Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Five Love Languages

When it comes to showing affection, you and your partner may have different ways of showing your love. Not understanding how one communicates his/her adoration for the other can cause of stress in any relationship. Therapists explain that there are five love languages that they review with their patients to help them discover their own love traits, and the traits of their mate:

Touch: Some people need to be in contact with their partner to feel loved. We respond both physically and mentally to this type of stimulation. This can be through hand-holding, massages, hugging or just sitting close enough that you can feel one another.

Acts of Service:
This love language means that you show your affection by doing things for your partner, and in turn, you feel more loved when people return the favor. This could be as easy as running errands or completing chores. It is also important to understand what acts of service your partner feels show love, and which he feels are simply just things that need to get done throughout the day. For example, a husband may wash his wife's car and take out the trash, but she may feel these are just necessities. The acts of service must be done out of love, not obligation.

Quality Time:
This love language is more about just being near your partner; it is about being invested. Unless both parties are paying complete attention to one another, then it does not qualify as quality time. So even if you go on a dinner date, you may not be really spending quality time with one another if you are both not fully paying attention to the other. And, quality time definitely does not include letting a wife talk about one subject while her husband watches a sports game in the same room. In a thriving relationship, quality conversation is important. Your partner may feel that love comes from being a sympathetic listener. It doesn't necessarily mean that you have to solve all his problems, just that you become an active and compassionate listener.

Receiving Gifts: For some people, tangible gifts are more of an expression of love than hearing the words spoken to them. If this is the language of love for you, you may feel that not receiving gifts correlates to being loved less. But, if this is the language of your mate, then it is probably one of the easiest to comply with because it takes little effort. The gifts can be big or small, cheap or expensive. Either way, they serve as small reminders to the person that you still care.

Words: Vocally expressing your appreciation can be powerful. There are three common ways of affirming your love through the power of words. The first includes simply stating your love for the other person. The second is through compliments. For example, telling him how great he looks or praising him on a meal he made for you. The last type of affirmation is encouragement. This could be pointing out the progress your partner is making in a particular area, or telling him how proud you are of him for making a difficult decision.

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