In the world of relationship tips and marriage tricks everyone professes to know the secret to keeping your happily ever after. Beware ladies, no one solution fits all and anyone who tells you otherwise is fibbing. Don’t believe them!
The best advice I have ever received was when my husband and I attended a 2 day marriage preparation course. Definitely not something we needed nor wanted to do, we were elbowed into the course by our priest with no polite way to refuse. We saw it as just another hurdle between us and the top of the wedding aisle. It turned out to be the best thing for our relationship that we ever did, because we learned about love languages!
What are love languages?
In short, there are different ways in which people show and feel love. The words ‘I love you’, while they mean the world to your partner, may not have the same effect on you. Whereas one long hug or a gift may mean more than a hundred whispered ‘I love you’s.
These different languages are defined by: physical touch, receiving gifts, words of affirmation, acts of service and quality time.
Words leave me cold, somehow even the most romantic of sonnets and declarations of love barely touch my heart. Whereas I feel like the most loved woman in the world when my husband spontaneaously makes me a cup of tea! Yes, I’m that easy! My parents weren’t ones for showing affection to one another but we always made each other cups of tea, it was our way of quietly expressing our love for one another. Silly, but I suppose it stuck. 🙂
When you learn your partner’s love language it almost feels like you have stumbled upon forbidden cheat codes: it’s unnerving. Or maybe that’s just my guilt complex! Like when you used to have the unlimited money cheat on The Sims!
How can I start to use Love Languages?
People don’t tend to have just one love language there is always an order of preference and learning that order is crucial.
So, sit down with your partner and write two lists each.
- Your top love languages in order of preference.
- What you think your partner’s love languages are in order of preference
No peeking at what your partner is writing. The point of this exercise is to not necessarily be right but to learn about eachother!
Then read out your second list to you partner: the one where you have written down his preferences. Then your partner will read out the list which he wrote for his love language preferences. Then vice versa.
I can guarantee there will be something in there that surpises you! Even for couples that believe they know each other back to front! Imagine the look of joy on my husband’s face when he found out that gifts were nowhere near the top of my list. Great for our relationship not so good for Christmas!
Imagine all of the times when you were trying to show your love in one way and it was totally unnoticed? Like that present that you gave once and it sunk without a trace! What a relief to know that your efforts were in vain for a reason which can be explained!
However these shortcuts,while they last, are great but don’t get too comfortable! As time passes and your lives change you will want and need different things from each other. The difficult task is to update what you think your partners love language is and yours regularly.
As time passes I guess I have needed more proof of love. In the busy world we live in with its unceasing distractions a little eye contact and a conversation which doesn’t end with one of us falling asleep means the world to me. Hopefully 2016 will be a little quieter!
Anyway I hope this helps in some small way. Feeling loved is one of the greatest things and even better is being able to show someone else how adored and loved they are in turn.
Good luck! Wishing you all the best.
For those of you who can bear the bizarre looks from their friends (yes, they thought we were mad) and want to improve their relationship or start their marriage in the best way, I highly recommend the Marriage Preparation Course. These sessions are available worldwide and provide you with a collection of techniques which you will be making use of for years to come.
Co-Founder of Mission Tie the Knot