Have you ever read relationship advice columns or spoken to friends where the issues were something like the following:
- my partner never likes celebrating my birthday or our anniversary and I feel like they don’t love me because these things are important to me
- my partner never gives me gifts and I feel neglected
- I say ‘I love you’ all the time but my partner never says it back. This makes me feel that they don’t love me
- I like physical affection but my partner never hugs or kisses me. I feel so lonely
- My partner never seems proud of anything I do.
There is an interesting theory about the 5 love languages. You can do a quiz where you can see which your love language is (acts of service, quality time, words of affirmation, physical touch and receiving gifts).
If you do it together and discuss the results you could see that your partner interprets love through different things from the way you do. Maybe you show love in acts of service but your partner interprets love through physical touch.
For fun, my husband and I did the quiz last night. We had surprisingly similar results but with some percentage differences. To be honest, I am not sure which result is his and which is mine, but the questions do make you think.
One difference between us is that I grew up in a gift-giving family and he didn’t. So I am used to really celebrating birthdays and I love giving gifts. He is the exact opposite. Instead he shows love by fixing things for me around the house, cooking my favourite food etc. But lately we have been trying to show love in the way we like receiving it. It’s really fun to explore the boundaries of what you are used to. For both of us we have found other ways to express our feelings than those we are used to.
This works fantastically well with friendships and family relationships as well.