Between juggling work, family and your own commitments, expressing love for your partner can often get pushed to the bottom of your ‘to do’ list.
Especially if your efforts of showing your partner love go unnoticed.
Ever thought, “I did three loads of washing, folded them and put them away and he didn’t even notice!”
I hear ya! That’s what I’m talkin’ about girl!
In the game of love, often it can feel as though you’re speaking another language.
And that’s because you practically are!
If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably had a conversation that goes a little something like this…
YOU: “That’s NOT what I said!”
THEM: “But that’s what you meant.”
YOU: “No, it isn’t.”
THEM: “Well that’s how it felt!”
When you’re not on the same page as your partner, keeping your relationship afloat, let alone your love life ablaze can feel intimidating and impossible.
But don’t fear! I’m about to share the secret that has helped my husband and I grow as individuals, while building a strong relationship over the 25+ years we’ve been together.
Our Secret Weapon: The 5 Love Languages Book
I’m a big fan of learning and self-help books. One of the most impactful books I’ve ever read is The 5 Love Languages: The Secret To Love That Lasts by Dr Gary Chapman. After decades working as a Counsellor, Gary noticed that couples were experiencing similar problems in their marriages. The recurring phrase he heard from clients was, ‘I feel like he [or she] doesn’t love me.” He would ask his clients, “What do you actually want/ need in order to feel loved?” Interestingly, their responses fell into five categories, which then became the foundation of his unique approach for successfully loving others.
Understanding what your own love languages are and learning how to express love in your spouse’s language is the greatest tool you have to improve your relationships, and as a result – change your life.
// What are the 5 love languages?
The basic premise of the book is that everyone gives and receives love differently. When we become aware of these differences we can learn how to communicate clearly and grow stronger relationships. Generally, everybody has their own primary love languages for receiving and giving love. If you’re not able to speak your partner’s love language then your partner may feel as if their needs are not being met. Gary believes we each have a ‘Love Tank’ and when that love tank is not filled, you can start feeling unsatisfied and anxious. Meeting each other’s primary love language will fill up your love tank so that you both feel the love you crave. Sounds good, right! The principles can be applied to any relationship – married or dating couples, children and teenagers, friends and co-workers, long distance relationships, new and almost ‘expired’ relationships.
The five love languages are ‘Words of affirmation’, ‘Acts of service’, ‘Receiving gifts’, ‘Quality time’, and ‘Physical touch’.
// Putting the 5 love languages into practice
Love Language 1: Words of affirmation
If this is your love language you feel most loved when your partner uses written or verbal words to express how much they care for and appreciate you.
TIP: Use Life Sorted to schedule a weekly family meeting or partner chat. Setting a designated time to share words of affirmation with each other will increase the chances of it actually happening. You could also set reminders for yourself to message your loved one a ‘have a great day’ or ‘thinking of you’ message.
Love Language 2: Acts of service
If this is your love language, you appreciate your partner offering to watch the kids so you can head to the gym or cook a gorgeous meal so you can take the night off!
TIP: Have your partner use Life Sorted to coordinate the drop off or collection of the children at the babysitter’s house. Or, increase the chances of getting the night off from cooking by creating a shopping list for that special meal you’re about to devour!
Love Language 3: Receiving gifts
This is your love language if receiving a gift makes you feel special and appreciated.
TIP: Use Life Sorted to set up reminders to purchase gifts on Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, birthdays, anniversaries or ‘just because’.
Love Language 4: Quality time
This love language involves being together, present and engaged in the moment.
TIP: The best way to enjoy quality time together is to schedule it into both of your calendars using the Life Sorted app. Then put your phone away so you can be fully present!
Love Language 5: Physical touch
This is your love language if hugging, kissing, touch or sexual intimacy make you feel most loved.
TIP: If you’re training yourself to be more responsive and meet the physical needs of your partner, you may like to set yourself personal prompts to connect with your partner. You’ll create a habit of being loved-up in no time! See, Life Sorted really does help with EVERY aspect of life!
// Communicating Better With Life Sorted
The Life Sorted app has helped my husband and I communicate better. Even before the Life Sorted story began, I was using the principles of life sorted in the paper form to organise my busy family life. Don’t get me started on how many post-its I used to get through a year!
Life Sorted is a shared family calendar app that has enabled my husband and I to communicate with each other and with our teenage children. Life Sorted allows you to enter birthdays, anniversaries and save them as an annual recurring event so you can always be considerate of those special occasions, which is a great way to show your partner that you care (that is if this aligns with their love language, of course!).
// To sum things up…
Like anything you want to last, making an intentional commitment to improving your own personal communication is important. Without the support of my husband, I can say whole-heartedly that I wouldn’t be the person I am today. And the Life Sorted app definitely wouldn’t have been created!
If you want to learn how to apologise better, communicate your anger and strengthen your relationship, The 5 Love Languages and the Life Sorted App are for you. Loaded with free resources, videos, apps and books, the 5 Love Languages website will have you keeping your cool and communicating clearly in no time! Discover how you prefer to give and receive love by taking this free 5 Love Languages quiz. To facilitate better communication, you can also experience a free 30-day trial of the Life Sorted app here.
Here’s to a communicative relationship and a happy and stress-free life with your loved ones!