I think being in a relationship, new or old, can hold a lot of weight and expectations on each person. But how can we get what we want from that person without consistently nagging or being that girl who just expects a guy to know everything?
First of all you want to be on the same page. I believe the most powerful relationships are when the two can speak each others love languages. The five love languages are receiving gifts, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service and physical touch. There is a fabulous book, The Five Love Languages; The Secret to Love That Lasts, by Gary Chapman, that teach us about all five languages and how learning what your partner responds to could be a saving grace in your relationship. It is a very well thought out book that sheds a light and provides clarity on make or break issues in a relationship that all boil down to communicating these ideas properly.
Some people have one love language. Some have a few. Some of them have all five.
So my theory on how to get someone to speak and understand your love language non-verbally comes from a famous saying, “treat others the way you want to be treated.” If it goes for friends and acquaintances in life, why couldn’t it go for people in a relationship?
Let’s start with receiving gifts. Not to be mistaken for materialism, receiving gifts thrives on the love, the thoughtfulness and the effort behind the gift. The perfect gift to someone who speaks this language would be something that says they are known, they are appreciated and you are more prized above the sacrifice that was taken in getting the gift. If this is your love language and you’re needing more of it then buy your man small thoughtful gifts. A book he might like, a hat of his favorite sports team or picking up his favorite snack on the way over. He might not get it the first, second or third time, but eventually he’s going to think, “Wow, this is so nice and thoughtful and my girl is really trying for me. I am going to do the same for her.” His favorite band is in town, surprise him with tickets! Any guy who doesn’t eventually return the favor and want to make you feel the same is completely CLUELESS.
Quality time is a bit harder to force on someone.. I think less space comes when a relationship becomes more serious, but the only way to solve this problem if it is really affecting you is by speaking up. Say, “I appreciate the time we spend together and the effort you take out of your day to see me, but sometimes it would make me happy to see you more. To me that shows me how much you care and it would really mean a lot.”
Point. Blank. Period.
There has to be some compromise with this especially if you both have completely different styles. Space is healthy, but anyone is going to question the person they’re dating if 80% of the time they prefer to be alone. A relationship is a two way street and I don’t think anyone getting into one should be naive enough to think that 20% is all they can give of themselves to another person.
Words of affirmation is a big one. Especially to many women. We try so hard and put so much effort into our hair, our nails and our bodies. We spend one hour applying makeup and picking out a perfect outfit that we could look good in for our guys and if they consistently says nothing over and over, you might start to think, “Why do I even bother?” No one wants to feel that way. A simple, “You look beautiful today” or “I really love when you do your hair like that” goes such a long way. It makes us feel like it’s worth it and we’re at least doing something right. Some people need to be reminded that their guy is still feeling the same for them. If you feel like your not hearing it enough start saying things to him that will make him feel special. Next time he throws a compliment your way just respond with, “Thank you. It really means so much to me when you say things like that” or “I love when you say things like that to me. You should more often.” Make a joke out of it. Don’t nag the poor guy and say things like, “You never say anything nice to me!” or “Do you even think I look pretty?!” Maybe you can really piss him off and hit him with the, “You don’t even find me attractive why don’t you go date her?” line. You will probably just piss him off to the moon and back and that’s no way to get him to understand how important these little things mean to you.
Acts of service is probably the least important on my own personal list. This in the book gives examples such as cooking a meal, washing dishes, taking out the garbage, mowing the lawn, changing the baby’s diaper, and painting the bedroom, etc. The reason why this is the least important to me is because being single has taught me I can do all the things I need done myself. I’m more then capable of doing my laundry, cleaning, I have even become pretty handy at fixing household things that you’d need to ask a boyfriend for help with. What I can’t do myself are things like playing with my own hair, tell myself how beautiful I am everyday and I’m surely not lacking in spending quality time with myself. You could do those things yourself, but it would get pretty strange quick. Those to me are more of a perk of having someone special in your life. But, if what gets your heart stimulated is acts of service then like I said, do things for your boyfriend too. Do them without him asking. Then when you’d like a hand with something, he can return the favor to you. Stay clear of people that are lazy or frequently break commitments. These people will drive you up a wall and most likely you’ll end up wanting to stay there.
Finally is physical touch, and I believe this is the most important. This is a tough one for people that don’t see eye to eye on this love language. What do you do if your someone who likes a lot of physical attention, but your with someone who is not big into receiving it or doing it to you? This can create a huge wall between two people especially the one who wants to be touched. They might start to feel completely unloved and pushed away, while the other person has no clue that anything is even wrong. Touch is essential for babies’ development for their physical, emotional and eventually social health. In fact, touch is the first of the five senses to develop. The need for positive touch, the connection, and reassurance it can bring is literally in our DNA.
“Touch comes before sight, before speech. It is the first language, and the last, and it always tells the truth.” – Margaret Atwood
This is the only one of the five love languages that is essential and can be scientifically backed. The other four are all mental and differently wired inside individual people. The physical act alone of a kind and warm touch lowers one’s blood pressure and releases the “love hormone,” oxytocin. So naturally my advice to someone who is not receiving all they need physically in a relationship is to let science do the work for you! When your having a good conversation or a low-level disagreement put your hand on theirs. When you sit next to them try to put your hand on their knee or rub their back for a minute or two. Flirt with them more! Touches such as extended caresses or tousling your partners hair can be fun flirty ways of increasing intimacy. Scientifically this should create more closeness between the two of you by releasing oxytocin which creates a bit of a love high, so naturally after getting used to feeling it more, your partner should crave the feeling more as well. If your dating someone who does not like to be touched at all and gets angry at your efforts, that sounds like a personal issue with your partner that might be out of your control. But, if you are seeking a little more affection and you don’t want to jump into being vocal about it, this might be a fantastic alternative for you.
Whatever your love language is, I know it is important that you receive it. Nothing ever begins perfect. We learn another person like we learn anything else in life. It doesn’t happen overnight, but the beauty in all of it and what makes finally getting to that place so satisfying is the journey it takes to get there. These tips are meant to give it a little nudge in your favor without being overbearing on your partner. If there is anything I have learned over time is that guys do not like to be nagged or told what to do. Sometimes non-verbal communication might be the best road to take before jumping into a fight filled with, “Why nots?” and “How comes?” However it turns out I hope it works out for you. Keep in mind, I am not a relationship expert, just a girl who thinks deeply and a lot about all of these things. Until next time!
“Real love” – “This kind of love is emotional in nature but not obsessional. It is a love that unites reason and emotion. It involves an act of the will and requires discipline, and it recognizes the need for personal growth.” -Gary Chapman