Love, Self

How Learning My Partner's Love Language Saved My Relationship

Photo: Unsplash
love languages, saved my relationship

I remember the day I learned that something had to change in my relationship. We had been in the middle of an argument, he and I not necessarily shouting, but using words and phrases we’d never used with each other before.

As the tension grew, he eventually bellowed, “You don’t acknowledge my growth or trust me!” He was quiet afterward, and I was as well. While I’m not sure if his change of tone was because he’d burned himself out, my silence was covered in shock.

Throughout the course of our relationship, I’d been reluctant to open up and be vulnerable with him.

RELATED: 20 Quotes Prove Letting Yourself Be Vulnerable Can CHANGE Your Life

Prior to our relationship, there were a lot of problems that we had to overcome, including trust issues. Due to the things we’d done to hurt each other when we were just friends, in combination with my reluctant nature, I was not forthcoming with things that bothered me in the initial stages of our relationship.

As our relationship entered its second year, I began to notice his changes and as a result, I became more open with him. My barriers were gradually falling and I confided in him things I wouldn’t have thought to before.

RELATED: How To Prove You Love Him Every Day, Based On His Love Language

So it threw me for a loop when we had that argument. I wracked my brain trying to figure out how he could come to that conclusion. I even yelled at him that if I didn’t trust him, I wouldn’t tell him anything.

We ended that night angrily, not speaking for a few hours before finally talking out the issue the next day.

He told me that the reason he felt I never acknowledge his growth is because I never expressed it verbally. I’ve always believed that my willingness to be more open with him should be an indicator that I did trust him. Because I never said out loud, he felt I didn’t and that was the source of his anger and frustration. To him, it’s hard to always put in your best and have the person you love doubting you.

I took his words to heart, and promised that I would begin to be more verbally encouraging.

RELATED: The 5 Love Languages (And The Pros And Cons Of Each)

I eventually confided in my friend about our argument and she directed me to a quiz that determines one's love language. A love language is the way in which partners communicate in a relationship. After being encouraged, I took the quiz and found that my specific language was Quality Time.

After telling my friend, she went on to explain that there were five types of love languages:

  • Words of Affirmation
  • Quality Time
  • Acts of Service
  • Receiving Gifts
  • Physical Touch.

I began to do more research, and found that the phrase “love language” was coined in 1995 by Gary Chapman, author of "The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate," which outlined each love language, how they are best used, and practices one should avoid when communicating with your partner.

With this new knowledge, I forwarded the quiz to my partner, and he returned the results to me not long afterward. I figured based on our argument that he would lean towards Words of Affirmation — and he did.

After telling him of my own love language and walking him through each one, he asked “What now?” I didn’t have much of an answer right away. I wasn’t sure if this knowledge would be really helpful but I decided to try anyway.

We decided to communicate to each other in ways that we would better understand based on our love languages.

RELATED: What Are The 5 Love Languages & How Do They Help Couples Fall More Deeply In Love?

There are still kinks that need managing even as we are months after that day. We are still learning to communicate, but after discovering our different love languages, things have been a lot easier to manage. I’m sure if we hadn’t learned those we wouldn’t have continued to last for as long as we have. 

Learning our love languages and living by them saved my relationship — and it could save yours, too.

Briana J. is a writer who covers astrology, pop culture and relationship topics.