Romance is a feeling of excitement, mystery, or appreciation associated with love or desire. When we think of romance we may already have a picture-perfect idea of what we would find most enjoyable. It is easy to think that our preference for romance surely applies to everyone, and that everyone would find it enjoyable, when in reality there are a variety of ways people enjoy receiving romance and affection.
We have a tendency to show affection in ways we would like to receive it. Perhaps we notice our partner looks exhausted after a long day and so we draw her a warm bubble bath and light some candles because we know that we would feel very loved if our partner did that for us. We could ask them what they want or need, but the element of spontaneity and surprise are often perceived as an amplifier to romance. An important question you may want to discuss with your partner could be ‘is the element of surprise worth disappointing my partner with something they didn’t really want?’ If the answer to that question is yes, perhaps the giver is receiving more from the situation than the receiver, and focusing more on the giver’s gratification than the receiver’s.
Valentine’s Day is our prescribed day to show love and appreciation for partners. Saying it out loud sounds a bit silly, doesn’t it? Whether you believe that Valentine’s Day is a corporate-inspired holiday designed to make us spend money or just a day to go the extra mile to show your affection to your partner, chances are you will want to show some sort of appreciation for your loved one. One of the most effective ways of showing love is to know and understand your partner’s primary love languages.
The five love languages break down romance into five categories. These five categories describe the type of affection people prefer to receive. By extension, we may project these preferences onto our partners by assuming they want to receive love in the same way we do. That’s why it is so important to have a conversation about their love language. You can even take an assessment to figure out you and your partner’s love languages. Further information can be provided by your counselor during your counseling session.
The five categories of love languages are physical touch, acts of service, quality time, gift-giving and words of affirmation.
People with the primary love language of physical touch feel the most loved when getting a hand squeeze or cuddle from their partner. This can be achieved by cuddling, sexual intimacy, kisses or even nose rubs – anything that physically joins them with their partner. The physical sensations reassure them of their partner’s love and affection.
Acts of Service
Individuals who prefer acts of service deeply appreciate when their partner does something for them. These acts can range from taking out the trash, cleaning their car, drawing them a bath, or otherwise providing assistance. These acts are the most meaningful form of love for these individuals because they realize just how precious time and resources are, and how impactful it is when someone shares these.
People who prioritize quality time find the most meaning out of spending time with their partner one-on-one. This can vary by watching a movie, playing video games, having a picnic, exercising or just having an intimate conversation. The most important thing is that whatever you’re doing you’re doing it together, or at least fairly close by.
Gift-givers love giving and receiving gifts as symbols of affection. They put a lot of thought into what they want their gift to represent, whether that is something hand-made or something a lot of time, resources or money went into. Often times individuals with this primary love language aren’t materialistic, but appreciate the effort put into the gift.
Words of Affirmation
Individuals with the primary love language of words of affirmation place a lot of value on what is said and how it is spoken. Their partner may assume that giving them a long hug means ‘I love you’, but hearing the words means so much more to them. Hearing that you love them and the reasons why you love them makes their heart soar with appreciation.
You may be looking at this list and thinking, ‘well shoot, I enjoy receiving affection in all of these ways!’ which is a normal response. Chances are you like receiving gifts as well as getting hugs. Discussing this topic with an Orlando psychotherapist in addition to taking an assessment will help you identify which two love languages you appreciate the most from these five. This type of dialogue can help open up deeper communication with your partner.
If you are struggling with effective communication or showing love to your partner please contact Life Enhancement Counseling Services in Orlando today at 407-443-8862 to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced mental health counselors.