By: Kaleigh Nobbe, Clinical Intern
Rarely I ask, but often people will tell me what their “love language” is so that I can understand what they need from others in their lives. I’m not opposed to this information; however, we need more than to know what it is. What does it mean? How do we get the love? How are we not getting the love now? How are we giving love? How are we asking for love? There is so much more to understanding how we want to be loved than telling a partner, loved one, or friend “My love language is …”
It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking you should give what you like, but each person looks for different representations of affection. A great way to begin meeting needs, your own and those of another, is through communication. It is not enough to assume the other person can read your mind or that you’ve been together so long that you just know what they like. We need to share. Share what you like, why you like it and how you would prefer to receive it, then allow them to do the same. If someone remarks that they feel loved through physical touch, this may not mean through sexual intimacy, they could desire more hugs or hand holding when you go out. The only way to know for sure is to have the conversation to know how you can both meet each other’s needs. It only makes sense that paying attention to a partner’s needs and wants and acting accordingly can result in a better relationship.
Don’t let the conversation stop there! Keep it going. Continue to be attentive to the needs of another. Love is not solely about having our own needs met but helping to meet the needs of those we care about. Sure, we want to be loved, but wouldn’t it be so much nicer to share that love? Communication can bring great strength to a relationship.
Find out more about how effective interpersonal communication can improve your life.
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