When you take the time to really think about relationships, it’s easy to see how incredible they truly are. The idea of two people with different styles and needs coming together to form something strong and loving is truly amazing!
But relationships tend to work best when honor and respect are high on the list of priorities. Respecting and honoring your partner means understanding what their needs are and what their love style is, even if it isn’t the same as your own. In fact, if your partner does have a different love style from your own, you can honor them even more by taking yourself out of your comfort zone to put their needs above your own.
When you choose to honor and respect your partner by understanding their love style, you can strengthen your relationship. You’ll likely be less codepenent
since you won’t be seeking approval as much, and when your partner commits to putting your needs first too, you both will be fulfilled by one another, creating a healthy bond that can last a lifetime.
Understanding the Five Love Languages
You may have heard of the five love languages
before, but not everyone knows what they really mean or how they should be expressed within a relationship. Love styles are the ways in which people perceive, comprehend, and express love. Some people have more than one love style. Some are subtle while others are obvious. Knowing what your own love style is can be a great way to start improving your relationship. When you develop a deeper connection with yourself
you can show your partner what you need. In turn, you can start to fulfill their needs too.
So, what are the five love styles? Understanding them will help you to learn more about yourself, your partner, and your relationship:
- Devotion/Acts of Service
- Quality Time
- Physical Touch
- Words of Affirmation
Again, your love style might be different from your partner’s, and that’s okay! Your role in the relationship should be to focus on your partner’s needs as a way of honoring them. You can visualize what that looks like
before you take any action, but knowing how to cater to your partner’s needs based on their love style will truly help to take the respect in your relationship to the next level.
How to Put Your Partner’s Love Style Into Practice
Of course, it’s not enough to just know what your partner’s love style is. You have to show them you’re making the effort to honor them and serve them in a way that suits their needs.
For example, if your partner’s love language is quality time, it’s important to find a way to spend more time with them. Maybe you have a work schedule that keeps you away from home, or your work-life balance is struggling
You can find a better balance by saying “no” to extra hours at the office, avoiding perfectionism, and unplugging from your digital devices. Even showing your partner that you’re making an effort to give them more time can go a long way.
Some languages can be easier than others to understand. If your partner appreciates gifts or acts of service, try to get creative in thinking of things that would really speak to them. Just because someone feels loved when they receive a gift doesn’t mean you need to go out and buy something expensive or extravagant. The gift should still be meaningful and representative of your love. In fact, no matter what your partner’s love style is, how you cater to them should be about the respect you have rather than a performance.
Developing Mutual Respect in Your Relationship
It’s normal human nature to think about yourself first. That’s why so many relationships tend to fail. As people, we ask ourselves things like “what about me?” or “what can you do for me?” instead of focusing on what we can do for those around us. That’s especially apparent in struggling relationships.
Instead of focusing on your needs in your relationship, focus on your character and your partner’s needs. Learn more about their love style, and talk to them about your own. Not only will it help to strengthen your connection, but it will help you to learn more about what truly makes your partner happy and allows them to feel loved (and vice versa).
Relationships never reach their full potential without mutual respect for one another. Catering to your partner’s love style and providing for their needs is one of the best ways to show respect to them and your relationship in general. You might be surprised as you do to find that your partner’s natural response is to show you the same respect and to honor you with your own love styles without you having to ask for anything. That kind of balance in a relationship is what will help it thrive.