Understanding how to speak your partners love language may be the single greatest agent of change in your relationship. So often I see couples who spend all their time and energy showing their partner how much they love them, only to discover that their actions or words are not appreciated, or understood.
When you learn to speak your partners language of love, suddenly it is easy to express & receive love which means you both feel motivated & connected.
A friend of mine asked me today “Why do you only write about 3 love languages?” And it is a really great question!
Everyone has a primary way of interacting with the world – this is the way you learn, interact, and love. The 3 main categories are Auditory (hearing & sound), Kinaesthetic (touch & movement) and Visual (sight & objects).
[Visual] includes “Receiving Gifts” and “Acts of Service”, and many other visual reminders.
[Auditory] includes “Words of Affirmation”, and many other sounds & tones.
[Kinaesthetic] includes “Physical Touch” and “Quality Time” as well as many other forms of movement and touch.
When you begin to think in terms of Sight, Sound, and Touch, then you can open a whole new world of ways to speak your partners language of love.
I recommend that you choose one act of love each day. Each of these strategies has the power in and of itself to change the whole climate of your relationship!
You can also check out Best Friends | Date Night | Romance for more ideas, insights & information.
Plan to get up half an hour earlier than your partner on a weekend day. Pick up the groceries you need during the week, and let them know that you are going to make them breakfast in bed. If you have kids, get them involved too!
Allow your partner to enjoy their breakfast, if that means alone & reading the paper then facilitate that.
Find a quote online that resonates with you & reflects the way you see your partner. You can google things like “love quotes” and include philosophers, poets & authors such as Rumi, Deida, Neruda, or simply the word “poetry”.
Write it in a card & explain why it reminds you of your partner.
A hug is a powerful tool. A hug stimulates the production of oxytocin, the hormone that strengthens a couples bond (even better if you are skin to skin). A hug builds trust, boosts serotonin (to elevate your mood) & helps relax your muscles. Most of all, hugs feel good. I prescribe loads of them. When you hold someone for 2 minutes it allows time for you to relax into each other, to become present, to connect.
Bring home a beautiful peace lily for your partner. These plants are brilliant inside, they love soft filtered light and are in the top 10 plants for keeping the air in your home fresh & clean.
A peace lily is super easy to grow & will let you know when they need watering (they wilt a little), this will remind you that it is time to bring home another gift! Remember to wrap or add a bow & a card.
When you see a beautiful flower or meal then you want to smell it, and if you smell an intoxicating scent then you want to taste it…
Tell your partner how much you love the scent of their perfume, shampoo, aftershave. Describe the way you feel when you smell their skin. Be specific – tell them which of the products they use smell great, and how delicious they are to you.
Give your partner an aromatic bath, run a bath and add their favourite scent, wash them lovingly with a beautiful smelling soap. This is an act of love, not foreplay.
Wash them gently with a sponge or gentle loofah, use plenty of foamy lush soap. Take your time and wash every inch of their body slowly & with deep love. You can wash their hair if that is something they would enjoy.
Don’t get in, leave them to soak and enjoy some peace.
Write a loving message for your partner somewhere they will see it.
Here’s a hot tip – whiteboard markers are erasable from mirrors, bathroom tiles & windows. Find a likely surface in your home (or car) and leave a little note to make them smile.
You can write something sweet, or something a little spicier!
Instead of sending your lover a text message to tell them you love them, try something a little different.
Use the voice memo app on your phone and record a message then send the MP3 as a text! You can tell them you love them, you are thinking of them. Maybe you could try singing a song or telling a joke.
The sound of your voice is a great way to stay connected.
Create a moment of playful fun with a different kind of touch.
This is only fun when it is gentle, playful & mutually enjoyed! Play with your partner – this could be a pillow fight, maybe you could hold hands and spin in circles or for the more competitive, a thumb wrestle might be in store.
Think of puppies playing & tumbling, then go get silly.
