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The 5 Love Languages

The 7 Love Languages
Why Do We Sometimes Misunderstand Our Partner?

In this article, you will learn about the difference between true love and infatuation.

You will also hear about why we sometimes feel misunderstood and rejected.

You will be thoroughly explained the five love languages and be referred to a test you can take to find out what your primary love language is.

Furthermore, you will discover what you and your partner can do to rediscover true love.

You will also learn something about the difference between men and women – the masculine and the feminine.

Also, when something is meaningful with togetherness, and how to become a resource person.

About the consequences of wanting to be RIGHT rather than loving in the relationship.

Of course, love is challenging (unlike infatuation), but I have tried to make it as easy as possible in this article.

Read more at www.parforhold-parterapi.dk/english


Do We Speak Different Love Languages?

We often give others what we ourselves would most like to receive.
The reason is that we BELIEVE others have the same needs as us – because it FEELS that way.

What Love Is NOT:

– Love is not Falling In Love, the infatuation.
– True love is not a feeling or a desire to give or do something.
– Love is not doing unto others as you would have them do unto you.
(This is a myth and a big misunderstanding. Instead, you should treat others as you want them to behave, which is quite different.)
– Love is also not infatuation. These two things have little to do with each other – though many confuse them.
– And true love is very far from what the film industry, romantic literature, songs, and porn movies describe. This is perhaps the biggest misunderstanding of our time.

Love is something entirely different than the above.
It is, among other things, A CHOICE.
It is the choice to give your partner what they desire.
And when both do this, both partners feel the loving emotions.
THAT is true love.
And the harder it is to fulfill your partner’s wishes, the greater the love.

What Love IS

Love is really three specific things:

  • Understanding (communicating in a way that makes sense)
  • Devotion (being special to each other)
  • A CHOICE!

True love is CHOOSING to give your beloved what he/she desires most. And when both partners in a relationship do this, they feel the love.

But first, you must know what you and others desire most (understanding).

You need to be aware of your own needs and desires and express them clearly and appropriately.

You must also be able to communicate with your partner so that you understand what he/she desires and wants. It must make sense, so the way you communicate is quite important. Having some common ground rules in your interaction and some effective communication tools.

Why Do We Sometimes Feel Misunderstood and Rejected?

If you want to give your partner what they desire, you must know what it is.

This requires:

  • Motivation to want to know it,
  • Understanding of what it is, and
  • Devotion when it becomes difficult to give it.

The greater the effort, the greater the love. It can feel artificial, silly, trivial, cumbersome, or anything else. And maybe you don’t even WANT to give it…..

Misunderstandings and Feeling Rejected

“I’m sure I know what you want, so I give it to you!
At the same time, I expect you to know what I want and to give it to me!”
Or put another way:
– You believe you know what he wants. And therefore, you expect that he naturally also knows what you want!

These attitudes are often seen when you have known each other for some time. They are expectations that often turn into disappointed expectations – and then the first person (mistakenly) believes it is the other’s fault that they feel rejected and do not get what they want.

Actually, the only expectation in a relationship should be that your partner is honest about what they want.
All other types of expectations are fundamentally more about demands than love.


Two Different Concepts

Unfortunately, many people confuse the concepts of infatuation and love. If you equate them, things can go terribly wrong.
There is often love in infatuation (which is a fleeting feeling), but there does not need to be infatuation in love – because love is a CHOICE.

Infatuation

Infatuation, or Falling In Love, is a very fleeting entity, a mix of psychology, endorphins, biochemistry, and similar.

Feelings come and go.
But love IS not feelings.
Love CREATES feelings.

the five love languagesNature has designed infatuation so that two individuals can come together for long enough to produce offspring. Infatuation typically lasts from a few weeks or months to a year or two. Then it’s over. Finished. The feeling is gone. But by this time, infatuation should ideally be replaced by love, which is something entirely different from infatuation.

When some people can no longer feel the sweetness and rush of infatuation, they mistakenly believe that love is gone, and for too many, divorce becomes a way out of the pain.

