Your relationship that is.
Things were bright, things were sunny, things were good. Suddenly, one day you wake up and realize that you feel as if you and your partner are speaking in two different languages. He’s opening that gaping hole and all that’s coming out is gibberish and you think you sound like an articulate lady expressing yourself when all you sound like is a squawking bird to him.
Do your thoughts seem to drift towards everything your partner is not doing? Do the things, that in the beginning, you shrugged off seem like a monumental inner rage fest? Do you feel resentment and indifference creeping in?
Yup. That’s Vitamin Love Language deficiency. I first read the book The Five Love Languages when I was a freshman in High School. My stepmother was on a “psychology of the family” kick and she gave me the book. I didn’t really dive head first into it, considering the religious undertones it presented, but the general idea stayed with me through the years. I bought and studied my own copy when I decided to write about relationships.
What are love languages? How do they pertain to you and your partner? Can they really bring vitality and strength to your relationship? Absolutely, otherwise I would not be telling you about them.
The concept of love languages is this: We all have unique ways that we express our love and ways that we desire to receive love. Sometimes, the former is not like the latter. You can express your love in a completely different way than you want to receive it. And the kicker is, your partner could be neither one of those. And that can be really fucking annoying if you don’t really know how big of a deal that can be.
Think of being in China and not knowing a lick of Chinese. In the beginning everything is new and exciting and you’re taking in all the sights, next thing you know, you’re trying to find a bathroom but no one is understanding the words you’re saying. So, you shit yourself. Shouldn’t of had that mystery meat on a stick from the cute little Asian man’s cart, huh? You’re frustrated, overwhelmed and really just want to hop on a fucking plane and go home. That can happen in your relationship. And if you’re the type that usually doesn’t express frustration and communicate your needs, it will happen a whole hell of a lot sooner than it would if you would at least have a verbal idea of what you need when it comes to love.
So what to do? Well that’s where the work and “commitment” part come in. There are five love languages. Get to know them. Practice them. Spend time coming up with ideas of your own on how to use them. If you don’t know about them already, they will be amazing little tools you can whip out to coax your relationship off the edge of a cliff and will help you discover things about yourself that you probably didn’t know.
Quality Time: A person who is a dominant quality time speaker loves being in the moment with you. It doesn’t necessarily mean sitting Indian style on the floor having a heart to heart and collecting your tears in a mason jar, but it means something much more than just sitting on the couch watching T.V. This person needs to feel your physical presence, needs to have your attention and needs to be communing with you. Whether that’s having a conversation about live sea rocks while you listen to Bobby Darin, cooking a meal together while you act all playful and giddy or playing a game of sorry while you share a 6 pack of your favorite beer, it’s just you two. A lot of people think just because you are in the same room together, it counts as quality time. They also like to believe that going out with a group of friends and socializing is quality time. Nope. General Rule of thumb, if there are other people or things (Like the T.V.) diverting your attention from one another, it’s not quality time.
Words of Affirmation: A person who enjoys words of affirmation, has a need to hear or see communication from you. Whether it’s hearing “I love the way your nose wrinkles when you’re getting ready to say something” or sending them a text message in the middle of the day saying you are thinking about them and love them or leaving them a little love note in the bathroom as you leave for work, this person craves sweet nothings. It may do absolutely nothing for you to get that text message or have them point out a quality about you they find adorable, but it touches them so deeply. Grab a dry erase marker and put your chicken scratch all over the mirror. Try writing them a little poem. Seriously. Even if it’s just about how much you want to sex them up later, do it. They will remember it forever.
Acts of Service: Making dinner. Doing the chores they hate the most. Taking the car in to get the oil change. Filling up the gas tank. Throwing out the trash before they have to ask you. All acts of service. A person who has a dominant acts of service, feels most loved when you do things for them. Even if it’s picking up the dry-cleaning on your way home from work, it makes them melt. Try and think about the little things that your partner complains about doing, the things that make them sigh heavily and try to beat them to it. Get up early and bring them breakfast in bed. Just do it.
Physical Touch: Most men that read this language will say, “I’m totally a physical touch type of person. Just this one. This is all I need. More sex.” This is not about sex. This about running your hand across the small of their back or holding their hand when you’re watching a movie. This is about back rubs, head rubs and foot rubs without having to be asked. This about grabbing your girl unexpectedly and locking lips with her. This about gently smacking your partners ass as you walk past each other in the kitchen. This language is all about letting someone physically know they are loved, without penetration.
Gifts: Presents! If your person has a dominant gift love language, the rule to remember is give them things that they would like. You love football but she enjoys bluegrass music. Giving her tickets to an upcoming football game is not going to score you any points. You can give them all the gifts in the world, but if they do not speak to your partner, it’s like putting relish on a hot dog. Eh, thanks but I’m not hungry anymore. If she loves flowers, get her fucking flowers. Hell, stop off at the side of the road and pick some for her if you don’t want to spend $50 bucks on a special order of pink peonies. I can guarantee you she’ll appreciate the gesture and little bugs more than if you said, “I thought about buying you flowers.” Pick up his favorite flavor of ice cream and new movie he’s been wanting to see. Plan a weekend getaway, even if it’s camping and surprise your partner with a poorly drawn voucher for a night under the stars. Think about the things that your partner loves and give gifts in relation to those things.
Most people have 1-3 dominant love languages but everyone has a percentage of all 5. Hone all 5. Though your partner may be a Words of Affirmation and Quality Time type of person, being able to express the others will bring much more to your relationship than you ever could have imagined. I’ve heard people say, “I’m not a big communicator, I don’t do that kind of stuff. Or, “I’ve never been a touchy-feely kind of person.” Or my favorite, “I don’t think that text message is anything that I need to respond to, so I’m not going to do it.” Well you know what? I hate to burst your bubble, but you’re selfish. If you keep on taking in a relationship and flying your flag of independence an inability to learn ways to love your partner, it’s going to be really hard to build anything with them. You have to change in order to grow, and you have to give of yourself in order to receive love. Refusing to talk your partners language because you’re too lazy and don’t feel like doing something that doesn’t come naturally to you, is going to cause a lot of harm in your relationship.
How about some motivation. The more you talk your partners language and make them feel loved, the more you’re going to get it. Ladies, that probably means your man jumping in to help wish the dishes and men, more sex. Everybody wins.
So save the baby seals and tell everyone you know about the 5 love languages. You know, because what doesn’t say love like a little furry baby seal.
And since I love you all so much and just want to see you be happy and having lots of sex, here’s a link to take the test.