The holiday vibe is buzzing, the shopping carts bumping and with each day of December, the pressure of the holidays is mounting. This year, instead of stressing out about the holidays and gift giving, think about the many ways you can speak the love language of your partner- that for the most part comes free of charge.
Thank him later, because Gary Chapman, the author of “The 5 Love Languages. The Secret to Love that Lasts,” narrowed love languages down to just five so it shouldn’t be too hard to figure out which one speaks volumes to your partner.
In no particular order, the five languages include: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Acts of Service, Physical Touch and Receiving Gifts. Instead of breaking the bank, fill up the love tank to please your partner.
- Words of Affirmation: Ask yourself, “how many birthday cards, bouquets of flowers or any sort of gift that comes with a message telling your partner that you love them?” If he or she saves anything with “words of affirmation” or expressed appreciation, filling up a partner’s love tank might start with a compliment. Don’t hesitate to pick up the pen, buy a card or handwrite a message straight from the heart.
- Quality Time: Does your partner complain that you work too much? Do you travel for work and leave your partner to take care of the daily chores, driving the kids to school or to participate in sports? This could mean that filling up their love tank would mean spending quality time with your partner. Mark your calendar so that no matter what, it’s date night with your partner. Or bring home pizza for dinner so you can spend more time talking about how your day went.
- Acts of Service: Do something – anything! – that helps your partner at home. You may think a stay-at-home mom or dad is an easy job, but you would be surprised at the relentless demands of everyday life. Do the dishes, take out the trash, make the bed, wash the car or go grocery shopping. There are so many things that can be done to fill up your partner’s love tank when you speak their love language.
- Physical Touch: Would you describe your partner as having a personality that is clingy or distant and is their vibe warm or cold? When your partner’s love language is physical touch, let the love begin with a nice hug – a long hug. He or she may have been waiting for a long time.
- Gift Giving: Don’t wait for a birthday or a holiday to give your partner a gift. Gifts don’t have to be expensive. Often, when your partner’s love language is gift giving – a single rose or a small bouquet of flowers from the grocery store can be really cheap – especially in the spring when the tulips and daffodils are abundant. If you want to buy them something more expensive – the sky’s the limit (just don’t buy a gym membership).
These love languages may seem insignificant – but the author has counseled marriages long enough to see a pattern and successfully prescribe a love language used to fill up the love tank between intimate partners.
Love languages are mutual and reciprocal, but more often than not – love languages are different between couples. Love is a choice. It does not involve manipulation or coercion, control or abuse. It takes work to maintain a healthy relationship and learning to speak your partner’s love language can help.
If you are in an abusive relationship, or know someone in an abusive relationship, help is available.
StrongHearts Native Helpline is a 24/7 safe, confidential and anonymous domestic and sexual violence helpline for Native Americans and Alaska Natives. For support and advocacy, crisis intervention and safety planning, referrals to Native-centered service providers and resources, call or text 1-844-7NATIVE (762-8483) or chat online at strongheartshelpline.org.
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