Loving people for long periods of time can prove to be challenging: as people change, so do the ways you love them. This is evident in my own relationship. So, last year I started an experiment with my husband. The purpose is simple: love can be feverish and passionate, it can be tiny or huge, it can become calm and routine. Love at its youngest is unpredictable, blinding. Seasoned love is safe and underlying. We are coming up on 8 years and have become conscious of how our love has grown and calmed and we wanted to give it more respect than just recognizing how it has changed. We wanted to fuel it, not in the way that makes it young and excitable and blinding, but in a way that makes it warm, inclusive, and a catalyst for us both.
If you are in a relationship that has lasted more than a year I highly recommend taking the 5 Love Languages test – it is completely free and it will probably change your life and it doesn’t take much time out of your day. The test ranks all five of the languages for you from strongest to weakest, so please don’t think you’re stuck with only one. As humans, we exhibit all five.
The five love languages are:
- Acts of Service
- Physical Touch
- Quality Time
- Receiving Gifts
- Words of Affirmation
Acts of service sounds demanding at first but in reality it boils down to domesticities. Doing chores without being asked. Cleaning up after yourself or the other. Being proactive about keeping up your space. It is truly a simple idea that streamlines cohabitation.
Physical touch is what it is – intimacy, romance, public displays of affection. Sometimes all it takes is reaching for them in public or trying something new in the bedroom. For those that have this as their strongest language, you are probably involved in a younger relationship – but recognizing and fine tuning this language – or any of these languages for that matter – will absolutely ensure growth into the others. You will find that they all bleed together.
Quality Time is such a simple gesture. It’s game playing, movie watching, cooking dinner, reading – spending time together without cell phones or social media or outside influences. Just you two in your little world. Tending to it, nurturing it.
Receiving gifts is referring to thoughtful gift receiving. It’s more than stocking stuffers or last minute birthday ideas. It’s remembering that they mentioned something a few weeks ago and bringing it home to them. It’s getting surprises that have utility. Sometimes it just has to say I was thinking about you and that’s all it takes.
Words of affirmation are powerful. They are the I love yous and the you’re the best things and, most importantly, the thank yous. They communicate to your other that you are paying attention and that you appreciate them and their efforts in your life together. Words are so influential. They are fuel for futures.
Personally, my top love language is words of affirmation while Jordan’s is quality time. It’s been a few months since we learned this and have implemented it into our lives and let me tell y’all – it has been amazing. Being active and conscious in a long lasting love is the key to keeping it special.
Again, I invite you to take the test for yourself and take the next few weeks or months applying it to your environment. Have your partner take it too, and y’all have fun growing and fine tuning your love! I wish you all the best!