Couples who are still passionate and strongly attracted to each other, dress well for each other, and make sure that they take care of themselves for their partner.
Wear an outfit or an item or clothing that you know your partner loves to see. This doesn’t require a special occasion, make a regular effort.
We all love to be the recipient of a great compliment. It is key to keeping the love tank full of a partner with an auditory love language.
Take this act of love to the next level by paying your partner a compliment when you are together in public. You could also share an event or an outcome that your partner has achieved recently, and let your friends know how proud you are.
Sit close to your partner while you are watching a movie or TV together.
You could simply hold hands, lay your head on their shoulder, or snuggle right up.
When Jimmy T and I watch a movie, he sits on the couch and I lay down with my legs over his lap so we have continual physical contact. Blissful & connected!
Leave a beautiful flower on the dash of your lover’s car or the handlebars of their bike. There is nothing more lovely than heading out in the morning to work, and seeing a visual reminder that you are loved.
If your partner isn’t into flowers, you could leave a beautifully written card, a small chocolate, the recipe for their favourite meal and a promise that they will be coming home to share it.
There is a crazy urban myth that saying those three little words too often somehow detracts from their value. I’m here to tell you that in no way, in no universe, is that ever true! This is especially important when your lover has an auditory love language, they need to hear how you feel about them. Say I love you when you wake up, when you see them smile, when you go to work. Say it in the ad break on TV. Say it at least 5 times. Every. Single. Day.
Make physical connection with your partner each time you are close, whether sitting, standing, or moving.
This might be a gentle touch to their arm as you talk, or a squeeze of the shoulder when you walk past. Perhaps you will give them a quick squeezie hug when they are cleaning their teeth.
Your touch says to your lover “I notice you. You matter. I love you.”
Wash your partner’s car. It is a wonderful feeling for your visual partner to see their gleaming automobile, and to notice the level of detail in your care.
Take care of the windscreen (inside & out) the body, the wheels and any other detail that you notice needs cleaning. You can do this yourself for extra points, or to take it to a car wash and have a hot cup of coffee while you wait!
One of the most important things for your partner is being able to discuss a variety of topics with you. Learning to articulate your opinion, and bringing new topics of conversation will bring new life to your love!
You can practice by listening to podcasts, then explaining the content. Start by yourself if you are just starting out, then go and practice with your lover. Ask your partner what they think, talk about the content, listen to them.
Spend time cuddling your partner when you go to bed and when you wake up. It is so important to maintain your non sexual and affectionate touch, and to stay connected & loving in your bedroom.
To make it even more effective, spend lots of time skin-to-skin to boost your oxytocin (the cuddling chemical) production. Are you the big spoon? Or the little spoon? However you cuddle it’s a big win for love!
Find a visually beautiful dessert to bring home. The key here is that it must look like art. Romance with a twist of health and vitality.
I recommend Mama-P in Newcastle who create divine desserts from super foods -they’re exquisitely presented and equally as delicious!
Check out the detailed ingredients on their website, or head into a local stockist.
Remember a time when you saw your partner and they absolutely took your breath away. Recall the details of what you saw, heard, felt and thought. What did you say to yourself in that moment? What were the qualities you noticed about your partner that were so amazing, and why?
Make some notes to describe that moment in detail. When you are ready, share this detailed vignette with your partner.
A kiss never lies – it tells you that you are healthy, vital, and connected.
A kiss is an act of deep intimacy and love, and a couple who spend lots of time kissing will have better chemistry and a higher libido, PLUS kissing boosts your immunity, burns calories, and keeps your mouth sweet & fresh.
Kiss daily, for a minimum of 7 seconds, open lips, and gentle tongues. You’re welcome.
Your mission is to go on a treasure hunt – what is it that your partner seeks?
Perhaps they love jewels, or gadgets, or books. Maybe your partner is an artist and loves paint, or a foodie who seeks umami. When you discover the prize, make it your mission to become a treasure hunter – that means noticing gems each time you explore, and bringing them home for your lover.
