We already know that effective communication is the cornerstone of successful relationships, and that it plays an essential role in compatibility for any couple.
When it comes to the language of love or ‘love language’, though, it’s not uncommon for partners to have differing desires for affection or to express their feelings in different ways.
Some people, for example, place a high importance on spending time together, while others prefer physical contact. Similarly, some people associate gifts with romance, while others associate acts of service with everything else.
Then, there are those who believe that words or “words of affirmation” are synonymous with the essence of love.
Impassioned words and verbal gestures of affection resonate with certain people more than they do with others. From heartfelt good night text messages to a simple post-it note that says “I love you”.
To help all you lovebirds communicate better with your partner, let’s take a look at the different types of love languages.
What are the different types of love languages?
For couples who haven’t read Gary Chapman’s book on The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts, you’re missing out on a whole new world of possibilities of communicating with your partner!
In his book which has now sold over ten million copies worldwide, the pastor and marriage counsellor illustrates how people most typically give and receive love in one of five ways: quality time, physical touch, gifts, acts of service, and words of affirmation.
Chapman elaborates that we are all equipped with a “love tank”, and this proverbial tank is filled when we learn to communicate with each other in the language that we prefer.
By putting in the effort to speak each other’s love language, couples can unlock increasingly profound levels of love and have a higher chance of cultivating a strong, happy relationship.
On the contrary, when your love tank runs dry, it creates a breeding ground for misunderstandings to proliferate.
Next, we’re diving deeper into an important love language, Words of Affirmation.
Words of affirmation in relationships
To identify your love language, think about what types of expressions bring you the most delight?
For most people, genuine, heartfelt words of affirmation such as “You look so good today!” or “I’m so lucky to have you” can instantaneously bring on the warm fuzzies.
Words of affirmation could be your love language if:
- Receiving compliments and unexpected praise brings you pleasure
- You love validation and feelings of being understood for achievements whether big or small
- You love when others tell you they care about you or appreciate your presence in their lives
Of course, we all enjoy receiving compliments and praises to a certain extent. Nevertheless, written and spoken expressions matter more than any other exhibition of love for those who equate words of affirmation with love.
The “I don’t need to say how much I love them because I show it every day” sentiment won’t cut it. You need to utter actual words on a regular basis.
Don’t need to shout them over a boombox on your shoulder playing your lover’s favourite song!
For more meaningful ways and ideas to express your feelings of love to your boo whose love language is words of affirmation, here are some tips:
1. Be yourself
People who express themselves through words of affirmation can sense B.S from miles away.
So, you want to make sure that you’re being your authentic self when talking to them by saying sincere, heartfelt things.
Otherwise, they have the ability to sense if you are not being true and your words may have a negative effect instead of a positive one.
2. Be Humble
Ego has no place in relationships. If one person is always trying to be the winner, there will always be a loser whether the other person likes it or not.
By being humble and verbally expressing humility, you create a safe space for forgiveness, understanding, and even excitement for a chance to do better the next day.
Practice words of humility regularly as a chance to lay out any hidden bitterness in the relationship so that it doesn’t bottle up and explode in the most horrific way in the long run.
For those of you who have trouble apologising through verbal communication, start by expressing your humility on paper instead.
Words of humility can begin with:
“It was my mistake, next time I’ll…”
“I’m sorry that I…”
3. Be empathetic
Unless you’ve been in someone’s shoes, you will never really know what they’ve been through or how they’re feeling.
Nevertheless, your partner who feels comforted by your words of affirmation alone will feel understood, and that they are not alone in whatever struggles they face in life.
For those of you who struggle with empathy, it can be developed through time with a lot of reflection. Begin by reflecting on what your partner may be thinking or feeling, and repeat it back to them by paraphrasing it in a way that can help you to understand.
Also, learn these phrases of empathy:
“I’m sorry you have to go through this, but know that I will be here every step of the way.”
“I know you’re worried…”
“I can’t even begin to imagine what you’re going through.”
4. Express gratitude often
Nothing satiates people who feel contented by positive words and remarks more than being recognised or appreciated for what they do.
Even the simplest daily activities shouldn’t go unnoticed, and your appreciation should be as specific as possible for their love tank to begin filling up.
Think about the little things that you or your partner does for each other.
Let each other know how much you appreciate them through simple, heartfelt gratitude that can bring your daily actions an extra helping of meaning and purpose.
Examples of words of appreciation can begin with:
“I’m grateful that you…”
“I’m glad that you…”
“I wouldn’t be able to go through __ if it weren’t for you.”
5. Practice words of affirmation regularly
Practising words of affirmation in your relationship is as easy as saying good morning or good night to each other.
To make it more ‘affirmative’, add cute pet names for your boo like “Good night baby boy” or “good morning sunshine”.
It might sound cliche and corny to you, but trust us, to your boo, it’ll refill their “love tank” and keep them smiling for a long time!
Another way to do this is by leaving love reminders wherever you can whether on a sticky note or with a GIF that aptly expresses your feelings
6. Be vocal in bed
People who respond to words of affirmation usually respond to dirty talk in bed 😉
While some people use dirty talk to tease and tantalize their partners, expressing your pleasures and wishes in bed shows your partner how good they make you feel, which makes them feel more appreciated.
So, be as vocal as naturally possible, and start by describing how your lover’s actions in bed make you feel whether physically and/or mentally.
7. Express yourself through music
Finding the right words to say to your lover might not come naturally at times.
Thankfully, there are about a million songs that can describe how you feel!
Plus, music is a great way for couples to bond.
Create a modern-day mixtape like a playlist on Spotify or iTunes where you can continuously add songs that remind you of your boo.
When they’re listening to it at work or at the gym, it’ll make them feel your love on so many levels even though it’s Ed Sheeran’s voice singing it to them!
8. Respect and admiration
Respect goes a long way in long term relationships.
You might respect your other half, but if their love language is words of affirmation, you should also be reminding them how you feel through words and actions.
Respect can be cultivated from the way you speak to each other, to the things you say such as positive assertions.
Avoid letting your ego get in the way by making judgemental, negative remarks whenever you are in an argument. Rather, learn to ask each other questions in a civil fashion to try to understand each other instead of going into defence mode.
At the end of the day, it’s fine to agree to disagree. Words of affirmation is an act of love that should be focused on your lover, and not yourself.
Now that you know what love languages are all about, it’s time to learn the grammar of the different love languages so that you can begin to effectively communicate and express yourself.
Simultaneously, you will be communicating directly to your lovers’ hearts if you develop inventive ways to express how you feel.
Whether it’s by using uplifting words of affirmation or through everyday acts of service, find out what your love language is here!
Remember, discovering your love languages is only the first step. The next is to gradually practice and apply it to your relationship for it to blossom.
Want more useful dating tips and advice? Check out the Sugarbook blog today!