5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts
If she's amazing, she won't be easy. If she's easy, she won't be amazing. If she's worth it, you won't give up. If you give up, you're not worthy.
~ Bob Marley
What makes a relationship last, he asked, I looked him dead in the eyes. "I can't tell you that. I don't have an answer. Every relationship is a choice to fully put yourself out there and you may get hurt, but with no risk, there's no reward". The furrow of his brow told me he wasn't satisfied, but he believes me. I don't have some magical insight to how things work. What I do have is, a healthy curiosity and a lust to learn more.
Romance is about the possibility of the thing. You see, it's about the time between when you first meet some fine ass woman, and when you first make love to her; When you first ask a woman to marry you, and when she says I do. When people who been together a long time say that the romance is gone, what they're really saying is they've exhausted the possibility
~ Darius Lovehall (Larenz Tate, Love Jones - 1995)
Continue to do what brought you to the dance. When a relationship starts, I find that far too many people become complacent, ceasing to do the things that made the relationship possible. This could be because you put up a façade in the early stages. The other option is that you think you've arrived once you start to date. Both of these are folly. From jump, you have to be authentic and work hard, not less when the relationship materializes.
When things start frazzling at the seams, your partner's love tank could be depleted. The concept of the love tank is a theory I learned from best selling author, Dr. Gary Chapman's, book 'The Five Love Languages'. This book has been making its rounds in my circle of friends, I had to investigate. Doctor Chapman's assertion is that each person receives love differently, so through continuous counselling, he developed these five types of love languages. In the process, he's saved countless marriages and provided many fraying couples with counsel.
The five languages are as follows:
1. Words of Affirmation.
Words are very important to these people. A simple "I love you" could mean the world to this recipient. Adversely, scathing words may never be forgotten and fester for days or months, even years. Look for your spouse's strengths and tell her how much you appreciate those strengths. Be specific: 'I appreciate you for how you help me clean without me even asking'
2. Quality Time.
This isn't just the Netflix and chill time together or at the restaurant dining, but you're both on your phones. This is the undivided attention of the person you're dating. If you like food, make it an adventure trying different restaurants at least once a week. Maybe something as simple as a walk through a trail. A weekend away, anything, it doesn't have to be grandiose, just thoughtful.
3. Receiving Gifts.
Trinkets and mementos are the elixir of love to this type of person. This doesn't denote materialism, it actually doesn't have to cost anything. The idea here is to watch and listen to your partners wants and needs, making them possible where you can. It could be a scrapbook of your favourite dates, handpicked flowers, cue cards that exclaim your love for him/her.
4. Acts of Service.
These people find thoughtful gestures invaluable. Deeds, not words, are the key. Maybe you notice that your spouse is taking on too much. Offering to lighten the load may go a long way to show, A) you're noticing the hard work they're putting forth, B) that you care and C) that you're willing to carve time out of your day to help theirs. When you give your word here, do not break that promise, it shows lack of value.
5. Physical Touch.
This could be a grazing touch in a crowded room. This could be a kiss on the forehead in the morning. A hug just because. Sexuality doesn't need to be the endgame, but a caring caress speaks volumes to recipients of this type of love. Be there to touch them, early and often, making them know they're appreciated.
The one word that continues to resurface in all of these types of love is appreciation. Appreciate your love. Cultivate it, because its not guaranteed. That's the answer to my friend's question. Be honest about what you're doing and consider your actions. I'll go you one better, I challenge you! Be an overachiever and use all forms of these traits in your relationship.