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We get it, properly identifying and then feeding your partner’s love language is no easy task. Not all of us know how to communicate our emotional and physical needs or are too scared to speak up when we need more than what we are getting. Regardless, it’s everyone’s job in the relationship to at least try to retrieve and act on that information. But what are the common challenges you can face and how do you combat those challenges?
Discovery. We love those new partners who just come out the gate vocalizing their needs while leaving space for those who aren’t as comfortable being so forward. Remember that trauma and relationship PTSD are real things that people deal with. Someone’s lack of communication around their love languages can stem from many things and should not be ostracized. If you are having a hard time identifying your partner’s love languages, observing their behavior can assist you through that process. Does she touch and hug people? Is she always doing things for people without them asking? She won’t stop giving you little gifts? Most people love other people exactly the way they would like to be loved.
Her complaining means more than you think. If your partner has been communicating her needs to you and you either just haven’t caught on or are simply ignoring them–she’s going to complain. If she says, “I wish you would cuddle with me more,” that means her love language is physical touch and she wants more of it. If they say, “Would you mind helping out around the house more?” it’s clear that acts of service are one of their love languages. So instead of becoming annoyed by your partner’s constant complaining about the same thing over and over, recognize that they are communicating their very clear needs to you and that you should adjust your behavior accordingly.
Never take a suggestion lightly. Your partner will communicate what they need from you in their way, whether that is making suggestions randomly through conversations you two have, or even retweeting/reposting things on their social media. Pay their attention to those little comments/actions because it can take you a long way in your relationship. For instance, if she won’t stop retweeting those tear-jerking videos where couples surprise each other with lavish gifts it means her love language is receiving gifts. Or if they are always suggesting you two take an evening strolls together, they are asking for more quality time.
Yes, in a perfect world, your partner will be able to just effectively communicate their love languages to you. But trauma around getting one’s needs met is unfortunately very common in the queer community. And if this is someone you truly love and want to invest in, doing the extra work to identify their love languages won’t feel like a task to you but an honor.