Which scenario would more likely produce an “ooh la la” from you? Don’t roll your eyes; I wouldn’t say “ooh la la” either, but you get the idea. Which would you prefer your partner to do for you: Hold your hands at the movies, have your car washed, give you a bracelet out of the blue, watch your fave show with you, or give you a random compliment? Um, and why is this important?
During the last two weeks, we discussed how couples can easily let their relationships slide into a rut. The debilitating thing about ruts is that without being intentional, they can go from being a phase to creating huge divides in your relationship. Most of the ruts we discussed can be salvaged, but not without work.
Today we will focus on simple, effective, and PROACTIVE ways to keep your relationship humming along with all parts satisfied. You in?
Dr. Gary Chapman created the quick quiz “5 Love Languages” to help couples understand how they receive love. After taking the quiz, you will be in one of five groups: Acts of service, quality time, receiving gifts, words of affirmation, or physical touch. Why is it so important to know which category you are in or your partner?
Because it’s efficient. I know, romantic way of putting it, right? But it’s true. If your partner receives love through acts of service from you (think: Getting his oil changed, making him dinner, doing his laundry, etc), but YOU receive love from words of affirmation, you might be spending all your time PROVIDING love in the way YOU receive it, but your efforts aren’t landing. If, instead, you leave him love notes or buy him fancy, elaborate cards with romantic missives because you WOULD like that, you might be hurt that he couldn’t care less.
That’s why you have to understand how YOUR PARTNER receives love. If you know your partner’s category, it will make it easier to show him or her that you love them, thereby saving you time and energy because your actions are targeted and purposeful. Again, we tend to give in the way we receive, and in turn, get angry or hurt when our partner doesn’t react like we expect or how we would.
But your love language might not be theirs. I promise, if you take 5 minutes to breeze through the quiz, the results will be enlightening. You will understand your partner more AND be able to better express your own needs. You might not have understood your own reaction to your partner showing you love until you realize other demonstrations of love will resonate more.
When you find out your partner’s love language, brainstorm ways you can demonstrate ways to fit their needs. I provide examples below, but you need to create actions specific to them.
Take the quiz at https://www.5lovelanguages.com/
Below I describe five examples for each love language and a lightning round of ways you can double dip your partner’s two languages to score big!
Acts of Service – This means you or your partner receive love by the other demonstrating it through acts of service. You appreciate it when your partner does something for you.
- Put the clean clothes away if you notice the basket is sitting there, full
- Play with the kids on a weekend morning so your partner can sleep in
- Clean a room (or multiple) before your partner does
- Go through the mail on a regular basis and take care of time-sensitive items or make calls for follow-up
- Plan your child’s bday party, plan gift giving for the holidays, or make the arrangements when it comes to Parent Teacher Conferences
Receiving Gifts – You receive love through gifts. This can be large demonstrations of love (hello, like a car!) or smaller, everyday actions (If your partner knows you love donuts, he/she might grab you one during their coffee run).
- A coffee gift card in your partner’s car as a surprise
- Something they’ve been talking about (like the hair straightener)
- An engraved keychain or necklace with the kids’ birthstones
- Jewelry, flowers, makeup
- Plan for a date night, overnight, or dinner for your partner and their friends
Physical Touch – You receive love through physical touch. Again, this can encompass small, everyday behavior or elaborate planning.
- Hand holding
- Mouth kissing
- Touching as you pass them in acknowledgment of seeing them: shoulder, elbow, etc.
- Touching as you pass them in a flirtatious way: butt, grab the breast, quick neck kiss, etc.
Words of Affirmation – You receive love through compliments, words of encouragement, or active listening followed by validation.
- Love note left in the car – This can be as simple as “I’m thinking of you” or “I love you” or a paragraph about wishing them a good day.
- Words of praise about an accomplishment.
- Simple compliments – Your hair looks pretty that way, those jeans look good on you, you look sexy, etc.
- Deeper compliments about how they are a good parent, how handsome/beautiful he or she is
- Active listening also counts as words of affirmation. Too many people wait for their turn to speak instead of actually listening. Listen to your partner and then provide words of affirmation. Double win!
Quality Time – Again, this can be everyday actions or more elaborate, like a vacation together.
- Schedule time with your partner on a regular basis, everyday – watch TV together for a half hour after the kids go to bed, run errands together on the weekend, etc.
- Schedule time with your partner on a regular basis, romantic – Can you schedule a weekly or bi-weekly date night? This is especially effective if your life is super hectic. If you don’t have everyday special time, a weekly date night will allow for you both to catch up on the week, take time for yourselves as a couple without the kids or job, and serve as a reminder that you are a priority to each other.
- Create rituals – Couples that have rituals together report feeling more bonded. For instance, have a cup of coffee together before work, ALWAYS talk for 15-30 minutes each day
- Be intentional – Communicate in a way that allows your partner to feel like he or she is just as important to you, if not more, than other things in your life that are demanding your time right now.
Double dip! In these examples, you can COMBINE your partner’s love language for a double dose of intentionality! When your partner feels loved, seen, and valued by you, he or she will return the feelings. Insert googly eye emoji here.
- Words of affirmation AND physical touch – Rub your partner’s butt as you walk by and say something flirtatious, like “I like your sweet ass.” Not comfortable with that? Come up with your own version!
- Gifts and words of affirmation – Buy your partner a small token of appreciation or reward for something. Include a note that says I’m proud of you for sticking with your goals. You are an inspiration or I really appreciated it when put the kids to bed the other night because I was so tired.
- Quality time and physical touch – Plan a date night (quality time) and make out in the car (physical touch). The endorphins from kissing will put you both in a good frame of mind and set the tone for the evening.
Friend, we only have so many hours of the day. We balance 87,000 responsibilities on the regular and if we take our eye off the balls in the air for a second because of a screaming toddler, it might all come crashing down like a house of cards. Find out your love language and your partner’s so you can more intentional and cultivate your relationship in the most time-efficient manner. I know, I know, that doesn’t sound crazy romantic, but I promise you will get the romance feels when you start providing love in a way that speaks to your partner.
And who doesn’t want romance feels?
Which language are you? Which is your partner’s? Tell me below or email me! Let me know if you want some help developing ideas to surprise your love!
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