Awareness

We all have a preferred “love language”, but not everyone knows themselves well enough to know what it is. And they may know even less about their partner’s love language.

We do not get a good or bad relationship. We get a relationship.
It is entirely up to us whether, after the infatuation phase, we make it a good or bad relationship.
The partner we chose to live with is the partner we chose to have our problems with.

Here’s a metaphorical example: Just because you’ve booked a holiday at a five-star hotel doesn’t automatically mean you’ll have a fantastic holiday. The setting is certainly right, but it’s what you put into the holiday that determines whether it will be good or bad.

The Five Love Languages

Gary Chapman wrote the book “The Five Love Languages“. It provides insights into how people show their love for each other. There is no all-encompassing/perfect book about love, but this book, along with John Gray’s books on Mars and Venus, is one of the most important.

Chapman describes how we show love and how we ourselves want to be loved. It can be divided into some areas or “languages”, which are:

  • Words of Affirmation
  • Quality Time
  • Receiving Gifts
  • Acts of Service
  • Physical Touch

We all need love from all the areas, but one or maybe two of the “languages” are our primary love language.
This language is usually the one we easily give to others, which can be a frustrating journey if we and others cannot translate and understand what it is we ourselves want most.
If you express your love in a way that your spouse does not understand, he or she will not realize that you are trying to express love.

If you speak two different languages and try to understand the other in your own language, it makes no sense and can create misunderstandings, frustration, conflicts, and struggles.

Sometimes it seems as if we are trying to measure the other person with a completely different measuring instrument, for example, insisting on measuring radio waves with a liter measure or a spring scale. It just can’t be done…

Motivation, Understanding, and Choice

When the infatuation rush has subsided after one to two years, it should ideally be replaced by love.

But what is love really? Simply put, it is a choice. Expressing your love to your spouse is choosing to do something you know he or she appreciates and likes.

It is NOT doing something that you yourself like best. IF you do, it is – a bit brutally put – like casting pearls before swine. The one who casts their pearls knows their value, but the pig doesn’t care. When things go wrong in a relationship, both parties have cast their pearls, and both parties are pigs.

So love is motivation, understanding, and choice. You must want to do something good for your partner, you must know what this good could be, and then you must choose to give the other what they want. Not as a business transaction, where you expect that if you do this-and-that for your partner, then this-and-that will be done for you. Give generously and without prejudice what the other person wants.

What You Can Do

To get what you yourself want, you need to:

  1. Feel exactly what you want
  2. Speak from yourself – without using the word “you”
  3. Ask a question

This is the best way to achieve what you want.
We don’t always get what we want, but it is important to be able to clearly communicate to the people we are with – both for our own and their sake.

The Difference Between “Men” and “Women”

Be aware of the significant difference between the genders – the difference between the masculine in all of us and the feminine in all of us:

It has long been known that men find love through sex, whereas women find sex through love. But love is a choice, and you can choose to have a good relationship if you understand each other’s love language.

There is a big difference between infatuation and loving. Infatuation is a feverish rush designed to attract two people long enough to produce an offspring. There is nothing rational about infatuation; it is purely a projection that eventually fades away (after about a year or two) – like a fever or a drug trip. It is an intoxicating and consciousness-altering feeling while it lasts.

The Choice

Loving is the love that should ideally replace infatuation. This love is, as mentioned, a choice. If you choose to give your spouse what he or she wants, and your spouse gives you what you want, that is true love. Especially if there is an effort or greater endeavor associated with the action or gift. When an action does not come naturally to you, it is an even greater expression of your love for your partner. You both get filled with what you most desire.

When you give others what they want and they feel good about it, that is love. This applies both in relationships, in the family, among friends, at work, with customers, etc. EVERYWHERE.

If we are to develop a deep love relationship, we must know each other’s longings. If we want to love each other, we must know what the other wants. Therefore, communication and “translation” between the different ways of expressing oneself is important. Love makes clear and explicit wishes, not demands. In marriage, we are equal adults, and we are partners. If there are demands or unrealistic expectations of each other, we have problems. Here is an overview of Gary Chapman’s five love languages.


