Do you ever run into conflicts with your partner regarding how they communicate or express their love to you? Every person receives and gives love differently in romantic relationships. Chances are, you’ll be matched with someone who expresses their affection differently than you do. When you don’t recognize and accept these differences, conflicts may arise regularly. This can be resolved by identifying and respecting your loved one’s preferred love language. Couples therapy may also be a great option in a treatment program if problems persist.
What Are the 5 Love Languages?
A “love language” refers to how an individual communicates their love for their partner. Some people are more inclined to keep in touch their partner throughout the day, while others would rather wait until they see them in person to enjoy each other’s time alone.
Understanding the different ways in which people convey their affection can create a shared understanding in the relationship and promote positive interactions.
There are five love languages, including:
#1. Words of affirmation: Warm and fuzzy words provide comfort and reassurance that you are loved
#2. Quality time: One-on-one time together doing activities and going on trips is important to you
#3. Receiving gifts: Gifts received by a partner show you are a priority despite a busy lifestyle
#4. Acts of service: Helping with tasks and errands shows that your partner cares about your workload and stress
#5. Physical touch: Intimacy makes you feel connected to and wanted by your partner
What Is Your Love Language?
Some people may relate to one or more love languages. However, one style tends to predominate. You can get an idea of your love language by reflecting on a time your partner did not meet your expectations. Is there something you thought they would do but didn’t? Some scenarios include:
- If they rarely give you gifts and that bothers you, your love language may be receiving gifts
- If they don’t call you on each work break, but you think they should, your love language may be words of affirmation
- If they say “I love you” a lot, but you wish they’d spend more time with you, your love language is likely quality time
- If they’d rather help you with tasks that are important to you, but they don’t like idling on the couch, your love language might be physical touch, while theirs is acts of service
While you’re figuring out your love language, you may also discover what your partner’s is. Remember: just because they don’t do what you would in certain scenarios, this does not mean anything is wrong with them or that they don’t love you. Perhaps they do other things out of love that you just haven’t noticed.
Do They Really Love Me?
It can be confusing when two people show care and concern in different ways. You may even become worried and wonder if they truly love you. However, there is a good chance they have a different way of loving.
Your partner’s style may be influenced by their personal boundaries. Boundaries define what a person is and is not comfortable with. It’s important to respect their limits and refrain from pushing them to do things they don’t want to. This can put undue strain on the relationship and turn into a toxic dynamic.
Culture and social norms can also influence your partner’s predominant love language. In some cultures, it is unacceptable to display or verbally express affection publicly. Other cultures may openly encourage both.
Is There a Way of Reconciling Different Ways of Loving?
Instead of focusing on what they don’t do, recognize when your partner does do to show you love and affection. Observe their behavior patterns to get a sense of what their love language is and how it is different from yours.
If you discover that they value quality time, find time to do a joint activity that they like. If your partner values intimacy, carve out time in the day or night to get physical. Start thinking about things from their perspective.
This is a learning process that can take some time and active listening. Learning to respect and appreciate your partner’s love language will foster acceptance and understanding, allow you to meet their needs, and encourage them to meet yours.
Taking Care of Your Relationship
Romantic companionship is an essential part of being human. Many people aspire to get married and have a family. Taking time to nurture your romantic relationship ensures that it’ll continue to grow into one of the most rewarding human connections possible.
However, everyone has different communication styles, and this can create tension. Spending time identifying where you and your partner overlap and diverge can strengthen your relationship and help you meet each other’s needs more effectively.
Good communication is a cornerstone of healthy romantic relationships. However, there can be discord when two people have different styles of communicating love and fail to realize it. Learning to identify and appreciate each other’s love language can bring a couple closer together and avoid unnecessary conflict. West Coast Recovery Centers is an outpatient treatment program located in Oceanside, CA. We are certified through the Joint Commission and are nationally accredited. For the last ten years, our clinical team has been helping clients recover from alcohol or drug addictions and co-occurring behavioral and mental health diagnoses. We believe that clients should play a central role in determining their path to recovery, and the best way to discover what works best is to have access to a wide range of treatment options. Call (760) 492-6509 to learn how we help couples reconnect and resolve conflicts in Couples Therapy.