all she does is make you coffee in the morning? Do you express your undying love to your husband and all he does is force you to go to the beach in the scorching heat? Do you buy your wife flowers and all she does is says “I love you”? Do you cook your husband his favourite meal and all he does is kiss you on the cheek? Do you try your best to show love but feel unloved and rejected?
The reason you may be experiencing this dilemma is you and your partner probably speak different love languages. What is a love language? I’ve never heard of that before. My partner knows me well; he should know what makes me feel loved. I should not have to tell her what to do…
Love languages are defined as verbal and non-verbal communications between couples which improve the emotional, mental and physical well-being of both partners.
There are five main love languages: acts of service, physical touch, quality time, receiving gifts and words of affirmation.
Here is the dilemma: Your love language does not only determine the way you feel loved, but it also affects the way you show love.
Why is this problem? Because if you and your partner have different love languages, you will have a tendency to express love in the wrong language and you will both end up feeling unloved. This is a common problem in many relationships.
Harry’s love language is physical touch and Anne’s love language is acts of service. In the morning, Harry pulls Anne close to cuddle. She holds him briefly then rushes to the kitchen to start making porridge. Harry feels so rejected, he wanted to cuddle longer but she does not love me. Anne is cooking and rushing and packing for work. She packs Harry a special lunch – she even adds a chocolate. She hopes that Harry will make her some tea but he does not – because he does not love me. Anne hurries out the door. Harry chases after her for a goodbye kiss but she has left already – because she does not love me. Anne gets home after work and finds that Harry did not do the breakfast dishes – because he does not love me. She gets busy cooking lasagne and when he arrives, she does not give him a welcome hug – because she does not love me.
Showing love in your partner’s love language will be a constant challenge and take a lot of self-sacrifice. But then again, showing love is not about you, it’s about your partner.
Sarah Alfond – FAMSA Family Counsellor and Parenting Facilitator