Express Your Love

Love Language #1:

Words of Affirmation

true love with love languageEncouragements, compliments, and wishes instead of demands and criticism all strengthen your partner’s self-esteem. These things create intimacy, heal wounds, and make all the good things in your spouse/partner blossom.

Any affirmation is, in its simplest form, a compliment. Have you ever met people who say a lot of good things about and to others? They might go to a musician after a concert and praise the performance, or thank a conductor for passing quickly through. They always say nice things about other people. Sometimes it can even be too much.

These people’s primary love language is words of affirmation. It is what they most want to hear, and if you say something affirming to them, they perceive it as the greatest declaration of love.

Love does not mean that you get something you want, but that you do something to make the person you love feel good. It is, however, a fact that when we receive affirmation, we are much more motivated to reciprocate.

Encouragement requires understanding and empathy – seeing the world from your spouse’s perspective. We must first find out what is important to our partner before we can do something good for them.

The Grass is Always Greener…

When you focus on what works and is good, it will grow. (“The grass is always greener – where you water it!”) If you are a fault-finder and only blame and correct, it is demotivating for most people.

Furthermore, you will find it harder and harder to receive what you yourself want. But it is all your own choice. You get what you ask for – consciously or unconsciously.

If words of affirmation are your love language, uninvited compliments will mean the world to you. When your partner says, “I love you“, you are in seventh heaven.

On the other hand, insults, criticism, and blame can ruin your day. You rarely forget what was said, and you can hold a grudge indefinitely.

If a person whose primary love language is words gets scolded, it will feel 100 times harsher than if the primary love language had been something else…..

Love Language #2:

Quality Time

People whose love language is quality time are those who always plan and arrange. They enjoy spending time with their loved ones and just being together.

If we spend time talking and listening to each other and doing meaningful things together, it shows that we truly care for each other and enjoy being together.

Giving your time to your spouse doesn’t necessarily mean being in close proximity. Being together means being engaged in the same activity.

The Partner

Here are five points to focus on when you want to spend time with your spouse.

  1. Maintain eye contact when he or she is speaking.
  2. Don’t do other things while listening to your spouse. Not even when you are talking on the phone. Give them your undivided attention.
  3. Listen for feelings. Also, express your own feelings from time to time.
  4. Notice body language. The body language might convey a different message than the words.
  5. Don’t interrupt. Do your utmost to understand your partner. Listen, and only make brief affirming comments.

An additional bonus of shared activities is that we create a memory bank that we can draw on in the years to come. Recalling lovely experiences together will reinforce the positive sense of togetherness. For many very elderly people, there are two things that matter most: having a comfortable stomach and being with someone with whom they share many memories.

When you offer to spend your time with a person whose love language is quality time, it will be seen as a valuable gift when given. If you don’t take the time to be with your partner, they will feel that you don’t care about or love them. Distractions, cancellations, and postponements, or the inability and unwillingness to listen, can be particularly hurtful for a person whose primary love language is quality time.

Love Language #3:

Receiving Gifts
children's love languageGifts are visible symbols of love, whether they are things you have bought or something you have made. It can also be your presence that your spouse longs for. Gifts show that you care.

In all societies and cultures, gifts are regarded as expressions of love and devotion.

Recognizing this love language is easy, as these individuals love to give you things. They can spend hours searching for the perfect gift. They are attentive to what you like so they can buy or make something that you truly appreciate and enjoy.

They love to give, and they use every opportunity to do so. They will really appreciate it when you give them a gift, especially if you have put in time and effort to find or create the right thing.

Value

Gifts don’t have to be expensive or hard to get. However, there must be balance. If you receive an expensive gift from a poor person, it can ruin their finances. This is not love but naivety and foolishness. Conversely, if you constantly receive cheap gifts from a multimillionaire, it is not love but stinginess.

Physical presence in a crisis is the greatest gift you can give your spouse if their primary love language is receiving gifts.

Never forget a birthday, holiday, anniversary, or similar occasion, as it will deeply hurt and anger them. It will also be a disaster if the gift is rushed or thoughtless.