One of the biggest challenges in a relationship is how to express a difference without being a wet blanket. Thankfully this issue is simply solved with a linguistic switch. Anytime you say “but”, you automatically negate anything you, or they, have just said. Learn to first appreciate their perspective and then you can add your own. For example, “I agree, (restate idea) and lets add to that (the extra element). Now you are both on the same team!
Give an amazing foot & calf massage to your lover.
Make sure they are comfortable and that you use a firm, confident stroke. Ask for feedback from your partner occasionally – lighter or harder? Notice their bodies reaction to your touch. Is it relaxing or are they holding their muscles rigid? Are they moving closer? Or are they moving away? Allow this physical feedback to guide your movements.
Choose an unfinished project and allocate a weekend to GET IT DONE!
It could be as small as changing a light bulb, or as big as painting the spare room. Maybe it’s time to clear out your cupboard or pay forward the nursery furniture. Dedicating energy to finishing creates a new energy in your relationship and clears the space for new beginnings.
A famous study by psychologist Arthur Aron explored how to accelerate intimacy between strangers – “One key pattern associated with the development of a close relationship among peers is sustained, escalating, reciprocal, personal self-disclosure.”
This weekend buy a bottle of wine, some cheese, light some candles and ask the questions here.
Place your hand on the back of your partners neck while they drive.
Perhaps you could rest your hand on their thigh, or gently on their shoulder. Maintain firm contact. Simply staying connected while you travel is a great way to let them know that you are present to them.
Fill your partners love tank metaphorically, by filling their fuel tank literally!
Next time you drive their car make sure to stop in and fill up with petrol before you get home. Many is the marriage on the rocks due to a thoughtless empty tank! For extra points, wash the windscreen and check the oil and water.
Sometimes the world can be a pretty intense place for those of us who are very auditory, the constant bombardment of noise from work, cars, people, power tools…
Create peaceful moments for your partner to recharge where there is no TV, music, phones, chatter, or other noise in your home. Actually, everyone should do this! At least one hour in the evening and longer on the weekends. Learn to listen to the birds.
Plan a sensual meal with your partner where the food is fresh, smells amazing, and has a lovely texture. Create an experience, not just a meal. You want to please all of their senses, but most importantly the food should taste rich and sexy. I would suggest a really great wine, chocolate, oysters… For a sure thing you can take note of your partners favourite meals and the foods they enjoy. Now feed each other while you gaze into their eyes.
Take your partner somewhere that inspires them visually and creatively.
Consider a trip to the National Art Gallery, or stay local and head down to the Laman Street Gallery and wander through the works together.
Check out local exhibitions and gallery openings for a fun date night – plus wine and cheese!
A phone call in the middle of the day to say “I love you” can be a bright happy spot in a your partners day. Take care not to discuss domestic logistics or the happenings of your days, and keep it brief.
Stevie Wonder had the right of it – keep it simple! “I’m not going to stay on the phone for long, I’m calling to tell you how much I love you, you mean the world to me and I light up every time I see you smile. Have a wonderful day and I can’t wait to see you.”
Successful couples, those who are in long term passionate and loving relationships, have strategies that work.
In interviewing those couples there is one thing that stands out as simple & powerful. Shower together.
Shower together regularly and don’t be shy with the soap! You simply cannot be angry or sad when you are gently washing each other.
Make a beautiful lunch for your partner to take to work. It is really important that it is visually beautiful, look for bright coloured fruit and vegetables, and prepare each component carefully – that means slicing & dicing with precision!
Pack a vibrant, delicious, nutritious lunch box full of foods that they love it is these thoughtful acts of service that bring love to even the most average of days.
Hark back to the days of old, when families spent time together around the radio listening to news, serials, and stories. Find a podcast that you both love, and spend time together listening to the latest episode & discussing the latest content. My personal favourites at the moment are Tim Ferriss, 99% Invisible, Savage Lovecast, This American Life and Magic Lessons. Check out Serial too, if you haven’t already!
