In a relationship, there are love languages- whether you've been dating 10 weeks or married 10 years. There have been books written about the different love languages (5 of them) and how they desire to be treated. It's such an important faucet of a relationship to figure out what the other person's love language is so that you may love them how they want to be loved.
A lot of the times, we love people how WE want to be loved and not how THEY want to be loved.
I'll briefly explain the love languages so you can know what I'm talking about...
- Quality Time
- This person wants your undivided attention. This isn't selfish, its how they feel special. Turn off the T.V., set down your phone, and make eye contact. Show that you love and care about them by looking at them and responding thoughtfully to what they're talking about. Take them out on one on one dates- they love the personal quality time.
- Physical Touch
- Everyone, regardless of love language, needs hugs and physical affirmation, but this person will particularly thrive off of it. They are probably touchy themselves- always hugging people, and grabbing arms out excitement when they talk. This person takes touch as a connection that you are lovingly there for them.
- Words of Affirmation
- This person loves to hear how you feel, they love talking about feelings and discussing thoughts of the future and plans together. They thrive off of hearing "I love you" and "I'm proud of you." To them, words actually do speak a little louder than actions. It is built in them to need compliments and praise. They love random notes and texts knowing you're thinking about them. (This is my love language :P )
- Receiving Gifts
- We all love gifts, but this person loves the thought and time put behind the gifts as well as the gift itself. They know you love them by what they give them. They aren't materialistic, but they know that things mean time, money, and effort, and that speaks volumes to them about how you feel about them.
- Acts of Service
- This person isn't lazy or needy, but when you offer to do something for them they take it as a huge sign of you love for them. They know that if you're taking your time out to personally do something for them than you truly love them. Always try to offer a helping hand, or take a burden off of them, or run some errands for them. They will know you really love them.
So now that you know what the love languages are, you can try to figure out how other people like to be loved and love them that way. How they like to be loved typically comes out in how they try to love others- so observe the things they do for people- do they always compliment people (word of affirmation), do they always help around (acts of service), do they always grab peoples' arms when they tell stories, or hug people a lot (physical touch), give gifts (receiving gifts), or want to spend one on one time with you or make you feel very special by zeroing in on what you're talking about (quality time)?
Realize that someone may not be trying to change you, they may just be trying to teach you how to speak their language. Take the time to figure them out and be patient as they guide you.