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What is Your Love Language?

From the beginning of time, there have been five languages of love. Most people have been speaking this language within their love relationships, whether consciously or subconsciously. Although each language is equally important, we must understand the correct language in our relationships to ensure a healthy and safe environment. Relationships thrive when our love offerings speak to our partner's heartstrings! The five love languages are words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch. While it may seem like all these things are a given in any relationship, some of them translate differently to each partner in relation.

While most studies suggest that "quality time" is the most desired language, you would be surprised to know that not everyone feels loved just because they spend time together. Surprising, isn't it? Feeling loved is based on the receiver's perception and is often misinterpreted by the giver. Have you ever felt like you were giving 100% to your partner, only to find that you are not doing enough in their mind? You may have sent several flower deliveries, made sure you allowed time for them every day, and even told them you love them daily. This can be confusing and discouraging. When we don't have these conversations upfront, it becomes a guessing game throughout our relationship. Not understanding our partner's desires and expectations can be pretty damaging. 

The five love languages were created in 1995 by a marriage counselor named Gary Chapman. Chapman found that in his meetings with couples, there was a common disconnect – one person thought they were showing love and affection, but their partner wasn't feeling loved. One of the most significant issues in relationships is that sometimes we are disconnected from ourselves. Understanding what language speaks to you is almost more important than learning the language of our partners. Yes, I know this sounds entirely backward! But we have to assume the responsibility of understanding ourselves first so that, in turn, we can adequately relay this to our partners. In most relationships, there is an unspoken expectation. Holding your partner accountable for what they don't know is unfair. We are all eager to please the one we are with. When we are not given the proper direction, we begin the process of delivering what we would like to receive, hoping that it somehow creates a template for them to follow. Although we feel it should be as simple as mirroring what we show, the translation from one person to another is not always the same.

If your way of expressing love is to whisper sweet nothings in their ear — or if you tend to give out compliments — then your language is "words of affirmation," per Dr. Chapman. The other love languages are about showing rather than telling someone how you feel. Discovering your love language may take some time and observation but definitely worth the effort in cultivating a healthy, loving relationship.

For more on love languages, check out this article by Courtney J. Higgins,

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