Your kinaesthetic partner loves nothing more than to be near you, and doing things together.
Choose a delicious meal together that neither of you have made before and prepare it, cook it, and eat it together. Focus on enjoying their company and having fun – not on getting it right!
Presentation is EVERYTHING to a visual partner. When you bring home the thoughtful gifts you do each week, take it to a whole new level by wrapping them beautifully. Consider your partners taste – is sustainability important? Upcycle some paper you have already used. Do they love a sophisticated look? Head into a newsagent for a sleek gift box and card. Are they crafty? Maybe a cool fabric or a bag they can use.
Repeat after me: Words are Important. Words are Important. Words are Important.
The only meaning that matters is the one your partner gives to your words, and if your intention doesn’t match the result then mayhaps it’s time to take a new tack! Notice if there is a particular word you use that never lands well. Hit the thesaurus and replace it – hint: if you’re not sure then ask.
Your radiant smile says more to your partner than anything else. Smile when they enter the room, smile when you catch each other’s eye, smile when you are talking, smile when you are together.
When your eyes catch alight it says “I am so happy to see you”, “I love you”, and “When you walk into the room the world is wonderful”.
Use metaphors to help describe how you feel, or to give an explanation. Choose an activity that you both understand and enjoy, and map across the specifics of your current conversation to that activity. This is a really great way to build understanding, and to brainstorm together.
Sweat together. It doesn’t matter whether you run, dance, cycle, or salute the sun together.
A couple who work out together are stronger, happier, and have stronger rapport. The long term benefits include reduced risks of serious physical & mental health issues as you age together, and a big boost to your energy levels, quality of sleep, and sexual chemistry. Go!
Adults make their bed. Every day. It symbolises order, consistency, responsibility. It creates an environment that supports relaxation.
There is nothing more relaxing than clean sheets and a made bed at the end of the day! Add a thoughtful touch like flowers or tea and enjoy the peace.
Couples who stay passionate & loving continue to hold hands throughout their lives together. When you walk together, hold your partners hand firmly & comfortably for you both.
The same principles of a handshake apply here – no limp fish or bone crushers please! Ask your partner for feedback.
Buy a beautiful album and begin to keep a memento from the experiences you share together.
You could add photos, tickets from gigs & trains, feathers or shells, the program from the show… Create a home for your shared memories that you can both read together and deepen your connection.
Thank your partner for something that they do routinely. Consider the things that they do as a matter of course, from going to work every day, to domestic chores, to listening to your day.
There are no givens when it comes to love, and every moment of gratitude you share will reinforce your own desire to give.
Rediscover the Art of Kissing Take some time to explore kissing together, from slow and sensual to hot & heavy, lock some time into your Christmas calendar and get those lips working- Please be kind to each other and share feedback and insights so that you are more delicious to each other than any advent calendar could be!
Imagine you only receive a hug or a kind word twice a year…this is how it feels to speak the language of Receiving Gifts. A visual reminder of how much they are loved is important. It really matters.
Make a big deal of ALL holidays & occasions with gifts – you can even create some new ones. Ask your partner for a list of 100 gifts of varied price or effort and start speaking their language of love.
“Isn’t a conversation an exchange of opinions?” Nope. It’s a way to get curious about how they feel, and how they see the world. When you are conversing, ask thoughtful questions to make sure you understand their meaning.
Say the magic words of love – “Tell me more”. Respond with true relevance by pausing and reflecting instead of only stating or defending your opinions.
Take a little detour the next time you are headed out together and pull over for 10 minutes somewhere private. Make out in the car like teenagers, it is extra fun if you choose a place where you might get caught…
Make sure that you playfully state that there’s no touching allowed beneath your clothes & steam those windows up!
There is no gift greater than that of your mindful presence.
