What are those things you go out of your way to do, to make your spouse feel special?
I have one friend who leaves cute little post-it notes for his wife before he leaves for work in the morning when she’s still asleep. Another one of my friends LOVES giving gifts, even for no reason at all. If we’re out and she sees something her hubs would like, even if it’s something small and silly, she’ll grab it for him even if there aren’t any upcoming special occasions.
If I wake up before my lover, I (almost always) try to give him a good solid squeeze and cozy kisses before I scoot downstairs. (Truth be told – if I’m pissed at him, I don’t do this, because I can be a petty ass brat sometimes. Working on it!)
But have you ever felt like you were going out of your way to do something nice, thoughtful, and loving for your boo, but they didn’t even seem to notice? (And then maybe, you felt resentful and salty because you put a solid effort into your relationship and reaped zero reward – or even acknowledgment – from it?)
It’s probably because you and your partner weren’t speaking the same language. LOVE language, that is!
Learning how to communicate
Just like spoken language, the way that we interpret the idea of “demonstrating love” and the feeling of “receiving love,” isn’t universal. Different folks have different ways in which these emotions are communicated.
So it’s possible that those things you are doing specifically to show boo love – writing out elaborate cards for their birthday, drawing a bath after a long work day, keeping their favorite snack stocked in the pantry, rubbing their back when they’re not feeling well, etc. – aren’t being interpreted by your spouse as love if they understand a different love language.
It’s like you’re speaking Spanish when all they understand is French. You can shout, “¡TE QUIERO!” from the top of your lungs on a mountaintop until you’re blue in the face, they simply won’t understand you. Intensity or frequency of the communication won’t help, they need to understand that your expression (“te quiero” in this instance) means “I love you.”
Which, on the other hand, may also mean that your partner has been doing a myriad of things to declare or demonstrate their love for you that you haven’t noticed because you haven’t interpreted it the way they intended. How sad is that?! All this love floating around with no one receiving it. Isn’t that a shame!
Speaking each other’s language
Does it mean that your marriage is doomed if you all don’t speak the same love language? Absolutely not! It just means that in order for you both to feel more loved in your relationship, you need to learn, and “speak” in, each other’s love language. In order to do that, I recommend that you start by taking this quiz. Don’t worry, it’s not one of those graded, right or wrong answers quizzes. More like a personality test! Your results will tell you how much you respond to each of the five love languages.
Next, have your spouse take the quiz in order to get their results as well! Once you both have a description of your love languages, get cozy and chat about it…I actually think exercises like this are a great date night idea. Have a little wine, do some relationship development. A great, well-rounded evening!
Once you both know what your love languages are, you can use your energy on demonstrating love in ways that your lover will actually receive them as love – rather than spinning your wheels demonstrating love in ways that your partner just won’t understand.
Colby Marie Z is a sex & relationship coach, educator, speaker and blogger based out of Providence, RI. She is a doctoral candidate in human sexuality, an avid (slash obnoxious) football fan, and has been proudly talking about sexual pleasure, confidence, and satisfaction for 10+ years. You can find out more about Colby at sexloveandallthefeels.com, or connect with her on Twitter or Instagram.