What To Do If You And Your Partner Have Different Love Languages

Understanding all of the different love languages can feel overwhelming at first. However, the process often involves learning more about yourself, how you naturally give love, and how you best receive love from your partner. Usually, couples feel a disconnect in their relationship because needs are not being met on both ends. While one person may feel like they are continuously putting effort into the relationship, that may not be how their partner feels affection.

Therefore, understanding your needs and communicating them with your partner can help them adjust their natural tendencies in order to love you better and vice versa. The five love languages simply provide a title or category that many people already unconsciously fall into. Learning how to improve your relationship based on your love language is a common goal.

The concept of a "love language" was developed by marriage counselor Gary Chapman, who authored the New York Times bestselling book "The Five Love Languages." Basically, each "language" is a category that holds specific weight or value to you. Things like physical touch, acts of service, quality time, receiving gifts, and words of affirmation are all prioritized differently in the minds of each individual person. Couples run into trouble when they assume their partner has the same love language as them when they likely do not. Luckily, there are ways to overcome these differences.

Understand the type of love your partner receives

When you begin to analyze how you show your partner love, you may jump to acts of service, like washing their clothes, filling their car with gas, or even picking up items they need at the grocery store. It can take time to find the perfect gifts to give someone with an acts of service love language. Oftentimes, these are very practical things that need to get done and so taking it off of their plate can seem like the loving thing to do.

However, your partner may care more about quality time and words of affirmation. They might start to resent the fact that you're out running errands instead of spending intentional time with them or verbally reconnecting over dinner. We often try to show love in the ways we want to receive it, but sometimes these don't always align. If you don't communicate your needs to your partner, it can feel like you are constantly disconnected.

If you find that the consistent effort you are putting into the relationship to show your partner love is going unrecognized, it's a good sign that they don't actually receive love in that way. Therefore, discussing the things that are really meaningful within your relationship will be essential.

Communication is key

Psychotherapist Kristie Overstreet explained to SheKnows that assuming your partner knows exactly how to make you feel loved is a recipe for disaster. It's impossible to always know what your partner needs, especially when those needs are not discussed. The truth is your personal love language can change and develop over time, depending on what season of life you're in.

Similarly, your partner may be less interested in receiving gifts right now and more in need of physical intimacy and connection. Therefore, Overstreet recommends frequently checking in with your partner by saying, "Do you need anything?" This opens up room for communication and allows your partner to not only think about the type of love they currently need but also help you give that to them. If you've been wondering how to figure out your partner's love language, communication is the key. Simply showing up for your partner and asking them how you can best love them each day will go far in building a strong and healthy relationship.

The fact that you and your partner have different love languages is far less important than your willingness to step out of your comfort zone in order to meet their needs. While prioritizing communication within a relationship is essential, it's also important to check in with yourself as well. It can be hard for some people to actually communicate the love they want or need from their partner, but that vulnerability is pivotal to strengthening a loving relationship.