Sit opposite your lover and place your hand over your heart. Relax your face into a neutral expression and gaze into each other’s eyes for a full two minutes. Breath into your heart space and stay present to each other. Bliss.
Ask your partner “What is the most difficult thing about being with me?”
Take a deep breath and get really curious about the answer. Explore what it means to your partner to experience that thing, and how they would like for it to be instead. Open your heart to knowing that their answer is a window to their soul, and look for what they are asking for.
Like all languages, the language of touch has many dialects. There are the gestures that speak of protection, there are soft touches of reassurance, and the sparks left by the promised eroticism of a finger trailed along your lover’s skin.
A key phrase in the dialect of love is a gentle caress to your partner’s cheek or a finger tracing their jaw line. Partnered with a kiss delivers a powerful message of love.
Learn to speak your partner’s language and communicate with them in pictures.
When you are describing a concept or telling a story, ask yourself “how can I represent this visually?” Get creative and draw graphs, pictures, pick up brochures, or look up videos. It is vital that you learn to express yourself using visual medium. Pictionary is a fun way to do learn!
Sorry is one of those words that paints someone into a corner – they can either ‘forgive you’ which makes you wrong, or they can dismiss the apology, which diminishes them.
Try replacing your “sorry” with “thank you”. For example, instead of “Sorry I haven’t been spending time with you lately” try “Thank you for being so patient while I’ve been busy”.
Oh man, this is a ticket straight to a full love tank for your partner.
When your lover gets home from work, sit them comfortably on the couch and treat them to a 5 minute neck and shoulder massage. You could throw in a glass of wine and some soft music and watch their tension melt away.
Your visual lover will notice the details of your grooming –
Let’s play with lifting your standards from top to toe! You must do this for yourself, even when no one else will see. From ear & nose hair, to clean ears, fresh breath, and well maintained finger & toenails, these are the indicators of a partner who is a well-adjusted adult. Only children need reminding. Just sayin’.
Do you find that your partner reads a different meaning to your words than you intend?
This may be a mismatch in your tonality, your auditory partner hears many layers of nuance in vocal tones. Practice identifying the message & matching tonality, for example, “I love you” might be a warm chocolate sound, “I would really like that” will be excited and upbeat, “yes” is always said with certainty & a smile in your voice. Consider pitch, volume, rhythm, and timbre.
Learn more about how to say I Love You to your partner with your hands.
Ask them “what is a touch or caress that always makes you feel loved”.
When you have found out, start touching them daily in that way. Ask for feedback – “harder or softer?”, “faster or slower?”, “higher or lower?” Adjust. Repeat.
Everyone loves gifts, and those that say they don’t just don’t like the ones they get!
In 2016 make it your mission to discover the things your partner desires, from books, to music, to gadgets & subscriptions. Show your partner that you listen by gifting them with a book they want to read, or an album they want to hear.
She says “I wish he would express himself”. He says “I just don’t know what to say”.
If you find that you would rather say nothing than the wrong thing, it’s time to rethink. The only way you are going to learn this important skill is to do it badly many times! If you don’t know what to say, speak gibberish. Literally. “Dog, cat, chocolate cake” is better than your silence.
Shift the dynamics of an argument by literally facing the same direction.
When you are experiencing a negative emotion and facing-off with your partner, you are metaphorically locking horns & anchoring that emotion to their face. Instead, go for a walk together and face the same direction – your future.
Tell your partner your love story.
You will need to prepare this – Tell them about the first time you saw them, what you noticed, what you heard & said to yourself, how you felt. Describe the moment that you knew you were in love. Was it something you saw? Something they did? How did you know? Aim for 2 minutes, and share your heart in words.
In these days of wild weather, flooding & storms, take the opportunity to lavish attention on your lover.
Find a beautiful fluffy soft towel and warm it up while they are taking a shower. When you hear the water stop, step into the bathroom and wrap them in a lovely big warm hug.
