In a relationship, each partner has their own way of expressing love and of receiving love. Each partner has a special way that you can make them feel especially loved. Dr. Gary Chapman calls this a “primary love language”, unique to each spouse. When you and your spouse are able to get on each other’s language of love, your relationship can grow incredibly.
Getting In Tune With Your Spouse’s Language of Love
Tuning into your spouse’s language of love is not easy, but it’s not as difficult as one might expect.
Once upon a time, a couple found a magic bottle with a genie. The genie says to the couple, “I will grant you one wish”. The couple confers about this for a moment and says, “Our commute to work is too long. I wish for a special helicopter that goes straight from our home to each of our workplaces”.
“A special helicopter?” the genie says. “I am a very powerful genie, but this will be very difficult. Building permits for landing and takeoff. Flight routes. Zoning commissions and noise abatement. How about a different wish that will be easier?” The couple thinks about it again and then asks the genie, “please give us the key to having wonderful communications in our marriage all the time.” The genie replies, without hesitation, “do you want two or three seats on the helicopter?”
Identifying Your Spouse’s Primary Love Language
Dr. Chapman identifies five different primary languages that each of us need: physical affection, compliments or words of affirmation, quality time together, acts of service, and receiving gifts.
While all of us need all of these five in some dosage, each of us has a special need for one of the languages of love. We often pick a spouse who complements us, so it shouldn’t be surprising that very often our spouse has a different primary love language. When we express love in our preferred language of love, it may not be the preferred language of our partner.
An Example of Missing the Boat on the Language of Love
Imagine that your spouse’s primary love language is receiving compliments and your primary language of love is physical affection. When you cuddle with your partner, you are transmitting affection and intimacy in your language, not in theirs. Your partner might like to cuddle, but what he really craves most is a compliment.
It may take some awareness for you to determine your own primary language of love, so it should not be surprising that identifying your partner’s language can also take some effort.
Get In Tune With Your Spouse’s Language to Love
It’s amazing how much stronger, more intimate and more supportive a relationship can become when the partners learn to identify – and use – their partner’s primary love language.
Dr. Mann can help you and your spouse in this process. Call today or fill out the contact form and click Send. Move your relationship up a few notches to greater intimacy and support.