I’m writing for your advice about my relationship. We’ve been partners for 3 years, and I love her and want to stay in this for the long run. But we seem to have a problem connecting sometimes, especially when we’re stressed out. During those times, we just don’t get each other and I’m at a loss for what to do. Please help. Thanks, GT
Thank you for sharing this. What you describe is a common challenge in relationships, and there are solutions! Some couples turn to coaching or therapy for help in this area. I can also highly recommend a wonderful book and website.
The book is, “The 5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman. This book is a #1 New York Times Bestseller.
At the beginning of his book, Gary Chapman uses a simple analogy to help us understand how important language is in relationships of all kinds. We’re comfortable speaking our native language, but when we meet someone who speaks their primary language which is different from ours, our communication may be limited and awkward, and lead to misunderstandings.
Gary writes that in the area of love, it is similar. Our “emotional love language” and the language of our loved one may be as different as Chinese from English.
The 5 Languages of Love
Mr. Chapman defines the 5 love languages as:
Love Language #1: Words of Affirmation
Love Language #2: Quality Time
Love Language #3: Receiving Gifts
Love Language #4: Acts of Service
Love Language #5: Physical Touch
Each love language is explained and explored in the book, with the author clarifying how vitally important it is for us to practice the love languages with our loved ones to keep our “love tanks full”.
It’s an easy read, very fascinating and informative, and simple to follow. Gary explains how partners can figure out their primary love languages, and how to make a regular practice of speaking each other's love language.
What’s Your Love Language?
Good news – Gary Chapman’s website offers a free assessment and thorough analysis of your “love language”. Here is the link: http://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/
On the website, you can also find resources such as free study guides and other free tools. His resources are available in print, digital, and mobile formats, and on Amazon and other online stores.
Here’s the link to the book on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Love-Languages-Secret-that-Lasts/dp/080241270X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1465160617&sr=8-1&keywords=the+5+love+languages
As a senior associate pastor at Calvary Baptist Church, Gary refers specifically to ‘marriage’ and ‘spouses’ in his book; however, I have found the 5 Love Languages to be directly applicable and extremely helpful for all couples in partnership (married or not married), whether we are heterosexual, LGBT, etc., and for use with children and other people in our lives.
Let's Fill Our Love Tanks!
And so, GT, and all of my readers, I hope you can use the languages of love to connect even deeper in your relationships, especially during stressed out and challenging times. As I’m sure you can guess, the ideal way to make this work will be if you and your partner both learn the 5 love languages, pinpoint your primary love languages, and start practicing them together. Let’s fill up our partnership love tanks and keep them brimming with love!
Your Life Coach,
“In fact, true love cannot begin until the in-love experience has run its course.” – Gary Chapman
“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” – Lao Tzu
“Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.” – Robert A. Heinlein