Commission a painting of you and your partner. You could do this through fiverr or Upwork.
You could take a photo of you both that you love, and add an artistic effect through an online printing or canvas printing site. Make it visually beautiful and matching the theme and colours of your home.
Let your lover know how you are feeling. It is, perhaps, usual for you to process your emotions internally without sharing them out loud. When you let your partner know “Right now I am feeling a little _____” then they will feel like you are sharing your world. Add “So I would appreciate if I could have (some space, a hug, some time)” and you will really be cooking with gas!
Create a language of touch together that lets your partner know how you are feeling, or what you would like. A hand gently on the chest says “I’d like space”, or “no closer”. Leaning in means “more, please”. A squeeze of the hand says “I love you”. Spend some time discussing, then practising your new language.
This partner loves it when you do things for them. Domestic chores, or running errands without being asked is the sexiest act and expresses your love in the way they like to hear it.
In fact this is one of the simplest languages to express! Washing the dishes as an act of love, now there is a BIG one. Go and whip up a shiny sink that says “I love you”.
“You look incredible”.
Your auditory partner loves hearing you express your appreciation of the way that they dress and present themselves. Make sure that you regularly let them know specifically what you love – that shirt looks so hot, your hair is super stylish today, you are so beautiful when you….
With a firm hand, rub and gently caress the back of your partner’s neck and the bottom of their skull. For a gesture of affection you can do this for 5 seconds, for true connection take a few minutes.
It feels incredible, from a softer and more loving touch, to a firmer and deeper rub with your thumbs to massage the tension that they hold there. Ask for feedback. Watch them melt.
Step into the natural world and become a collector of moments.
As you are both sharing experiences in the forest, on the beach, or outdoors, find a small object that reminds you of that moment. Begin a collection at home, in a jar or perhaps a collage – get creative! Share it with your partner “This reminds me of the time we…”
When you have a partner who is highly tuned to sound – your tonality is extremely important.
I hear people say “I don’t mean it like that” when their partner objects to their tone. That is pretty low level stuff people! Record your voice as you speak and notice the way you sound when you are happy, sad, angry, or excited. Practice speaking in a warm confident tone.
It can be tough in relationships where one partner works ‘away’ to maintain the physical aspect of your relationship, and sometimes this partner feels even more alone. Find a T-shirt or a jumper that feels great in a tactile sense, and wear it for a night before you go onto your work rotation. Leave it for your lover to wear when you talk to each other like a delicious virtual hug!
Leave a love letter for your partner tucked beneath the sun visor in their car.
You can leave the end poking out so that they see it, or leave it there for them to find by surprise! This is a great place to tuck tickets for a special event, or a dinner invitation for a romantic date.
The journey of a lifetime of love is built on your own wellness and vitality, and it starts with as little as ten thousand steps.
Commit to each other anew that you will walk 10,000 steps a day and maintain your vibrant health. A walk is a wonderful time to connect – hold hands & chat as you enjoy the scenery together.
It is 2016 and there are storage solutions for EVERYTHING.
There is no reason for you to have items floating around & cluttering up your home, it’s time to find a place for everything and have everything in its place. Change starts with your environment- take loving action by finding a new place for some homeless items.
Your heart space will begin to reflect your home.
Your manners are the true exchange when it comes to gifts.
Whether the gift is visible (like a gift or an act of service), verbal (like a compliment or a thank you), or a physical gift (like a massage or caress) you must complete the circle. That means a genuine “Thank You” with warm eye contact, followed by a heartfelt “You’re welcome!”
The message you send is “Your gift, and you, are welcome & appreciated in my life”.
Delight your partner by covering them from head to toe in kisses.
You can bring many different energies to this, you could be playful, loving, erotic, excited, languid, seductive, methodical… or any combination you choose!
Make sure to lovingly kiss every inch of skin, including some of those oft neglected tender spots like wrists, insides of knees, corners of mouths. Extra points for hot red lipstick.