Do you ever feel like your man doesn't really "get" you? He's good at cuddling with you on the couch, but what you'd really wish he'd do is compliment you more. Are you sure you know what he needs? Maybe you think you're showing him endless love by making his favourite dinner once week, but what he'd really prefer is you just listening to him talk about his day.
If it seems like you're speaking a different language lately, figuring out which "love language" you speak could take your relationship in a positive direction.
What is a love language?
Gary Chapman, Ph.D., relationship counsellor and author of The 5 Love Languages, developed this concept after recognising that couples don't always know how to show each other love. He says that by learning your love languages, you can communicate how you feel more effectively -- sometimes you don't even need word. When you each know what makes you feel the most loved, you can get closer to each other and deepen your sexual intimacy, according to Chapman.
How to use your language
"Discuss what kind of things would be meaningful for you based on your dialect," says Chapman. "Put this on the front burner of your mind or on a Post-It note where you'll see it on a regular basis. Always choose to speak the other person's language." If offering love in any of these ways feels uncomfortable at first, Chapman says to keep practicing. "You can learn any of the languages and any relationship can be enhanced."
The first step is to figure out what your primary love language is and have your man identify his. Here are the five languages; see which one speaks to you:
Words of Affirmation
Do you feel happiest when your partner compliments and encourages you? Do you find yourself wishing he would tell you your legs looked nice or that dinner was fantastic? Does your heart swell with happiness if he sends you a sweet text, just because? Then your primary love language is through sharing kind words with each other.
Get what you need: Ask him to offer you praise more often. Tell him that you need to hear positive feedback, says Chapman. You can even mention specific occasions. You can ask him to compliment your physical appearance or tell him how great you feel when he verbalises his appreciation (and ask him to do that more often). How about asking for a sweet note or card from him every now and then?
Show him love: If he's the one that thrives on compliments, then don't hold back your praise -- to him it means you love him. "Make a point of offering positive feedback whenever you can. Look for something about him, whether it's physical, his personality, or something he's done for you. You can speak or write the words," according to Chapman. It takes little effort or time to send a text with an affirmation.
Acts of Service
Has your man ever said, "I love you," and in your mind you think, "Then why don't you do the dishes?" If actions speak "I love you" louder than words, then you want him to show his love through what he does.
Get what you need: Tell your guy exactly what he needs to do to let you know he loves you. They don't have to be big actions, Chapman says. "It may be getting bugs off the windshield, vacuuming their car or cooking a meal." Ask for things that are the most important to you. Ask him to take on more chores or go to boring work events with you to show support. That's not too hard, right?