When two people in a relationship bring different love languages to the table, it can be hard to find common ground when it comes to building intimacy. Sticking to surface-level conversations is easy but connecting on that deeper level requires effort and vulnerability. Here, we examine some approaches to bridging the gap between two distinct love languages and finding true intimacy in your relationship.
The first step to growing closer is understanding the differences between love languages. Using this knowledge as a foundation, you can then begin designing practices that are tailored to both of your unique preferences. Remember, the purpose of these activities isn’t simply to please the other person, but rather to make an effort to align your mutual interests with something meaningful.
For those who identify with the “quality time” language, there are several ways you can use it as a tool for connecting with your partner. Start by scheduling regular date nights and reserve that time as a special hour away from work or home responsibilities. It’s important to put small reminders of your affection into each day too—like a quick call in the middle of the day or sending a fun text message for no reason at all. To maintain meaningfulness in your conversations, encourage both of you to open up about your thoughts and feelings. You can even bring (or create!) a conversation starter book full of funny, interesting questions designed to draw out deeper reflections.
Physical touch is essential for those whose love language is physical affection. Carve out time during each day to simply hold one another, regardless of how busy you may be. Keep on hand a few aromatherapy products to use during massage sessions, as well as simple gifts such as flowers or chocolate. Make it a point to give small tokens of appreciation like hugs and kisses, even when touching isn’t comfortable. Even small and unsuspecting touches like a gentle back rub while watching television can add a layer of sweetness to your relationship.
Gift-giving love languages want to show their affection through tangible presents. Let them know you appreciate the thought behind their gift, even if it doesn’t necessarily suit your tastes. If coming up with ideas for special presents proves tricky, consider compiling a wish list of items you’d like to receive as an expression of their love. Be sure to reciprocate with a gift every so often too!
And for those who lean more towards words of affirmation, look for opportunities to express little phrases of encouragement and admiration. Have an arsenal of compliments on-hand, to remind each other just how special the other is. When giving compliments, concentrate on the positive. When receiving compliments, take them in—with a smile or hug, a kiss—all are wonderful responses.
Finally, no matter which love language you prefer, always remember the importance of taking action. It is in the here and now that true intimacy grows, not in the past or future. Making a conscious effort, on both sides of the relationship, to build closeness and understanding is the key to reaching true intimacy.
No matter your different love languages, being aware of the need for time, effort, and communication will help foster a warm and healthy relationship for both of you. With a bit of patience and a lot of love, having different love languages won’t get in the way of experiencing immeasurable joy, sense of security and deep intimacy with your partner.
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