The Easy Way to Make Your Spouse Love You More

by Sandra on May 9

love languages 1Of course you love your partner. Why else would you bother to come home every single day, after a hard day of work only to listen to your wife nag about how you are not doing enough, that the dishes don’t do themselves, and how dare you play a video game to relax for a bit instead of talking with her about those new shoes she bought, THAT YOU PAID FOR!

Of course you love your partner. If not, you would have kicked him out already after the zillionth time he leaves his dirty socks for you to pick up, puts the dirty dishes on the counter, instead of going through the huge amount of effort of putting them into the dishwasher, RIGHT BELOW WHERE HE PUT THEM ON THE COUNTER!

It seems like we have our hate languages down pretty well. We know how to get under each other’s skin, what to do to get a rise out of our partner. And that is pretty normal—after all, we know each other.

And yet, for some reason, it is so much more difficult to make sure that our partner not only knows that they are loved, but also really feels loved.

What is the difference? Well . . . knowing that chocolate chip cookies taste good is something entirely different from actually eating them. It’s the same with love. Knowing someone loves you is all fine and dandy, but if it is not accompanied by also feeling that love, the knowing becomes less and less secure, and little things will accumulate and annoy more and more, until you don’t even know if you love that person, or if they love you.

“So wait . . . you are saying that they can know I love them, and yet not feel it? How does that work?”

Imagine for a second that you are in a foreign land, and you don’t understand anything anyone is saying. It is getting closer to dinnertime, and you are getting hungry. You are really in the mood for a big juicy steak with some nicely salted French fries. Or maybe lasagna with garlic bread. And for dessert, a large mango/strawberry sorbet.

So, you signal and move your hands, mimic eating, and a full tummy, and it seems like the locals are getting it. They start to talk very enthusiastically to each other, of which you don’t understand a word, and then one of them walks towards the kitchen. Great! Food is coming! After a little while, someone is coming back. With a plate! Yay! They put the plate before you on the table, and lift the cover. In front of you is not a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Oh. Ok.

Yeah, they got that you were hungry, and they were so willing to give you something to eat. Yet because you didn’t speak their language, they didn’t know exactly what you wanted, and you ended up with something that, sure, did the trick, but not much more than that.

Do you want your partner to eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches all their lives? Or do you want to be able to make them exactly that one dish that they are so much craving at that moment? Do you want them to “make do” and just not be hungry, or do you want to satisfy them in every sense of the word?

“Ok, yeah. When you put it that way, it does sound useful. Now what?”

There is this very good book out, called (surprise!) The 5 Love Languages (LINK) by Gary Chapman. It is a bit heavy on the religious aspect, but nevertheless, it’s a good book to have lying around to show random people visiting your house that you are educated and caring.

The long and short of it is that everyone perceives love differently. People can have a preferred way of showing their love, and another of feeling loved, or both can be the same. The way you perceive love is called a “love language.” Nothing too complicated so far, right?

Knowing what your love language is for giving and receiving love (and that of your partner) will make life a tiny little bit less complicated and more satisfying.

“Ok, got it, I think. So . . . what are they, those love languages?”

There are (again, such a surprise!) 5 of them. Not too bad 🙂 And most people only have 1 or 2, for receiving and giving, so once you know yours and your partners, that’ll narrow down the ones you should learn. Here they are:

Touch

Pretty straightforward. If you want to show your love, you touch the other person. You feel most loved if the other person touches you. This can take the form of hugs, walking hand in hand, sex, foot massages, etc.
People who have touch as their primary* love language usually struggle in long distance relationships.

Words of Appreciation

Whereas everyone appreciates it when others notice something we do well, people who have this as their primary love language absolutely need the verbal confirmation and appreciation to feel loved. Saying things like, “Your cooking is absolutely amazing!” and “Thank you for working so hard and providing for us. You do an amazing job!” are the things that make these people feel all mushy inside.

Acts of Service

Silently putting a cup of coffee in front of you, with exactly the milk and sugar you like, or making sure that your car is always filled up with gas . . . These are the things that people who have Acts of Service as a love language do to show their love. Acts of Service go just that tiny bit above and beyond the normal, everyday tasks. Making breakfast is an everyday task, but having a little ketchup with your eggs, just like you like it? That’s showing love.

