We all have different ways of expressing love. We also have contrasting ways of interpreting acts of love directed at us.
Many potentially successful relationships end up in a catch-22 situation where one party feels he or she is receiving a raw deal, when it comes to reciprocation of love.
What many do not know, however, is that love just never happens – it is a process imbued with several factors, including a love language that if not understood, can lead to the crashing of a potentially-great relationship.
Marriage counsellor Grace Kariuki says observing and understanding your partner’s love language helps you know how to express your affection toward them.
Love language takes five forms, which are highlighted below:
-Acts of service-
Walking the talk and physically giving a helping hand eases the burden of responsibility. “Acts of service refer to when one engages in certain activities that would please the people they love. African men are so good at this,” observes Ms Kariuki.
-Words of affirmation-
Is there a warmer feeling than waking up to a written note with the three little words: ‘I love you’? Both men and women are naturally gravitated towards words of affection and we all want to hear our partners speak them out, loud enough for those seated at the back.
“One of the top needs of a man is affirmation and validation. Women should be very careful when talking to their men so that they do not hurt their self-esteem,” says Ms Kariuki.
So, your ex-boyfriend used to shower you with flowers and strawberry coated chocolates; now, your current man doesn't pay any mind to gifts. Worry not, for this may not be one of his best ways of expressing love.
“A woman’s emotional need in a relationship is to be cherished. Gifts make women feel special,” says Ms Kariuki.
It is well known that one of the surefire ways to a lady’s heart is through gifting because it makes them feel treasured. However, it is important to note that not all men are fluent in the language of gifting.
Graduating from happy-go-lucky couple to parents is exciting, but unfortunately many partners drift apart after the baby arrives. Women are mostly accused of neglecting their better halves and focusing all their attention to the little family addition.
“Many men have admitted to feeling neglected when the baby arrives because their wives are no longer giving them attention and physical touch,” says Ms Kariuki.
“This language of love also applies to women because they love holding conversations, being cherished and held close,” adds the marriage counsellor.
You may be wondering why it is almost impossible for him to keep his hands to himself. Chances are, however, high that that is his way of expressing affection. “This love language is very common among men because they are very physical. If you want to talk to your husband, engage him in an activity; he will listen better,” says Ms Kariuki.
If you haven’t discovered your love language then you have some work cut out for you, even before embarking on finding out your partner’s.
Remember, speaking different languages of love doesn’t mean that your significant other loves you less!