So why is understanding Chapman’s five languages of love more necessary now than ever? Essentially, because it’s a clear-cut guide to couples understanding one another and what it is that makes them feel loved and fulfilled. Communication is key in every relationship, yet it is one of the most difficult things to integrate sometimes because the internal dialogue is so powerful. People often assume that what makes them happy will carry equal meaning to another, whilst the five languages of love shows us not to restrict our relationships to the confines of our own mind. Rather, it reminds us to be conscious of the wants and needs of others, especially in a romantic relationship, and what may potentially be the most important relationship of your life. This need for understanding and communication is no less important, if not more so during these times of quarantine.
When you’re with someone for prolonged periods of uninterrupted time, you and your partner start to look at each other through a lens of familiarity, and both of your faults can come to light through this lens real quick. There’s a flip side though: said lens of familiarity also gives insight on how to make your partner happy, and how not to, all of which through your partner’s personal love language. Luckily, you don’t need to be a relationship expert – it’s very decipherable as long as you’re willing to learn. For those who don’t already know, the term “love language” was coined by American talk-show host and author, Gary Chapman, and his book “The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment To Your Mate.” In the book, Chapman outlines and analyzes five ways in which people express their “love language,” or in other words, the manner in which different people express love and affection.
Chapman notes that people generally have one primary love language, and one secondary, so there’s no singular way that people prefer to express affection for others. Regardless, it does give some idea about the manner in which you and your partner prefer to express love, whether it’s compliments and words of support, or just listening to what they want and going out to buy it for them. The takeaway is that whether or not you and your partner’s love languages are compatible, we all need to step outside of ourselves when we’re in a relationship, and take the other person and how they may think differently about expressing love, and perhaps everything else into consideration.
Clarity app expert and celebrity matchmaker Carmelia Ray makes a number of helpful and creative suggestions. For example, if your partner likes words of affirmation, try leaving loving notes in places they’re sure to see – on their laptop, a coffee mug, etc. To someone who enjoys words of affirmation, even written words can mean the world to them. If gifts are their thing, pay close attention to pick up on their likes and dislikes for ideas, have it shipped to them, and give them a quarantine surprise! It’s not so much about the money or time spent on the gift, but rather the effort and thoughtfulness of the gift itself.
If quality time is the ticket, explore activities other than Netflix and chill – any activity will do, from working out together to having a cook off! It could be practically anything you can think of, as long as you’re spending quality time with your partner and are fully focused on the activity through which you’re spending that time. Be thoughtful and get creative, and you’ll be on your way to a stronger and more loving relationship, even during a national lockdown.
At the end of the day, the important thing is that you’re stepping outside of yourself to be more considerate of the fact that the way your partner expresses their affection may not be the same as you. Understanding and communication is everything in a healthy relationship, and if you want to keep yours strong and even fulfilling on both ends, understanding your partner’s love language can mean all the difference.