Your Partner Isn't Speaking Your Love Language

[]
Refinery29

Do you even know what your love language is?

These are the different love languages

  • Receiving Gifts

  • Quality Time

  • Words of Affirmation

  • Acts of Service (Devotion)

  • Physical Touch

They're outlined in the 1995 book "The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate" by Gary Chapman. According to the book, each person has one primary and one secondary love language. Maybe I'm selfish because in my head I'm like "I literally need every single one of those things to be happy or else I'm going to be a little bit bitchy and withdrawn towards you."

Actually, I could probably do without the acts of service. I'm not really sure what that is. But, according to the book, relationship success essentially depends upon you and your partner having the same romantic vocabulary.

Great, yet another thing to worry about.

Megan Roy

How do you know your partner's love language? How do you know your own? For me, I've learned that I need words of affirmation and physical touch in order to feel secure in my relationship. If my partner doesn't snuggle me throughout the night, or at least a little bit in the morning or before we go to bed, I feel rejected. I need my hand held. I need my boyfriend to verbally tell me he is thinking about me. Is that needy, or is that just how I communicate?

I don't need jewelry, flowers, or any kind of expensive gift. That's never been me. Some women like that and that's fine. I'd prefer a card or a hug. We all give and receive affection differently.

But what happens when you love your partner very much, but you're just not expressing your feelings in a way they understand? Chapman has said, "if you don’t learn to speak your partner’s language, they won’t feel loved and nurtured—and vice versa."

If you feel like your partner doesn't "get you," it might be as simple as needing to adjust the way you emotionally speak to one another. Maybe he holds your hand, but you'd really prefer he verbally express his feelings, or buy you a gift. Maybe you cook him dinner to show him you care, but he really is craving some PDA. In order to find your partner's love language and get on the same page, it's suggested that, "one must observe the way they express love to others, analyze what they complain about most often, and what they request from their significant other most often."

Or, if you like to cut to the chase like me, just ask.

Megan Roy

But it's possible that this generation speaks an entirely different love language than say...our parents and grandparents. We rate our relationships in likes and follows. For us, becoming Facebook official is a high form of flattery. We've replaced physical touch for snapchat sexting. Quality time means texting all day with your crush. If you like all of someone's tweets and Instagrams, you're devoted. We're all in debt and don't have enough money to purchase each other gifts, but watch as Tyga buys Kylie Jenner yet another Ferrari for her 18th birthday.

Can we even clearly define what a relationship is anymore? Maybe millennials don't have a love language because we don't know what love is.

Megan Roy

Whether you're speaking a millennial love language or you're in a serious relationship and trying to get on the same page as your partner, it's important that you know how your significant other gives and receives love. The best way to have a successful relationship? "Always choose to speak the other person's language," Chapman says. Although it might feel uncomfortable at first (as it might be to start speaking French for the first time,) eventually you'll be fluent and it will come naturally. You and your partner don't have to have the same love language to be in a successful relationship, but you do have to be aware of one another's differences and be able to cater to them.

Don't try to change your partner's love language. If he likes PDA, don't just keep giving him gifts hoping you'll never have to hold his hand in public again. Find out how your partner likes to be loved, and then love them that way. Because even if emotionally your intentions are in the right place, we all feel things differently.

If you or your partner want to take the love languages quiz, you can take it here.

SHARE this article with your friends.