Love Language #4:

Acts of Service

If your primary love language is acts of service, you will long for your partner and spouse to do things for you. Services should be given and received voluntarily, without any form of coercion, and what is done should be done exactly as the other wants it.

People whose love language is acts of service will do all sorts of things for others. They help at events and take care of various tasks. They like to serve others and can find ways to help that no one else could think of.

Can vacuuming and laundry really be expressions of love? Yes, absolutely – if the primary love language is acts of service. Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibility will make your partner feel loved. The words they most want to hear are “Let me do that for you” and “Let me help you“.

On the other hand, if you do not perform acts of service, they will feel neglected and unloved. Broken promises, laziness, and unnecessary extra work can be extremely hurtful for this person.

Love Language #5:

Physical Touch

the five love languagesPhysical touch as a love language holds mighty power – from a handshake as a greeting and the lightest pat on the shoulder to the most passionate kiss and the sexual act.

Studies on children’s development show that infants who are frequently held, hugged, and kissed develop healthier emotional lives than those who are deprived of physical contact for long periods.

Have you ever met someone who always hugs people? They greet everyone with a hug, even people they might not know well. They enjoy sitting together on the couch, holding hands, dancing, kissing, etc. Anything involving a palm or fingers on a body part.

The person whose love language is physical touch will somehow find ways to touch you as often as possible. It could be a hug (a cuddle if you are younger!), a kiss, a hand on the shoulder, foot rubs, massage, holding hands, sitting close together, and of course, sex.

If your spouse’s primary love language is physical touch, it is crucial to hold them when they cry.

Physical presence and accessibility are vital, while neglect or abuse can be devastating and unforgivable. A slap is harmful to any child, but it is crushing for a child whose primary love language is physical touch. The same applies to adults.


WARNING!

Be curious about your partner’s love language and make sure to give it to them.

If/when your partner gives you what you want, it is immensely important that you always respond positively.

  • Do NOT take your partner and their efforts for granted
  • Do NOT reject your partner and what they do for you
  • Do NOT ignore your partner or what they do for you

If you do, it’s no wonder that your partner eventually stops giving you what you want…
For then it is not your partner who is at fault, but YOU!

If you have just started working on each other’s love languages, expect it to be difficult at first.
You should treat your partner like a little child who has just learned to walk:
Tolerate the child falling again.
Encourage the child again and again.
And overlook the mistakes.

If you do, the child will gain more confidence, better skills, and more self-assurance, and eventually become very good at it.

It is exactly the same with your partner (and with you!)

And remember: You must praise your partner in the way that your partner perceives as praising.
NOT what you yourself perceive as praise and recognition. It probably doesn’t count for your partner – if they have a different love language than you.


The Love Tank

Love LanguagesIs it possible that within unhappy spouses there is an invisible love tank whose gauge is on empty? After the highs of infatuation at the beginning of a relationship, we eventually come to the real world. If your spouse has learned to speak your love language, your need for love will continue to be met. If, however, they do not, your tank will slowly empty, and you will no longer feel loved. Meeting this need in your spouse is a choice.

What good is it if you know that your spouse’s primary love language is gifts and acts of service, but he or she doesn’t know that you prefer physical touch and words of affirmation? If you never get touched because touch doesn’t mean much to your spouse, you will end up feeling frustrated and angry.

Your love tank empties quietly, and when it is empty, there is nothing left to give. Maybe in desperation, you have stopped giving your spouse gifts or acts of service, which frustrates him or her, and we have the negative spiral, risking fights, ignoring, violence, or divorce.

Love is a Choice

You can choose to speak your spouse’s love language, or you can choose not to. If you choose to fill your spouse’s love tank with what matters to him or her, the chances are greater that your own tank will also be filled. This is especially true if—AFTER you have filled the other’s tank—you ask for what you want in your own love language. Use the three steps mentioned earlier in this article. It may take time, but give the process at least six months.

When you ask your spouse to do something for you, you affirm his or her abilities. You show that they have something or can do something that means something to you. A request implies a choice. Your spouse can choose to fulfill your request—or not. Love is always a voluntary choice. That is what makes it meaningful.

