One of the things I often hear my couples say when working with them is that they feel really disconnected. Sometimes they will say they feel like they are living parallel lives that never intersect because they’re so busy. Other times they feel like they’re on an island or they feel like roommates. When this is the case, I know what is NOT happening is intentionality. We’re not being intentional about the relationship and we’re certainly not prioritizing it.
I know there are a lot of things that happen in life that can get in the way so I’ll often hear people say “We’re too busy for date night,” “We’re so busy with the kids,” “We don’t have time for quality time,” or “We’re too tired for sex.” There can certainly be elements of truth to those things, but the reality is that if we continue to let those be the reasons or excuses for why we’re not feeling connected, then we’ll continue to feel disconnected.
One gage or measure I think is good to look at is looking at your relationship through the lens of love languages. I want to spend today going through what those love languages are and allowing you to take some time to think about, what are my love languages? What are the most important ones? What are the most important ones to my partner? The idea is that you want to be showing love to your partner the way in which your partner receives love. Otherwise, we run the risk of wires getting crossed and not recognizing love or receiving it in the way that our partner wanted us to. Let’s go through them.
Words of Affirmation
This is receiving love through verbal words. Words or praise, words of affirmation, words of encouragement, words of acceptance, words of gratitude, words of fondness. This is being able to tell our partner what we appreciate about them. The reason why this can be a really important one is that it’s two-fold beneficial. For our partner, if they receive love that way then it’s hearing those things from us, if we’re the ones giving those words of affirmation to our partner, then we’re training our brain to look for those things. There is benefit in being the giver and receiver.
Acts of service
This is doing things for your partner, labors of love. This can be anything from making them a meal, to doing their laundry, to taking their car to get it washed or the oil changed. I think this is often one that if it’s not a love language of your partner’s, it gets missed. There might sometimes be frustration in doing these love labors and our partner not recognizing them.
I think this is less about material giving and more about the thoughtfulness behind the gift. Gifts mean that we are paying attention and we are listening to our partner. We’ve heard them talk about that concert they want to go to, we know their favorite drink from their favorite coffee shop, etc. These little gifts are a reminder that you matter and that we’re paying attention.
This is beneficial in the sense that it moves us away from focusing on not having enough time or quantity, and into being intentional about what quality looks like. So, being very specific with how we spend date night and how we spend our time together. Making it less about the amount of time and more about talking about things that go deeper that are not the day-to-day responsibility, logistical things, which quite frankly are necessary but can be boring and not very sexy. Quality time allows us to shift gears into something that’s much deeper and more connected.
This is physical touch all the way from hand holding and hugging to sex and intimacy that way. Physical touch is an important love language for a lot of people. If it’s important to you or your partner, then it’s important to do the work in figuring out how to incorporate affection and intimacy and make that a priority.
Have a conversation with your partner about what their love language is and how they typically give love. Make sure there is a connection between those and what will result is you feeling much more connected to your partner.
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