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A lot of us dream of finding our one true love: the perfect soulmate who will understand and fulfill all our needs and desires.

Even though some couples start off this way, unfortunately, the reality of most relationships is the complete opposite of the fairytale.

When Gabriel and I started dating, he really swept me off my feet. It was magical.

But not even a year later I already felt lonely, misunderstood and worried that we will not work out after all.

That’s because in real life…

We had to face lots of problems as a couple.

And often ended up inflicting pain onto each other, mostly unintentionally.

All these hurdles gradually damaged our relationship and caused both of us to start growing apart.

But the 5 Love Languages was a concept that helped us put words to our feelings and gain a better understanding of our problems.

In this article, I’ll explain how we applied it to fix our relationship.

#1 What Are The 5 Love Languages

The 5 Love Languages is a book written by a marriage counselor, Dr. Gary Chapman.

It’s based on one simple premise:

Different people with different personalities express love in different ways.

From his couples’ counseling experience, Dr. Chapman deduced 5 main ways in which people express and receive love in relationships:

The 5 Love Languages, these include:

  • Words of Affirmation
  • Acts of Service
  • Receiving Gifts
  • Quality Time
  • Physical Touch

#2 Figure out Your Own Preferred Love Languages to Put Words To Your Own Needs

When facing relationship problems it’s easy to get very caught up in all the fears and feelings.

We often lost track of what we were actually arguing about, to begin with!

That’s why I found the concept of 5 Love Languages to be an incredibly powerful tool.

It helped me to put words to my feelings and classify the things that were important to me in my relationship.

What helped me the most was ordering the 5 Love Languages in a list.

Starting with what was the MOST IMPORTANT to me and ending with the one that matters least.

It looked like this:

  1. Quality Time
  2. Physical Touch
  3. Receiving Gifts
  4. Words of Affirmation
  5. Acts of Service

Gaining this overview of my own preferred Love Languages allowed me to see what things I was getting out of my relationship…

And which ones WERE MISSING for me!

It helped me appreciate certain all of the things I was getting out of our relationship that I did not see so clearly before.

At the same time, It also allowed me to PUT WORDS to my unmet needs.

Gaining an overview of the things that are and aren’t working in your relationships is a necessary first step that will make fixing your relationship a lot easier.

#3 Figure out Your Partner’s Preferred Love Languages to Avoid Conflicts

Having an overview of your partner’s needs and preferences is just as important as understanding your own.

You don’t need to resort to guesswork though!

It is best done by explaining the concept to your partner and asking him to make HIS OWN LIST.

This is what Gabriel’s list looked like

  1. Words of Affirmation
  2. Physical Touch
  3. Quality Time
  4. Acts of Service
  5. Receiving Gifts

Putting his Love Languages in order of importance allowed me to see the areas where we had a lot of overlap.

It also made me see where our needs were completely different.

For example, we both valued physical touch and quality time a lot. They were both in the top 3 of our Love Language lists.

However, I listed gifts as my #3 and for Gabriel that one was at the very bottom.

At the same time, Gabriel valued words of affirmation a lot more than I did.

Seeing the differences in you and your partner’s preferred Love Languages will help you identify potential REASONS FOR YOUR CONFLICTS.

In other words, it highlights which of your needs are NOT being met!

And these are the things you probably fight about.

In addition, having an understanding of the issues that cause friction in your relationship is extremely helpful in improving communication and resolving arguments.

#4 Notice the Areas in Your Relationship Where You’ve Been Talking Past Each Other

Another important way to fix your relationship with 5 Love Languages is getting better at noticing when your partner is expressing love.

It’s easy to miss things that seem unimportant to you.

But these very things might be a much bigger deal to your partner than they are to you.

And vice versa, you might be expressing your love in ways that your partner is ENTIRELY OBLIVIOUS to.

Being blind to your partner’s efforts at expressing love will make him feel discarded and unappreciated.

Moreover, it will discourage him from making an effort in the long run.

In order to fix your relationship, it’s best to address and make an active effort to notice and appreciate your partner’s efforts at expressing love.

This will encourage him to try harder to meet YOUR NEEDS as well.

#5 Use Your Understanding of 5 Love Languages to Communicate Your Own Needs Better

I found the 5 languages vocabulary extremely helpful in expressing what I needed!

Being able to put words to my own needs and feelings made communicating them to Gabriel SO MUCH EASIER.

We still often say things like:

“Can you just give me some WORDS OF AFFIRMATION, I really need to hear I’m doing great”.

Or

“We’ve been so busy lately, I really miss having more QUALITY TIME”

Having the 5 Love Languages vocabulary will allow you to be very clear and specific.

Being able to express your own needs clearly will make it easier for your partner to hear you out.

Conclusion

Fixing a relationship is a complex task.

It’s easy to get lost and overwhelmed by it.

That’s why the 5 Love Languages is a very useful tool because it can create an overview of the problems you are currently facing in your relationship.

Understanding both your own and your partner’s preferred Love Languages will help you understand which areas in your relationship are functioning well and which ones you need to work on.

It will also give you the vocabulary to communicate these things clearly and effectively to your partner.

If you found this post helpful, you can check out The 5 Love Languages book here.

If you have any questions or would like to add something, do so in the comments below!

Karolina

Karolina Bartnik