Quality Time

Quality time can mean something different for everyone, but I’m pretty sure nobody feels like quality time is spent while one partner is playing on their phone, or playing a computer game the other person has zero interest in.
However, playing a game together, going out to eat, going for a walk, watching a movie or series together, all these can be quality time.

Giving or Receiving Gifts

Gold-digger or Sugar Daddy. Those are the words most people think of right away when this one comes up, and that couldn’t be further from the truth. Although there is a thin line between trying to buy love and giving gifts as a way to show love, the very thin line is also a mile high, and the two couldn’t be more different.

Giving or receiving gifts is about the gift itself. It doesn’t matter how expensive or cheap it was—the thought that went into it is what counts. It could be a cheap chocolate Easter bunny or a multi-million dollar pink Ferrari, but the reaction will be the same. This love language is about feeling loved when someone thought of you while they were not with you. It’s about showing your love by giving something of yours to someone else.

*”Wait . . . what? Primary? You mean, you can have more than one?”

Just like you can be raised bilingual and speak 2 languages, you can also have 2 love languages. Usually one takes a preference over the other, but you’ll still feel pretty loved if mostly your secondary language is used. It’s like really wanting a nice steak with fries, but getting steak and mashed potatoes. Almost just as good, and it scratches the same itch.

To really give your partner the full love experience, it’s worth investing a bit in learning their primary love language, though.

“My wife hugs me all the time to show me she loves me, yet still nags about me not picking up my socks and not loving her. What gives?”

Here it’ll get a bit more complicated, but I am sure you can handle it.

People can have different love languages for receiving love and for giving love. This means you might show you love your husband by making him a fresh smoothie every morning (acts of service is your language for showing love) but feel most loved when he rubs your feet at night (touch is your language for receiving love).

It could also just be that you are really a slob and should just start picking up your own socks.

Life will get really interesting when one partner receives love by touch and shows love by acts of service, and the other partner shows love by words of appreciation and feels love by receiving gifts.

Still with me there? Yeah, luckily you most likely don’t have to worry about that, because most people receive love the same way they show their love.

“Ok, I’m convinced. It’s useful. But . . . uh . . . can you tell me my partner’s Love Language?”

Good news, yes I can! Just give me his/her number, I’ll call them and ask, and then tell you. That’ll be $150.00 USD please.
Or you could just cut out the middleman, and ask yourself.

If for whatever reason you don’t want to ask your partner directly, you could ask some different questions such as:

“When is the last time you really felt like I loved you?”
“How can I show you more that I love you?”
“What did I do that made you fall head over heals in love with me?”

To know your own love language you can ask yourself the same questions.

If you don’t feel like much introspection or you just really like taking tests, there are a lot of online tests that you can take, alone or with your partner, that will tell you your love language for giving and receiving love. The official one can be found here.
You can also look at how your partner prefers to show their love and repeat that back at them. Most people will show their love in the way that they prefer to receive love as well.

Don’t just stop at your partner, as well! Think about your children and your parents. Friends and other family. Maybe even your boss, and finally get that promotion you always wanted by bringing him a nice personalized coffee each day.

On a more serious note though . . . once you know your partne’rs preferred love language for receiving love, don’t stop showing love the way you feel most strongly shows love. Add their preferred love language, but don’t take anything away. It is important to strike a balance, and be true to yourself and give the way you feel most authentic giving and showing love.

“Very helpful! I might think about this when I have some time . . .”

Are you seriously going to serve peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to the person you love, now that I’ve shown you the very easy recipe for a great steak? Really?

Take a few minutes, maybe next time you are not doing much anyway (e.g. sitting on the toilet, playing with your phone, pretending to be doing your business), and fill out the test for yourself. Then, send your partner a text and ask them about their love language, or have them fill out the test.

Trust me, feeling loved in the way that you most strongly feel loved is a feeling that will be so worth it, that you will be thrilled showing your love for your partner in the way that they most feel it, even if it does nothing for you.

Now go and do the test! Yes, now! I could have written another 5 pages and you would have read it, so instead take that time, and make yourself and your partner feel all mushy and disgustingly in love!

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Sandra

Sandra is a 33 year old mother, wife, life coach. As a Dutch national living in Mexico she is trying to find ways to make most out of life. She’s passionate about simplifying life, yet loves her luxuries and non-minimalistic lifestyle.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

lyaferrer May 19, 2016 at 12:13 am

another very good article. the writing style made me feel as if we were having a conversation in person, very natural, very spontaneous

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