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Lohani Noor is a psychotherapist who specialises in sex and relationships. She spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk about what each love language means – and how you can discover your own.
While love is a many splendored thing, it is sometimes a very confusing thing, too. Gary Chapman’s explores this and is the perfect read to get a better understanding of relationships.
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Lohani told Express.co.uk that as people go through different stages of their lives, they may require different things from their partners.
“As we grow and age, we may well find that how we experience ourselves and the world around us changes as does how we want to be validated.
“In your 20s receiving affirmation through physical touch may be the most important demonstration of love, however this may change during your 30s and 40s when children come along to acts of service and again in your 50s and 60s to spending quality time together.
“Our changing sense of ourselves directly impacts how we give and receive love. Using the love languages exercise will help couples navigate their changing needs over the years.”
She continued:”Gary Chapman, the author of The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate, defines five distinct ways in which people demonstrate love to one another.
Giving and receiving words of affirmation (compliments)
Spending quality time together
Giving and receiving gifts
Acts of service
Perhaps you feel that you aren’t connecting with your partner at the moment, or you don’t know how best to communicate your feelings.
Lohani’s technique to discovering your love language might just be the trick.
“I do a simple exercise with couples that helps them understand their own and their partner’s love languages.
“Sometimes one or both partners are working very hard to show the other person that they love them but their words and actions aren’t recognised, as they are not on their partner’s love language radar.”
This practical exercise hopes to make the discussion around relationship needs much easier.
“I ask both members of the couple to create three columns each.
“In the first column they are to list all the ways in which they show or tell their partner that they love them.
“In the second column they are to list all the ways in which they think that their partner shows or tells them that they love them.
“In the third column they are to list all the ways in which they would like to be shown or told that they are loved.”
She continued: “This exercise not only helps people zone into their partners more it also helps them to receive the love that is being offered.
“I ask couples to commit to a few of the ways in which their partner wishes to have love demonstrated to them, in column three.
“Even if you don’t feel the love vibe from doing the thing, be it sending text messages or taking out the bins, be mindful that your partner has expressly informed you that that specific action speaks of love to them.”
This exercise is all about selflessly listening to what the other person needs.
And for those that are sceptical of the exercise, what are the benefits of it?
“As such they are much more likely to be emotionally and sexually available to you if you action their love language desires.
“Why would you not want to…?”
Lohani outlined a few ways of showing each love language for some inspiration.
Words of Affirmation
Telling them how wonderful they are and how grateful you are for them
Congratulating them on milestones and achievements – no matter how big or small
Leaving a voice note to wish them a nice day
Remembering their big days at work and wishing them well
Popping a surprise card in their suitcase or hand luggage if they are going away so they will find it whilst on their travels
Having breakfast together before heading off to work
Going for a walk together.
Having a date night away from friend, family, work and children
Maintain eye contact when talking
Setting time aside in the evening to catch up on the day
Buying them their favourite sweet or chocolate
Gifting them something that reflects their interests
Picking up heartfelt souvenirs for them on your travels
Giving random gifts just because
Acts of service
Getting their car washed
Doing household tasks they may usually do, like laundry or ironing
Picking up dry cleaning
Filling the car up with petrol
Making them a packed lunch for work
Cuddling while watching TV
Kissing hello and goodbye
Giving public displays of affection
Treating them to a back rub
Holding hands on a walk
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