Feeling loved is the most important emotional need of every human being. When you feel unloved it affects every single aspect of your life.
Sometimes when you don’t feel loved in your relationship, it is not necessary that your partner truly doesn’t love you. It is most often because your partner doesn't know how to love you the way ‘you’ like to be loved.
Each of us express love and feel loved in different ways. These differences are not bad and they make you who you are.
But if your love expression does not match your beloved’s love reception, you can count on running into some confusion unless you actively work to do something about it.
Gary Chapman describes the basic languages in his book “5 Love Languages”:
1. Words of Affirmation (‘I love you’, ‘I’m so proud of you’, ‘you look so handsome’)
2. Quality Time (spending time one on one, going out or staying in, giving attention)
3. Receiving Gifts (don’t have to be expensive but have to be thoughtful, must show how much you know your beloved)
4. Acts of Service (errands, chores, jobs, help)
5. Physical Touch (caressing, hugging, sitting close, holding hands, foreplay, sex)
Chapman has found that most of us love others using the same love language that we feel loved in. even though all of us like to be loved with all 5 love language, everyone has a primary love language that makes them feel loved the most.
If we want to be sure that our partner feels loved, it is imperative that we learn to express love using the primary love language of our beloved. Even if it is not the way we ourselves like to receive love.
Let me illustrate with an example:
If there is a wife whose primary love language is “Acts of Service” she thinks because this is the way she feels most loved that she should love her husband that way too. Problem is her husband’s primary love language is “Quality Time” which she doesn't have time for because she is so busy loving him by doing all this work for him. He just thinks she is ignoring him and doesn’t love him because if she did she would make sure she spend time with him. He feels rejected.
When she is done and is tired from her chores, she looks to her husband for the reward of appraisal. He doesn’t look happy or appreciative. Instead, he is hurt and has shut down because he thinks she doesn’t care about him.
He becomes guarded because he feels unloved, but she has been going crazy to please him. She feels disheartened, unloved, resentful, angry, and becomes distant too.
They both have good intentions and are interested in loving each other, but they are loving each other in their own love languages or what they have seen traditionally, and they keep missing each other.
Intentions Only Go So Far. Get Skilled.
Good news is all languages can be learned no matter how much they are ‘just not your thing’. In fact the harder you work to become comfortable in using your partner’s love language to love him/her the more you prove your love to him/her.
The other good news is that the return on invetment you’ll see in your relationship when you start speaking the love language your partner undertands will be the biggest motivator to help you keep getting better at it.
Real Love VS Involuntary Love (Gary Chapman):
You cannot take any credit for being nice to your partner when you first met them. The crazy love you feel when the realtionship is novel is involunatry, you couldn’t help being nice. This love usually lasts for about 2 years before really starts setting in.
Real love is always a choice.
It is choosing to stay in a realtionship and to do what you need to do to make the realtionship beautiful. It is choosing to love someone even after you know about all their flaws. If you love someone, then learn to love them the way they understand, even if it is hard.
Full Tank Please
Every relationship is going to have it’s ups and downs. Chapman says if your partner’s ‘love tank’ is full, your relationship can take negativity. On the other hand, if your partner’s love tank is empty it becomes dangerous for a relationship when an inevitable negative situation arises.
Make sure you use the love language skill to not only learn to love your partner the way he/she likes to be loved, but also to teach your partner how you would like to receive love.
If you have any questions or need more direction feel free to contact me for a free 30 min session (973) 755-2306 or at firstname.lastname@example.org