At the Family Peace Foundation, we believe a key way to strengthen families is to invest energy in nurturing your partner (assuming there is one). Caring about their wellbeing is a fundamental ingredient in creating strong and resilient families.
Which is why being a ‘Needs Detective’ is so crucial.
One way of achieving this is to tune into how your partner most likes to express and experience your love for them.
When explaining this to clients, I often talk about one of my favourite books, titled ‘The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate’. The book has been on the New York Times Best Seller list since August 2009.
It was written back in 1995 book by Gary Chapman, a social anthropologist and relationship expert who resides in North Carolina. In the book, Gary outlines five ways to express and experience love that he calls “love languages”.
• Receiving gifts
• Quality time
• Words of affirmation,
• Acts of service (devotion)
• Physical touch
According to his model, everyone has one primary and one secondary love language. The official website (http://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/) for the book provides an online test for users to try and identify their particular love language.
Gary maintains that while each of these languages is enjoyed to some degree by all people, he believes that a person will usually speak one primary language, but says that all are important and can be rated after taking the love language profile.
So, how do visitors to the Family Peace Foundation’s website determine their partner’s love language? Don’t just guess. Someone once said that assumptions are the termites of relationships, so you need to be a bit scientific. It does involve you being a bit of a Sherlock-Holmes and a relationships detective. First of all, (without being creepy) carefully watch over a period of weeks, how your partner expresses his or her love to others. Second, notice what they complain about most often, and what they request from you most often. Is it a cup of tea, back rub, time together, praise, or a bunch of flowers. Finally, run an experiment for a few weeks where you concentrate on communicating with him or her in their primary language and see your relationship and family bloom.
The bottom line, is that investing a bit of energy in thinking carefully about how your partner operates is going to benefit everyone. So log on to Gary’s website and take the test. At the Family Peace Foundation we believe that the more connections you and your partner make, the more you will strengthen the fabric of your relationship.