The five love languages
Nate and I have completely opposite love languages, and it can be soooo sooo frustrating at times. We finally found a good easy solution! Are you familiar with the five love languages? They are how we like to give and received love. They are important to know because it allows you to love your partner in the “language” they speak and appreciate the most and visa versa. The love languages are quality time, affection, acts of service, gifts, and affirmations. Here’s a quiz if you are curious and don’t know yours.
Couples with opposite love languages
I think it’s so funny that most couples I know, including Nate and I, have completely different love languages! It makes me think that God must really have a sense of humor. I only know one couple who has the same love language, and I imagine their relationship doesn’t have as much conflict as Nate and mine. My primary ones are quality time and affirmation. Nate’s primary ones are affection and acts of service.
How opposite love languages cause conflict
The conflict arises when Nate is feeling like he’s doing a good job loving me because he’s serving me in many ways and he’s showing a lot of affection, but unfortunately, because my love language is quality time and affirmation and not acts of service and affection, his love for me doesn’t quite register in my brain by these actions.
When you have opposite love languages, it takes intentional effort to love your partner well
This has been a constant source of marital conflict for us, and finally it’s come to the point where Nate has put it in his schedule to give me quality time. I can’t believe we’ve just figured this out, and it took us ten years into our marriage! It’s such a simple fix too. If you happen to also need quality time like me and your partner has a different love language, this might be a great thing to add to your daily routine.
A super simple fix
So, after the kids are put down and before we let our brains go into a zombie-like state with our phones and Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon prime shows, we turn it all off and spend some time to just talk about our day and anything on our minds.
Why tv time together doesn’t feel like quality time
For me and probably many other people who have quality time as their primary love language, hanging out cuddling and watching movies and tv doesn’t qualify as quality time because although we are spending time together, we are not engaged or giving each other focused attention.
A daily screen free time instead of an entire screen free day
We don’t do screen free days like some families. Instead we do a couple’s screen-free, focused attention time every evening. This small change has been life-changing for me!
The importance of initiating
The most important thing is that Nate be the one to initiate this time. He says, “Let’s talk about our day” and he turns off his phone and/or puts down the tv remote. I tell him that if he didn’t initiate it it’s like him having to ask me for kisses and cuddles or him having to ask me to make coffee and do acts of service for him. It’s this small, intentional act of him initiating that makes me feel loved. As corny as it sounds, it really does fill my love cup.
Do any other couples just do this naturally? I wish it didn’t take us 10 years to figure this out! What are your love languages? What is your partner’s (if you have one)? How do you guys manage if you have different languages? I’d love to know!
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