Meaningful

When my spouse loves me enough to fulfill one of my wishes, he or she shows me care, respect, and admiration. If it is done to make me happy, it is love.

Maybe your spouse has perceived your wishes as nagging, while in reality, they have been your attempts to get him or her to show you love. It takes courage and skills to express oneself clearly and precisely, but fortunately, it can be learned.

Many of us are good at analyzing problems and finding solutions. We have forgotten that a marriage is a relationship between two people. Not a project to be completed or a problem to be solved.

Statistically, 60% of all second marriages end in another divorce, so it is well worth doing everything possible for the current relationship.


Unity

When you agree, and you feel affirmed in what you say and believe, you can feel the love from your partner. You may not completely agree on things like child-rearing, but if your partner supports you in front of the children and then you discuss it privately later, this will feel like an equal exchange of opinions and adjustment of your shared direction.

Support can also come in connection with creative or career-related questions. He or she laughs at your jokes and is generally positive about your suggestions in daily life. His or her responses to your questions usually start with a Yes instead of a No. You mostly agree with each other and don’t constantly seek confrontation. You focus on the positive aspects of your relationship, which means what works, and you overlook what is unfavorable. You are grateful for what you have and face the world with a smile.

The difference between a positive and an overly critical person was well illustrated in an X-Factor episode where Thomas Blachman said to Pernille Rosendahl: “You are always so nauseatingly positive!” This could have been an argument between two spouses with vastly different backgrounds, histories – and love languages.

No Connection

If there is no connection, but rather primarily negativity and criticism, it can be a killer for the companionship and the relationship. The feeling of security disappears, and the tone between you becomes harsh.

If you say “The weather is nice today,” and your partner replies, “It was better yesterday,” or you say “Shall we go to Tivoli?” and your partner says, “We could also go to the forest” – and this repeats endlessly as an ingrained pattern, it is hidden criticism and blame, and you will eventually feel misunderstood, discredited, and hurt.

Typically, these are symptoms that cover some fundamental causes, which for good reasons can be difficult to see for yourselves. If it had been easy, you would have changed them long ago.


How We Receive Love

partner's love languageWhat we do for each other before we get married or enter into a committed relationship doesn’t necessarily show what we will do once we are married. The trick is to find out what your spouse wants and then give that to him or her – even if it’s not our own primary love language.

If both partners do this, it is perceived and experienced as love, which lifts the relationship to unforeseen heights. If we only give what we ourselves want, we will undoubtedly encounter problems in the relationship down the road.

Love is a choice, and love makes all the difference. There is much to gain by choosing to express our love in our spouse’s own love language. It can help to heal the painful wounds of the past and create a sense of security, warmth, self-esteem, and meaning.

You must give before you can receive. It is similar to a wood stove. You cannot say to it: “I will give you wood if you first give me warmth.” It is the other way around.

One of the ways you can receive love is by setting expectations with each other and asking how you can become a better spouse. Act on the information you receive in the answer – regardless of your partner’s attitude. Continue to seek more information about the other’s wishes and adjust yourself according to them with all your heart and willpower. Assure your spouse that your motives are pure and sincere.

Resource Person

Remember, you are the resource person. It is you who are reading this article. It is you who must take the initiative, even if your partner is very negative and critical towards you and may have already given up on your relationship.

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Apology and Gratitude

In two completely different areas, the same rules apply for choosing to give what the recipient wants.

It may not be enough to just say “Sorry”. It may be perceived as more heartfelt by the offended party if the offender gives a gift, holds them, does something, or just IS there. Here too, you need to investigate what works best.

When you are grateful and happy for something that has been done for you, you may not just settle for saying “Thank you”. You may also need to give a gift, a proper hug, or do a favor in return, or invite them out together.

Many have been frustrated over the ages for not being understood with all their good intentions…


Right or Love in the Relationship

What is true loveIf you had to choose just one thing, what would you rather have:
Right or love?
Most (all) people say they want love in their lives – BUT their behavior simultaneously shows that they want to be RIGHT at all costs.
This is why it often goes wrong.

