Love and Friendship

Here’s how to make sure that your gestures in love are understood

One partner might think he is communicating his love through what he does daily, but the other might not be receiving the message correctly. The language of love differs from person to person
man folding shoeless

You think you’ve been together long enough for her to know that you like to do things with her, like watching movies. But your idea of a good movie is not hers, so most times you watch your movies alone.

Or you feel unloved because he never appreciates your work but when you talk to him you find out that he thinks the morning cuddle said it all!

Communication is missing in relationships lately

I know we all can give dozens of big and small examples where we feel something’s amiss in our relationship. Most of the time it all boils down to one simple word – Communication.

Sounds familiar?

I know of one couple who decided to spend a day every month doing what one of them wanted.
Just one day a month, every alternate month. It changed their whole perception of what the other wanted and they were ready to give.

So how do you make sure that your love gesture is understood and reciprocated, anyway?

Related reading: 5 reasons why Indian men find it difficult to communicate!

1. He says potatoh you say patatoe!

Yes, it’s true we all speak different languages of love.

Some people think a walk in the park is love and some believe a bunch of roses is love. And there’s more…

According to The Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate by Gary Chapman, there are actually five love languages. They are:

  1. Words of affirmation – complimenting or praising your partner, verbal PDA
  2. Quality time – time spent in the together zone
  3. Receiving gifts – surprising each other with gifts or tokens of love
  4. Acts of service – helping without being asked
  5. Physical touch – hand holding and snuggling more

Once you realise that your idea of sharing love is completely different from the way your partner expresses love, you win half the battle.

Once you realise that your idea of sharing love is completely different from the way your partner expresses love, you win half the battle.

Because whether you say it or not, this whole relationship thing feels like a battle with both of you on either side…

But now, you realise that both of you are actually on the same side. What a relief!

On the same side
Image source

TIP: You can try Gary Chapman’s website for quizzes to know what language you and your partner speak.

Related reading: 15 most common reasons for divorce

2. Listen in vs. listening

Natasha, 36 (not her real name) gives an embarrassed laugh, “While we were dating while studying in a small town, he travelled a long way to get me pastries. I hate pastries and couldn’t stop myself from blurting it out. I guess receiving gifts is not my language of love. Actually, I prefer his help while I am saddled with work at home and office.”

Arvind, Natasha’s husband and a busy professional, just like his wife, cribs about how he keeps waiting to spend quality time with his wife, but she is always deep into her own things. He likes to surprise her with gifts to get her to relax, but the gifts don’t impress her much.

Irritating or plain exasperating, this love tangle needs to be fully understood to be solved. To do this, both need to step back and understand how the other person wants to be loved.

Or as Gary Chapman opines in his book, “Love can be expressed and received in all five languages. However, if you don’t speak a person’s primary love language, that person will not feel loved, even though you may be speaking the other four. Once you are speaking his or her primary love language fluently, then you can sprinkle in the other four and they will be like icing on the cake.”

The foundation of a good relationship is to be able to talk to someone, about anything and everything – without being judged.

The foundation of a good relationship is to be able to talk to someone, about anything and everything – without being judged.

And the more you talk and listen the more common points you can rediscover – even after 10 years. Only then can you move on to the next step.

love nd friendship

3. Positivate not just communicate

So how do you start telling them that you can’t hear what they say?
Say it positively – start by appreciating their way. Sounds sneaky?

It’s just plain common sense…

Because you see, you can’t start a conversation with a ‘No’. So, smile at the effort and thought they have put in for you and respond positively.

“We are open with each other and tell each other everything,” you counter.

That’s great. But it doesn’t mean shutting the door on the other’s face.

A relationship is like a long conversation with the boring bits, I-love-you bits, I-don’t care bits and the let’s-work-it-out bits all thrown in, in a heady mishmash of emotions, opinions, thoughts and general banter.

It all stays together when it’s surrounded by the stickiness of love.

To do that, you need to sugar coat some things, sometimes, so that the conversation continues without any one feeling judged or hurt.

Remember: Communicating love is a two-way street. Start by appreciating their way, communicate your ideas and enjoy the differences. After all, the differences are what brought you together in the first place.

Know how much he loves you through his body language

Five communication mistakes that couples make!

This couple may be different but their communication strategy is unique

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2 Comments

  1. Oh wow! What a lovely and insightful write up. How important it is just to realize that every one speaks a language of love that might not necessarily fit into ours, but it’s the language of love anyway! This is a life altering insight if you ask me! Thank you so much.

  2. You know this line got to me…So how do you start telling them that you can’t hear what they say?
    Say it positively – start by appreciating their way. Sounds sneaky?
    Made sense. Tried it! Thanks…waiting for more pieces from you!

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