By Jasbina Ahluwalia
Everyone wants to be loved for who they are. But how can you know if you’re communicating your love in a way that the other person will truly understand and appreciate?
Dr. Gary Chapman, PhD, is the author of The 5 Love Languages®: The Secret to Love That Lasts. In it, he describes 5 key “love languages” and why they are so important:
1. Physical Touch
This person feels most loved when he is touched, hugged, kissed, or cuddled with. He likes holding hands, getting a back rub or foot rub, being sexually intimate, or simply having his partner put his or her arm around him.
2. Words of Affirmation
This person feels most loved when she is complimented or told, “I love you.” She thrives off loving verbal communication with her partner.
3. Quality Time
This person feels most loved when his partner spends time with him, and gives him his or her undivided attention. He likes going out to dinner (without phones present!), going on romantic trips, and simply sitting on the couch together watching a movie.
4. Acts of Service
This person feels most loved when she is provided for or offered help, especially if she is feeling stressed out, tired, or overworked. She loves when her spouse runs errands or does chores without her having to ask him or her to do it. Actions speak much louder than words.
This person feels most loved when he is given tokens of appreciation from his partner. He likes getting both small and big gifts that mean something special.
How Understanding the Different Languages of Love Can Improve Your Relationships
Chapman suggests that while every one of us enjoys being showed love in all five love languages, most of us have one or two “primary” languages. This is the way that we like to be shown love the most.
It’s important to realize that you and your partner may not have the same primary love language. Is this a problem? Not necessarily—but it can and often does lie at the heart of miscommunication and frustration between partners.
Here’s why: we tend to show our love most often in the same way that we like to be shown love by our partner. So, if your primary love language is physical touch, it’s most natural for you to show love by kissing and hugging your partner, for example—even if his or her preferred love language is something else, like gifts. This means that your partner may not fully recognize your hugs and kisses as a show of love. This can explain why some exasperated partners can listen in shock while their partners say to them, “I feel like you don’t love me anymore.”
Learning to speak to your partner in his or her preferred love language more often is key for improving the quality of your relationship.
(Jasbina Ahluwalia adds a unique contribution to the Matchmaking industry – she has pioneered an approach to matchmaking, which blends the best of The East and West. She is an Indian-American Attorney-turned-Entrepreneur, Relationship Expert, Radio Show Host and Matchmaker/Dating Coach.
She is the Founder & President of Intersections Match by Jasbina, the only Premier Matchmaking & Dating Coaching Firm for Indian Singles in the US, Canada & the UK. A finalist in OPRAH’S search for a TV Host, she’s also been featured in the New York Times, San Jose Mercury News, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post & Entrepreneur Magazine.
She has also moderated/participated on panels at Harvard Business School, Wharton, Northwestern & Columbia. Jasbina previously practiced law in San Francisco and Chicago. She earned her B.A/M.A. in Philosophy from Vanderbilt University, and JD from the University of Michigan Law School.)