You cannot have love if you insist on being right and only relate intellectually and rationally to your relationship.

Most of us have greater potential than we ever come to use. What holds us back is often a lack of courage. A loving spouse can be a very important catalyst. You may find it difficult to give encouragements. If it is not your primary love language, it may take great effort to learn this new language. This is especially the case if you are inclined to make critical and judgmental remarks, but it will be well worth the effort to try.

We cannot erase the past, but we can forget it. We can choose to live each day without thinking about yesterday’s mistakes. Forgiveness is not a feeling. It is an attitude. We can choose to show mercy and not present our spouse with the mistakes he or she has made. Forgiveness is an expression of love. Insistence on being right is not.

Past and Future

Love, as mentioned, cannot erase the past, but it can change the future. When we choose to show our spouse love in his or her own love language, we create an emotional climate where we can tackle past conflicts and mistakes.

If you claim to have feelings you don’t have, it is hypocrisy and false. But if you show your partner a loving action to please him or her, it is simply a choice. Learning your own and others’ love languages will make you a better partner and will also help you in your relationship with your parents, siblings, children, friends, colleagues, customers, and everyone else.

Every day, I can choose to meet my spouse’s need for love. If I know his or her primary love language and choose to speak it, the deepest emotional needs will be met, and he or she will feel assured of my love.

Awareness

Awareness of the six love languages will also give you a deeper understanding of who you are. Why do you want to see another person’s face light up with a compliment? Why do you help when everyone else sits down? Why do you love receiving a bouquet of flowers? Why can a hug send you to seventh heaven? Why are you happy just because you are with this person? Why is connection so important to you?

Meaning, security, and self-esteem are crucial for our well-being.

Security and respect are important for the relationship to function.

Learn the love languages! Use them! Feel the love!

It takes good communication to understand what is being said and to express oneself appropriately. But fortunately, it can be learned.


Easy or Difficult?

Some people find it hard to understand that it can be so difficult to give something that seems easy to themselves.

For example, I had a couple in therapy where the woman wanted the man to create a certain feeling in her by having a certain attitude or behavior.
The man loved his wife and tried his best, but he could only manage a few emotions: Happy, sad, angry, satisfied…… and not many more besides that!

On the other hand, she herself had a very nuanced emotional register.
She had a hard time understanding her husband, so to illustrate the situation, I asked her what she would say if her husband could only love her if she had bigger breasts surgery……

Then she finally understood what it was all about, namely loving her partner exactly as the partner is, and taking responsibility for creating her feelings herself.

She wanted to be respected for who she was, but she was (until they started couples therapy) unable to respect the man for who he was.

They had no prerequisites to be able to see it for themselves. It took a third person they trusted to tell them.

What if both you and your partner both had better strategies and habits so that giving and receiving true love felt completely natural and easy?
That you could have your wishes fulfilled and your needs met without difficulty?


Clarification

Mikael HoffmannI would like to offer you a no-obligation clarification call over the phone, where I will help you gain clarity about the life and relationship you desire.

Furthermore, we will identify the most important things that are stopping you and preventing you from achieving what you want.

These clarifying points will shed light on the necessary steps you need to take to reach your goals.
Call me at phone +45 – 21 79 18 50 to schedule a time with me for the clarification call at no cost to you.


Are you thriving ♥ – or is your relationship in pain?

  • I can save and improve your relationship quickly and effectively with very specific communication tools and strategies so that you come to understand each other.
  • If the relationship is in chaos with fear, anger, confusion, or stress, there may be a need for overview, structure, and firm common rules to create mutual understanding for each other.
  • I am a kind of driving instructor who teaches the “Traffic Rules of Relationships”.
    In a way, it involves both theory, parallel parking, city driving, night driving, and skid courses.
    All of this must be thoroughly learned before you find your own driving style – also in the relationship!

Click at www.parforhold-parterapi.dk/english for more information about couples counseling, couple therapy, couples therapy Copenhagen.

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