Applying Love Languages, with Nina Kosubevsky
As the final piece in our Love Languages Series, Nina and I wanted to take some time to discuss a very important concept: the way you receive love is often not the way you give it. You may notice that your partner is an excellent gift giver and someone with whom gift giving comes naturally. For you, it might be that your love language is receiving giving, so it seems like the perfect fit. Yet, for some reason, your partner’s love language is words of affirmation, so they seem to feel unloved by you; they feel like you don’t value them. It could be that it’s because while you give quality time naturally, words of affirmation isn’t your ‘giving’ love language. As a result, they may feel unfulfilled. Similarly, if your receiving love language is physical touch, it’s entirely possible that despite your partner offering quality time and gift giving exceptionally as their giving love languages, that you don’t feel fulfilled in your relationship because you feel like they aren’t showing you the love you need.
That’s why it’s not only important to not only know your own giving and receiving love language but also your partners giving and receiving language. Knowing your partner’s giving love language can help you realize when they are attempting to show you consideration even if it may not be filling your love tank. Knowing your partner’s receiving love language can aid you in filling up their love tank. Likewise, your partner needs to know both how you give and receive love to help fill your love tank.
How this can play out in your relationships, any relationship (kids, partner, colleagues, etc), is the next step in helping you understand ways to improve your relationships. With ‘love’ and coupling holidays abundant throughout your year, whether it’s St Valentine’s Day, an anniversary, or birthdays, it might be stressful for you to figure out just how to connect on a deeper level within your relationship. What Nina shared above goes a long way in starting that deepening.
What are Practical Ways to Apply these Lessons in My Relationships?
It’s time to get down to brass tacks, as they say. You’ve made it this far into our series. You understand the Five Love Languages, you’ve read up on personality interactions with love languages, you’ve got a grasp on how your kids show their love languages, and now you even understand that how we give isn’t always how we receive love. So how do you put that into practice?
My first piece of advice is to figure out and assess two important elements:
1/ What are your love languages, both in giving and receiving?
2/What are the love languages of your partner, both in giving and receiving?
Jot them down, and leave room for the next part.
Once you have that written down, the next step is to think of ways that you might show love to your partner based on their love languages. You can also do this activity with your partner together, especially if you’re planning a big date night, a special occasion such as Valentine’s Day or an anniversary dinner.
As you sit down together, consider: What are the ways you can receive the love you need and give the love you need?
Here are some ideas you might consider to help you practically apply these giving and receiving concepts to your relationships, especially if you struggle with having different giving and receiving languages:
- Quality time – Playing a board game together or having a Karaoke night
- Words of affirmation – Writing a letter on all the qualities you love about your partner.
- Physical touch – Taking a ballroom dance class together or setting up an at-home spa.
- Gift giving – Making a gift more about sentimental value and less about monetary value. For instance, if you know they had a favorite childhood toy that they lost, try finding a replica of it.
- Acts of Service- This could be something as simple as washing your partner’s car for them or taking their car and filing up the gas tank.
When it comes to planning something together for a special occasion, things might look different, but can still be practical.
Here are some ideas that Mike and I compiled for you:
- Quality Time
- Words of Affirmation
- M: Set aside a few minutes on your anniversary or special day to tell each other one thing you love about the other person’s personality and efforts they make in your relationship
- N: Writing a poem about your relationship
- Physical Touch
- M: Find a Romantic Comedy to watch together on the sofa, pop the popcorn, and cuddle up while watching it. Just make sure you check to make sure the movie is a good one!
- N: After dinner, hold hands, and make sure to always stay connected to each other.
- Gift Giving
- M: Who doesn’t love a bouquet of flowers or a jersey from a favorite sports team?
- N: Make a personalized card shaped like a heart with room for a love letter
- Acts of Service
- M: Set up that hammock that your partner has expressed wanting to use, which has been sitting in your garage for six months.
- N: Make breakfast in bed as a surprise on a special day, combined with doing the dishes; it’s a perfect way to say I love you to someone who values Acts of Service
As we conclude this series on Love Languages, it is our hope that you’ve been inspired in your relationships, to think outside the box at how you might show, give, and receive love with your partner or loved ones. The lessons of the love languages is far greater than just in romantic relationships. You can apply them to your family members and friends, as well as your colleagues. You can re-evaluate strained relationships you might be experiencing with siblings. You can change the way you see those with whom you interact.
As you consider these concepts, if you feel like you’d like further guidance in helping to understand your partner, your friends, and your loved ones, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our trained clinical team is here to support you in your journey and it’s our privilege to serve you. Our Intake Coordinator will be happy to set up a consultation for you.