One of my all time favorite things to learn about and discuss is the five love languages. Dr. Gary Chapman wrote a book in 1995 about how people both perceive and show love in different ways. He categorized these 5 ways as: receiving gifts, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service, and physical touch. In order to be able to connect with your partner on a deeper level, it is important to not only know what the love languages are, but which ones are important to you and your partner. There are tests you can take online to figure out your love language but I just want to take a little time to break each one down for you in layman's terms so you can start applying them to your daily life!
Receiving Gifts - Personally, this is one of my love languages, it's one of the ways I show affection. I do it with my friends and family as well as my clients. I will always stop and buy little trinkets on vacation or even at the grocery store just to show "I'm thinking of you." At Christmas, I LOVE to give presents. I send all of my brides customized wedding boxes and I love picking things out for them. However, I'm not all about getting presents. If you want to show me you care, I don't want elaborate gifts, there are other things I'd rather you do or say that mean more to me.
Quality Time - This is how I'd prefer you show me that you care. My biggest pet peeve is when someone is on their phone when we're spending time together. I want you to be present and in the moment with me. Once again, it doesn't have to be anything elaborate, snuggled up on the couch watching a movie is just fine. To me, this is all about the time spent together more so than what we're actually doing.
Words of Affirmation - This one is pretty straightforward. Sometimes it is just nice to hear how much someone appreciates you. A simple "thanks for doing the dishes tonight" can really go a long way. Also, flirting tends to get lost in relationships after a while. Tell your partner they look good!
Acts of Service - How many of you would absolutely love it if you came home to a clean house? Or maybe dinner being made? These actions rather than words are another way to show that you love and appreciate one another and want to help each other out.
Physical Touch - Although this one may seem very simple, you have to keep in mind that physical displays of affection also fall into this category. Are you all for kissing in public and holding hands every chance you get? What if your partner is uncomfortable with that?
At the end of the day, everything always comes down to communication. Without talking to your partner, you will never have a successful relationship. Maybe sit down with them tonight and talk to them about which love languages they think they use to show love and which ones they use to perceive love (hint: they aren't always the same ones!) If you are always trying to show love through physical touch and they perceive love more through something like words of affirmation, try to consider that and make it a point to tell them how much they mean to you every once in a while!