How do you really know you're a good lover? Not sexually, but in your relationship as a whole. I thought I had my husband all figured out before we got married. That is, until I realized I was loving him the way I needed to be loved, not the way he needed to be.
I find it funny how in relationships we can often put our needs onto our partner, and think we're doing a stand up job in loving them; when in reality, they're still yearning to be loved the way they've always wanted.
There was a moment of awakening after reading The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman that helped us both love one another in a way that speaks to each of our souls. Sometimes I wonder how far we would have gotten without it. Knowing and recognizing your partner's love language (quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service, gifts and/or physical touch) can make your relationship, and not knowing it can break it.
Check out the wonders knowing your partner's love language can do for you both:
You’ll Connect Better
Before reading the book, my husband and I consistently had misunderstandings and while we clicked in some ways, it was difficult to get on the same page with others. He thought it was perfectly normal to go all day without talking and even texting while I would be sending sweet text messages and songs with no response, wondering if he was even interested.
Lo and behold, words of affirmation is my love language (along with good old quality time). At the same time, because I was looking for reassurance and certain things from him, I gave him what I wanted thinking it was just what he needed. Nah. His love language is acts of service. So, sending a text message is nice and all, but it was more for me to get a response, and not what made him feel loved.
Once we discovered this, it was like an aha moment and we were able to connect at an even deeper level as he understood why I need affirmations, and I understood why he wasn't responding the way I wanted. Knowing your partner's love language can improve your relationship and help you connect on a new level. There's just something about you being loved how you want and need to be, and your partner feeling the same way, that makes a relationship flourish and actually enjoyable to be in as you love each other together.
You’ll Be Appreciated
Once you realize what your partner's love language is and act on it, you won't be able to deny the new heights of appreciation you both experience. It feels amazing for someone to take the time and make the effort to love you the way that you need, and for you to do the same for someone else.
A lot of times, we love people by giving them what we need because we want them to feel good. We know it's something that we would love to happen for us, so why wouldn't they want it for themselves? But this is where we learn that love isn't about us. It's about them and what they need.
Chances are, once they see the energy you're putting in to love them properly, they'll step up their own efforts too and you both win. I mean, think about how much better things could be if you both feel good because your partner feels loved the way they desire, not just because you did something you wanted them to love. Knowing that it takes effort on your part to love you in a way that connects with them and vice versa can cause both of you to appreciate one another in a way that you might not have before.
You’ll Love Who They Are
Our love languages are a major part of how we're wired. I'm not enabling or okaying things that are toxic and unhealthy, but in reality, we really can't help how we need to be loved. It's probably been this way since before we had any control over it, or were even aware it existed. The sooner we acknowledge our partner's love language (and even our own if we don't know it), the sooner we can understand them as a person. This is just who they are. It's all included in the good, the bad and the ugly of all things humane. Whether it's a spouse or a new relationship, going from knowing how they are (like their personality) to understanding the ins and outs of how they're built and wired can make this type of love a lifelong one.
There's beauty in being able to accept your partner for what they need and what they want, and not trying to change or coerce it into something that's easier for us. Once we're able to reach the stance that we're going to love our special someone unconditionally and how they need, our relationships can stand the test of time and anything else.
I'm not saying that knowing the love language of your significant other is all that you need in a relationship, but it can definitely help make it last.
Featured image by Getty Images.
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