If you are feeling emotionally disconnected to your partner, Dr. Gary Chapman, author of the book The Five Love Languages, may be able to help you.
In his book, Chapman explains that there are five ways through which people feel love: words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch. If you don’t feel emotionally intimate with your spouse, it may be because you are not speaking their love language. People tend to show love in the way that they like to be loved, but this may not be the best idea. For example, just because you appreciate words of affirmation, doesn’t mean that’s all you should show to your spouse. Each person has different preferences on how they want to feel loved:
Words of affirmation
Verbally communicating love to a person who speaks this love language is important. It is common for women to appreciate words of affirmation. People who speak this love language want reassurance, compliments, kind remarks, and verbal support. Someone who desires words of affirmation wants to hear “I love you,” or “you make me so happy.” A simple statement can go a long way. If your partner fits in this category, it’s important to verbally tell them how much they mean to you.
Acts of service
It is common for men to speak this love language. People who appreciate acts of service feel cared for when their spouse does something for them, such as washing the car, doing the dishes, or folding the laundry. If your partner believes actions speak louder than words, this is their love language.
If you love giving and receiving gifts, this may be your language. However, this does not mean you are materialistic. Of course you don’t need a new car every year to know you’re loved; it can be any meaningful gift from a loved one, no matter the cost. Flowers, a hand written note, or a homemade meal can mean a lot to someone who enjoys receiving gifts. If this sounds like your spouse, give them a small something to show you care. To them, the gift is a symbol of your love.
Simply spending time together is another language that many people speak. This can mean going on a date, going on a walk together, or sitting on the couch and talking. If your partner appreciates quality time, put the phone away, turn off the TV, and give your loved one your full attention with no distractions.
Some individuals need physical contact to feel fully loved by their partner. Physical touch doesn’t have to be sexual; it can even mean holding hands, kissing their cheek, or giving them a back rub. If your partner can’t seem to get their hands off you, this may be their language. Give them a hug after work and cuddle with them before you go to bed tonight.
By understanding these five love languages, you can begin to understand your partner better. It is important to feel connected to your partner, and finding the right things to do or say will improve your relationship and overall satisfaction.