Are You Loving as Much as You Could?

January 27, 2012
By Bryan Robinson

February is the month of love. A perfect time for you to ask yourself, “Am I truly loving the person I care about?” Chances are if you’re in an intimate relationship, you and your partner speak different “love languages.” No matter how hard you express yourself in English, if your mate only understands Chinese, your ability to communicate and connect is stalled. So it is with the expression of love. Your love language and that of your mate could be as different as English and Chinese. But when you learn each others’ primary love language and speak it, it helps you develop mutual empathy, appreciation, and a strong bond.

Gary Chapman’s Five Languages of Love

  1. Words of Affirmation. You communicate appreciation, encouragement, kindness, humility, and empathy–seeing the world from your partner’s point of view.
  2.  Quality Time. You spend time together, giving your full attention to your spouse or partner, have meaningful conversations in which you share your deepest feelings and experiences, or enjoy activities in which you both share an interest.
  3.  Receiving Gifts. You give and accept money or gifts that represent an expression of love, or you gift yourself to your mate by being emotionally present during a time of need.
  4. Acts of Service. You perform an action that you know would please your partner such as cooking a favorite meal, washing the car, or grocery shopping.
  5. Physical Touch. You are physically intimate in the form of giving hugs, kissing, holding hands, giving back rubs, or sexual intercourse.

What is Your Love Language?  Take the Quiz

Answering the following questions can give you a clue to your (or your partner’s) love language and a clearer picture of how you receive your mate’s love:

  • What does your intimate partner do or fail to do that frustrates you the most or hurts you deeply? (The opposite of what hurts you or frustrates you could indicate your love language).
  • What do you need emotionally from your spouse or partner that you don’t get enough of? (Your unmet emotional needs are likely indicators of what would make you feel loved).
  • How do you usually show love to your mate? (Because we tend to love our intimate partners in ways we would like to be loved, your way of expressing love is often a clue to what would also make you feel loved).
  • What would your idea of an ideal spouse or partner be like?

Answers to these questions can give you a picture of your love language and that of your partner. The next step is to share your discovery and then practice speaking each others’ love languages on a regular basis. What a great Valentine present to give each other! For more tips on developing stress-free relationships and building long-lasting love, you can order a copy of my book, The Smart Guide to Managing Stress on this website.