Love Languages and How to Cater to Them: Valentine’s Day Edition
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This story follows the romantic relationship of Tabitha and Selena. They both are in their late 20s, and now approaching two years of being together. They started off as close friends, so transitioning into becoming lovers felt easy for them. However, they have recently come across an ongoing obstacle.
Tabitha has always been brought up in her community, resulting in her becoming a family-oriented person. Because of this, she likes to spend much of her time with her partner, Selena. During this shared time, she likes to give and receive full attention from Selena. During these moments, she also likes to make dinner for her partner and clean up the house because she knows it helps Selena to have a sound mind.
While Selena can be family oriented as well, she tends to be more of a reserved person. Sometimes, it is difficult for Selena to be fully committed to spending time with Tabitha being that she can have a pretty busy work schedule that requires her to be on call. To make up for this, Selena remains attached to Tabitha’s hip, showering her with tight hugs and kisses while they are together. She also gives Tabitha plenty of compliments, sharing how much she cherishes her as a partner and friend.
Also, something that both Tabitha and Selena have in common is how good they are at giving sentimental presents to each other. It is a good thing that Tabitha and Selena have a strong foundation.
However, they both have had moments where they feel that their needs are not being met or heard. To help mend their satisfaction with each other, they decided to visit a therapist together to get to the root of this problem.
After a few visits, it is revealed that Tabitha and Selena are dealing with some misunderstandings. Specifically, misunderstandings of Love Languages.
The Love Languages are a list of five approaches to how love is described, received, and expressed. This term is coined by the well-known marriage counselor and director of marriage seminars, Dr. Gary Chapman. These findings were discovered in 1992 after he began to find patterns in his patient’s marital relationships. Like Tabitha and Selena, he began to see a consistent misunderstanding of each partner’s needs.
Dr. Chapman broke down the Love Languages into five different parts:
Words of Affirmation:
A person that expresses and receives love through words. This can be shown through praise, appreciation, and adoration.
A person who expresses and receives love by spending time that is undivided and focused on being in the moment with their loved one such as meaningful conversation at dinner with no interruptions.
A person who expresses and receives love through physical affection such as hand-holding, cuddling, or hair-stroking. It’s important to know that this language speaks about physical intimacy outside of sex.
Acts of Service:
A person who expresses and receives love through acts of kindness such as filling up a partner’s gas tank without them being prompted to. This helps to make their loved one feel seen by them.
A person who expresses and receives love through gift-giving like getting your partner’s favorite candy bar because you were thinking of them while running errands. These types of gifts represent a form of affection.
So, how does this apply to Tabitha and Selena? As we look deeper into their relationship, we can see that Tabitha’s primary love languages are Quality Time and Acts of Service while Selena’s are Physical Touch and Words of Affirmation. Also, it is important to notice that while gift-giving isn’t their most commonly used love language, they still enjoy participating in it. The interesting part about Love Languages is realizing that they can all equally be used!
After taking the time to learn more about their relationship issues, Tabitha and Selena had the chance to further explore their own love languages further. They identified this by considering what they ask for or are trying to express within the connection.
With this new information, Tabitha and Selena are now able to share their dominant love languages with each other so that they are able to translate their needs to one another. This overall gave more clarity as to why they were unable to see eye to eye. It is important to notice that this is where the disconnect between Tabitha and Selena began.
It is natural for our wants to be different but, this is where misunderstandings are likely to take place in any relationship.
How did Selena and Tabitha learn to work through their differences? Of course, these moments took time, patience, and dedication as they were relearning each other as they realized that these harder moments helped to build their intimacy too. However, the most impactful way this was shown was through each partner’s effort to their love.
Selena took it upon herself to set more boundaries in her work-life balance so that she is able to reserve and schedule more intimate time with Tabitha. This allows her also to cook and clean more for Tabitha and pick out date ideas for the two. In return, Tabitha makes an effort to send love notes to her partner throughout the day and especially when her work schedule is busier than usual. This way, when Selena makes it home, it makes the messages that Tabitha gives her even more fulfilling!
Interacting with Selena and Tabitha’s story illustrates how embracing love languages is a great way to understand and validate your partner’s, friends’, family’s, and any loved ones’ needs. There has been a common misconception in relationships that partners have to be the exact same in order for it to work. The theory of love languages proves that idea wrong.
As previously mentioned, Selena and Tabitha initially started off as close friends which serves as a foundation for their romance. It is important to note that Love Languages extend past romantic connections as this was helpful to their ability to successfully work through their misunderstandings.
As a result, both partners were able to see growth as individuals and as a unit. Selena and Tabitha chose to balance their own needs while focusing on each other at once, channeled a new level of empathy by stepping outside of their comfort zone, and overall became more intentional about how their intimacy is built.
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Gordon, S. (2022, November 7). What are the five love languages? Retrieved February 7, 2023, from https://www.verywellmind.com/can-the-five-love-languages-help-your-relationship-4783538
Psych2GoTv. (2020, July 11). 5 ways to work with your partner’s Love language. YouTube. Retrieved February 7, 2023, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=heww-ZuAs_c
What are the 5 love languages? Discover Your Love Language – The 5 Love Languages®. (n.d.). Retrieved February 7, 2023, from https://5lovelanguages.com/learn
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