Great, so you understand your love language and how this impacts what you crave in a relationship and what you absolutely detest. Now you need to communicate that to your partner.
“One good way to communicate your needs and deal-breakers is to bring up the topic of love languages in conversation,” Kivits suggests. “Not everyone has heard of ‘love languages’ but it’s a fascinating topic and quite easy to talk about once you get started.
“It helps to be curious about their love language as you talk: what makes them tick, what brings them joy, what makes them feel loved and connected, and this way it can feel natural to share about your own style.”
Sneaky. We like it.
And if you feel like your love- anguage-related desires aren’t being met, it can help to chat about it in the context of what you need in a relationship, rather than all the things your partner is doing wrong.
“When you feel like a partner isn’t ‘speaking your love language’ it can be helpful to explain what you’d really like from them in the context of what inspires you, what you recognise as loving behaviour and what makes you feel open and connected,” says Kivits.
“Complaining isn’t helpful as this simply makes the other person feel guilty. They may worry that they’re not good enough or start to wonder if they can ever make you happy.”
Don’t panic if your love language isn’t the same as your other half’s or if expressing love their way doesn’t come naturally – as long as you’re both making an effort to understand each other and show love in ways that feel wonderful, you’re on the right track.
Kivits adds: “Two people who have different love languages aren’t necessarily incompatible. But they may need to learn about each other’s love language and be prepared to adjust their behaviours in order to make sure they’re expressing their love and care for each other in ways that they each understand.
“When partners really understand each other’s love language they develop a shared language that supports their relationship. This is great because it’s how they can elicit the best responses from each other, find the balance together and be sure they’re meeting each other’s needs.”