If you've been wondering the best way to handle conflict in your relationship or communicate with your partner, it's probably time to take the love languages test. The idea of 'love languages' comes from a book by Dr. Gary Chapman titled, unsurprisingly, The Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate. The five love languages are: Words Of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts Of Service, and Physical Touch. These 'languages' relate to how you demonstrate and recognize love.
Before I get into how you figure yours out, it's good to talk about why they're so important. Knowing your love language and the language of your partner — whether you have the same one or a different one — is a great way to ease communication as a couple.
“I believe the relationship theory of love languages are very relevant to finding your perfect match, but not in the way that most people assume,” senior matchmaker and dating coach Lori Salkin tells Bustle. “People do not need to speak the same love language to succeed as a couple, rather they need to understand the love language their significant other speaks. That is not easy; it not only requires understanding the person and how they are different you, but that what is important to them is different from what is important to you and being able to separate your wants and needs from theirs to give them what they want and trust in return that they will give you what you want while neither of you is acting for yourself, but only for the other. If it happens to be you speak the same love language, that is significantly easier!”
So even if you don't speak the same language, you can still have a healthy, communicative relationship. So how do you know? Here's how to find out your love language:
1. Talk To Your Partner
The first thing you can do to find out your love language? Talk to your partner. Having a conversation about what makes you feel love and how you demonstrate love may seem so basic you've never done it before, but it can be hugely enlightening. Maybe one of you think the bedrock of your relationship is spending time together, maybe one feels neglected when they don't get gifts to mark occasions. Start talking about when you've felt love — or the lack of it— and you'll be on your way.
2. Look At Your Relationship History
Sometimes you can find out your love language by looking at when you've felt neglected. Is there a problem that keeps coming up in all your relationships, like feeling resentful or hurt that your partner wasn't physical enough? That can be a sign that they weren't speaking your love language and that physical touch is important for you.
3. Reflect And Be Honest
Pretty much everyone I know who's looked at their love languages looks at "Gifts" and says, "Oh no, material things aren't important to me! I"m not superficial at all!". But you need to be honest with yourself — gifts can be representative and weighty, PDA doesn't have to be gross, and there is such a thing as too much quality time. if you look at how things actually make you feel, rather than how you think they should make you feel, you'll get a better idea of your love language.
4. Do Your Research
Whether that's reading the Dr. Chapman's book, talking to your friends, or furiously Googling "love languages" until you find something that matches with you, feel free to read up. You'll probably find other people like you — and you may even find people who have had similar incompatibilities with their partner and advice for overcoming them.
5. Take The Test Online
Had enough with the soul searching? The easiest and most direct way to find out what our love language is? Go to The Love Languages website and take the test. Hell, if you're in a relationship then sit down with your partner and you can both take the test. It can give you amazing insights into your relationship.
You don't need to be a perfect match or perfectly compatible in your love languages to have a great relationship. But we all need tools for communication sometimes and understanding where your partner is coming from— and being able to explain to them where you are coming from— is one of the best tools out there. Taking just a little bit of time to learn about your relationship can make a difference. Trust me, your next disagreement could go way smoother.
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