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Learning the Language of Love for Your Relationship

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, many people are wondering how to best show their love for their partner! While some discount this as a silly, commercialized holiday, couples therapists in Highlands Ranch know that sometimes you need a little reminder to express your love to your significant other! One of the hot topics that many people are learning about today is the idea of “love language.” Based on Gary Chapman’s book, “Discover Your Love Language,” this idea breaks down the way that communication affects our love. Read on to find out the basics of the 5 love languages and why they are important!

What are the Love Languages?

  1. Words of affirmation. If this is your language, you are always the one to say “I love you,” to leave sweet notes for your partner, or to write long, heartfelt messages inside of cards. You give good, constructive praise and share your appreciation.
  2. Acts of service. You feel that actions speak louder than words, and find yourself thinking “I’ve washed your clothes, cooked your meals, cleaned your house, given you children, milked the cow… if that’s not love, what is!” (lyrics source: Fiddler on the Roof).
  3. Gifts. From a luxury vacation to a pretty rock found on the beach, if your love language is gifts, you love receiving and gifting. This isn’t about money—it’s about the thought put in and the physical reminder of love.
  4. Quality time. In today’s attention-grabbing world, this one can be hard to get. If you love quality time, you value those deep conversations, quiet moments spent appreciating nature, or long, rambling drives to nowhere. Get better at this language by learning and practicing active listening skills!
  5. Touch. For some, physical touch can be the deal breaker. You are the person who loves hugs, gestures with your hands and often touches others, and gets more out of a massage than relaxed muscles.

Why Does it Matter?

The concept of love languages has been expanded from romantic partners to all sorts of settings, including parenting, workplace communication, and even self-love. So why does it matter how one wants to receive love? There is no one way to love, and no way that is “better” than any other. However, by understanding what “language” your partner speaks (and what “language” you speak!), you can better meet those needs. This may require you to go out of your comfort zone, but can show your partner that you really care. There are plenty of free quizzes online to help you figure out your love language, and keep in mind, you can have multiple! Try taking one together with your partner and comparing results for a lighthearted bonding activity, or challenge each other to expand out to other languages. If you need help getting started, or find you can’t communicate effectively, don’t hesitate to contact an expert relationship psychologist in Highlands Ranch for more help!

Dr. Steven Lazarus, Couples Therapist