I’ve written several times about there being five unique or different love languages and that if you’re not using your partner’s unique, love language then your expressions of love and commitment are potentially not being heard. The notion of there being five, unique love languages was first written about by Gary Chapman.
In Chapman’s best seller he explains that there are five distinct languages of love and that by default, naïve of this or naïve to the unique language of love of our partner, we typically express our love and commitment to our partner using our OWN language of love. And in doing so risk those messages of love not being heard.
If that’s the case so is the corollary of that. That if your partner is not cognisant of your unique love language or does not practice it to become proficient despite their best intentions, over time you will begin to question their devotion and commitment to you. Their messages of love will not be received by you.
So what can you do? And how can you ensure that your partner expresses his or her love and devotion to you in the love language that you appreciate, hear and feel?
I’ve outlined seven steps to having your loved one’s messages of love heard and lovingly received by you.
The first step is to decipher your own unique language of love. How do you know that you are loved? Is it through Words of Affirmation, Physical Touch (which could be quite separate from having a sexual connection), Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service or spending Quality Time together?
Really be clear about which of these is your Primary mode of knowing that you feel loved. If you’r unsure as to which of these languages of love is YOUR language of love – learn how to determine it and what questions to ask yourself in an earlier article that I wrote.
Once you have discovered your primary love language, think about all the things that really juice you up – using that language of love, and if your partner were to do those things or say those things on a regular or daily basis your spirits would soar. You would know that you were truly loved, and that your partner was committed to you and the relationship at its deepest level.
Then think about things your partner could do each day – say for 15 minutes each day as a practice to learning your unique language – your language of love – remembering that for him or her this is as foreign or as challenging as learning a new language – so they will make mistakes, forget or in the early days at times flounder or feel incompetent.
Commit to practicing using one another’s love language initially for a minimum of 10 – 15 minutes per day, or depending on the language – a minimum of 5 touch points each day. And keep up the conscious practice sessions for a minimum period of two or three months. That is until you are proficient and it flows naturally.
Remember that no one learns a new language in a few short weeks. Learning a new language takes commitment and a desire to communicate proficiently, wanting to be heard and to communicate fluently. Learning a love language that is different from yours requires the same commitment.
At first using your partner’s love language instead of your own will feel foreign, unnatural and at times stilted. That’s to be expected. Just keep the end goal in mind that you want to express your heartfelt love and commitment, and you want those sentiments to be heard and received. Just as you want to hear and receive the loving sentiments of your partner.
Give your partner feedback- use their love language. Tell them how much you feel loved and what you most receive or hear from their attempts to use your love language. If they are struggling to engage using your love language, reinforce their efforts. Let them know how much its use makes you feel wanted, loved and committed to. And remember that just as there is with any foreign language, within the language there are various dialects spoken. So become proficient in one another’s love language dialect.
Accept nothing less. I so often hear stories of couples you are maintain that they are aware of their individual love languages but one or both partners feel knowing this is enough. Without practice all too soon bad habits creep in and one or both forget and default to using their own language of love. In the absence of a commitment and conscious practice to become proficient it’s so easy to slip or forget.
Commit consciously to practicing until you are both proficient in one another’s love language. You’ll know when that’s happened as you will feel loved up and so will your partner. Deliciously so.
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