Based on Dr. Gary Chapman’s work, there are five love languages: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch. Here are some tips to help you become more satisfied with your relationship using these love languages as a guide:
Tip #1: Fill up your partner’s love tank
Ask your partner: ‘What could I do today that would make you feel loved and appreciated?’ Start making a list of the things that work best for them and you’ll soon have more ideas about their primary love language. Commit to doing what your partner wished for, given you want to, and agree to their suggestion.
Tip #2: Listen to your spouse’s criticism
Your partner’s criticism will give you clues about their primary love language. People tend to criticize their spouse most loudly in the area where they themselves have the deepest emotional need.
Tip #3: Love Language Physical Touch
Remember that the touch that brings you the most pleasure might not also bring your partner the same pleasure. Ask each other for feedback: ‘Do you like it when I touch you here like that? Or what would you prefer?’
Tip #4: Love Language Quality Time
Each language has its different dialect and so do love languages. A dialect of quality time is quality activity. Ask each other to complete the following statement in writing: ‘I feel most loved by my partner when …’ and then when you are both finished, read it to each other.
Tip #5: Love Language Words of Affirmation
We all do need encouraging words, even if this is not our primary love language. If you hear your partner asking you many questions like ‘do you like the dinner?’ or ‘what do you think about this idea?’ you might also sometimes hear ‘you don’t give me any feedback!’ It’s obvious, you need to give your partner more verbal affirmation. Find something each day to affirm them with.
Tip #6: Love Language Receiving Gifts
Even if your spouse’s primary love language is not a gift, still give them something once in a while. It’s the thought that counts and in whatever way you give it can include another love language, for example, if you write a card with lots of affirmation then you’ve got already two covered.
Tip #7: Love Language Acts of Service
How balanced are the chores in your relationship? What are you doing for your partner without them having to ask for it? Do you realize what your partner is already doing for you? Simple: acknowledge what’s already there.
Tip #8: Do something at least once a week
Plan something special for your spouse at least once a week and notice how they react. Have a notebook where you record the things and how impactful they were, and how they were received. This will give you a gauge on which deposits into your partner’s emotional bank account have the biggest return.
Tip #9: Loving someone is giving them what THEY need
Often we automatically fall into the pitfall of doing what we would like to be done to us. Loving someone is becoming aware of their likes and dislikes and giving them what they want, as opposed to thinking about us.
Tip #10: If you don’t know – ask!
No matter how long you’ve been together, it’s never too late to get to know your partner better. Dare to ask what they like, appreciate, long for, need…, and if you’re prone to forget things, write them down so you can look things up!
Gary Chapman: The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts