Happy February! This is the month of Love . What better way to celebrate the month of love than to talk about Love Languages.
Did you know that there are five love languages and that we all have our own specific love language to give and receive? Imagine if your significant other learned your love language? Well, look no further because here at Innerglow, we got you covered. We are going to go over the five love languages and what are killers of love languages.
Okay, so we always start in a honeymoon phase in relationships. We are lovey-dovey, we have hearts circling around our heads and googley eyes. What would you think if I told you that in two years the honeymoon phase fades away? Yes, you saw it with your own two eyes. It fades away, and love then becomes more than just the butterflies and cupcakes, oh my! Love becomes respect for one another. Love becomes how you show up for your significant other. Love matures and becomes one of the best masterpieces you can ever have.
So, as I mentioned a bit earlier Love becomes respect and love becomes how you show up for one another. Love also becomes how you fill your own cup to then fill your tank of unity with your significant other.
What on Earth does it mean to fill your own cup? I am so happy you asked. Filling your cup means doing things that are of value to you. What makes you happy? Is it taking yourself out on a date? Getting your nails done? Volunteering at the local shelter feeding the homeless? Do what makes you happy. When you are fulfilled which equates to filling your own cup, you are able and ready to receive as well as give parts of yourself to your significant other (filling your tank of unity).
Words of Affirmation – Who doesn’t love to hear that we are doing something right? You are amazing for [blank] reason. Words of Affirmation make us feel good and important to our significant other. When we receive words of affirmation, we are ready to respond in the same way because we want our significant other to feel as good as we do.
Quality time – Ahhh, the good ol’ time on the couch where we often fall asleep while watching a movie. What if I told you there are different ways to have quality time with your significant other? You can go for a walk, go out to eat, go bike riding, or take that hike. Spending twenty minutes with your significant other will provide you with meaningful quality time spent working on your tank of unity.
Receiving Gifts – Who doesn’t like to buy yourself or receive a gift? Do you like handbags? Wallet? Jewelry? Something custom? The gifts can be purchased, found, or made. Receiving gifts are physical symbols that show love. The caveat is how much you spend because you do not want to go bankrupt to fill your cup and/or satisfy the tank of unity.
Acts of service – Acts of service include cooking a meal, setting a table, cleaning the house, and picking up prescriptions. Do you like teamwork? Do you like when your significant other does act of service for you or vice versa? Acts of service is part of taking care of your relationship.
Physical Touch – Do you feel like you are riding on cloud nine just by getting a hug? Who doesn’t love a hug, a kiss, a handhold, or being intimate with your significant other? Does it make you have butterflies and googley eyes? When a person has a love language of physical touch, messages of love are delivered to make you or your significant other feel safe in the relationship.
Now that we have discussed what languages that build relationships, let’s talk about things that can damage a relationship. Below, is the horseman that the Gottman institute discusses.
Criticism – “You never help me with the kids. Why can’t you help me? What is wrong with you?” By verbally attacking a personality or character, a significant other can create an uncomfortable environment. There are times in which we will feel like our significant other is not hearing us and we have to criticize, using I statements can help deescalate any feelings of criticizing your significant other.
Contempt – When in conflict, do you roll your eyes? Mock or name call? Contempt is the equivalent some a phrase that is simply put, “I am better than you and you are less than me.” The assumption position of moral superiority. There is a way to resolve contempt by incorporating appreciation for your significant other. Expressing gratitude to your significant other can build more of a positive perspective that can help improve the negative mindset in your relationship.
Defensiveness – What would you do if someone tries to criticize you for something you did? The natural response would be to become defensive because you have to defend yourself, right? There is a way to hold accountability for your part of the conflict to prevent the present conflict from escalating. Compromise can help the situation de-escalate while resolving the conflict.
Stonewalling – Have you had a conversation with your significant other and they just stop talking to you? Stonewalling is when a person shuts down because it is physiologically flooded. When in conflict at times, a break is necessary in order to collect your emotions and regroup. Coming back to the conversation respectfully can help reduce stonewalling, defensiveness, contempt, and criticism.
Relationships are hard but can be one of the most beautiful things one can invest time in. By knowing your love language and the love language of your significant other, you can learn what fills your cup and fuel your tank of unity. By avoiding the horseman that can damage a relationship you can help preserve one of the most valuable relationships in your life.
Below is the link that can help you discover what is your love language:
The Love Language™ Quiz (5lovelanguages.com)
Below is a link to the video of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse | The Gottman Institute – Bing video
By: Giselle Coll
Chapman, G. D. (2010). The five love languages. Walker Large Print.
The Four Horsemen: Criticism, Contempt, Defensiveness, & Stonewalling (gottman.com)