Speaking Your Partner’s Love Language to Strengthen Your Connection

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Let’s face it, relationships are tough. Whether they be romantic, friendly, familial or professional, there is almost always bound to be miscommunication, misunderstanding, difference of opinions, difference of values, and varying mental and emotional reactions. Because it’s very rare that two people are 100% on the same page of understanding, feeling, emotion and thought at the same exact time, communication becomes a very complex, yet important component of maintaining any relationship.

When we think about communication however, we often think solely of verbal communication. We try to find ways we can better articulate ourselves, use I-language, speak in a calmer manner, be more complimentary, say thank you and I love you more often, share our feelings, etc. While these things are certainly important and helpful to any relationship’s stability, we might become confused when our efforts to be better verbal communicators or verbal expressers don’t entirely fix our problems. This is because verbal communication is only ONE way that we can express ourselves to our loved one – and only a certain group of people feel truly loved through words.

If you haven’t read ‘The 5 Love Languages’ yet, I highly recommend getting your hands on it (clickable link posted below). If you have, I’d love to hear your thoughts and whether or not it’s application has been useful in your relationships.

The book breaks down the 5 ways that humans typically give and receive love and speaks to the importance of knowing your partner’s love language and speaking to them in it consistently in order to add more growth, connection, fulfillment and security to your relationship.

The 5 love languages are:

  1. Words of Affirmation
  2. Quality Time
  3. Physical Touch
  4. Acts of Service
  5. Gift Giving

While most people find that all or most of the love languages are important in their relationship, there are some languages that make us feel more loved than others and when they are missing or lacking in our relationship we consequently feel a disconnect. The missing or lacking pieces usually aren’t due to lack of care, however. We just usually only speak in the love language that makes us feel most loved, which isn’t necessarily what makes our partner feel most loved, thus sometimes leaving us or our other with an emotional void. Therefore, it’s important that we understand both what we need and what our partner needs so we can adapt to one another accordingly.

You can read more about each love language, how to determine what you and your partner’s most prominent love languages are and how to speak to one another in them more frequently in the book below. There’s also a quiz at the end that will guide you in determining your love languages if you can’t quite figure it out throughout the course of the book.

I hope this resource leads to better understanding and better, more effective communication that allows both you and your partner to feel more loved and fulfilled in your relationship.

Feel free to contact me if you’d like to further discuss this book or these concepts or work through a problem in your relationship. I’m always glad to hear from you & happy to help!

Click to purchase 

Addicts: Love Them or Leave Them?

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Disclaimer: This blog post isn’t going to answer the question posed in the title. There is no right or wrong answer to this complex, loaded dilemma. But there are some other questions you can ask yourself to get some clarity about how you should approach your relationship with one.

Addiction is a complicated illness that leaves a path of people who know & love someone with one feeling guilt, anger, frustration, resentment and confusion. It begs the question – ‘should I stay or should I go?’ and often results in conflicting answers. On one hand, this person that we love is hurting and needs our help. On another hand, we may worry that we’re setting aside our own needs in order to be there for them.

Questions to ask yourself:

  1. What am I getting from this relationship? It’s important to make sure our needs are being met and that we aren’t just taking on the role of caretaker. Is this person adding value to our life? Do they give us something special despite their addiction?
  2. Does this person want to change? If the answer is no, you need to follow that up by asking yourself if you’re okay with that. When people tell us what they want, we need to accept that instead of thinking we can change it for them.
  3. Is this person hurting me? All relationships have problems, but if you find that you are being emotionally, physically or verbally hurt or abused, it is important to protect yourself first and foremost. You can love someone while also choosing to prioritize your own safety and well-being.
  4. Are you willing to accept a life of this? Addiction is a long-term, life-long illness and sobriety is a day-to-day choice. When choosing to be with an addict, it’s important to understand that there will likely be ongoing challenges and that even after long periods of sobriety, the risk of relapse will always exist.
  5. What are your boundaries? If you chose to have a relationship with an addict, it’s important to set clearly-defined boundaries. Understanding that nobody is perfect, what missteps are you willing to tolerate? What behaviors would cause you to terminate the relationship should they occur? Don’t forget to share your boundaries and expectations for the relationship with your partner.

Addicts are people and they deserve love, but that doesn’t mean we should set aside our own needs, safety, and feelings because of that. If you want to help them more than they want to help themselves, if your needs have been consistently neglected, if you spend more time unhappy & in pain than you do feeling happy & fulfilled, and if the relationship has become abusive, it may be time to take some space and re-evaluate the relationship from a distance. Again, this is a complex issue with no right or wrong answer, but asking yourself the above questions may help you gain some clarity about where you and your relationship stand.