Have you ever tried so hard to show your partner how much you love them through acts, words, or deeds, and yet it goes unnoticed?
How we show love is often the way we look for love from others. However, we may speak a different love language than our partner and therefore we miss bids to connect, our intentions are not recognized, and our words or deeds are misinterpreted.
To build love maps effectively, you must also learn your partners language. Knowing your partners “Love Language” is not the only thing we need to know to best interpret and understand our partners. Your partner’s love language is a combination of physical touch, quality time, gift giving, words of affirmation, or acts of service. Often, one language is spoken more strongly than others. However, this is only the cover of their story.
It is important to know your partners primary love languages, as this is how you will be able to identify their intent to love. However, it’s even more important to know your partner’s deep inner world, as this is what fundamentally shapes one’s love language.
How we come to love others is often developed early in childhood. Our ability to love and accept love is formed by how we received love from our caregivers, as well as what we may not have received. Was your partner’s mother or father outwardly loving? Did they openly share affection with your partner or with each other in front of your partner? Was quality time important or of value in the family system? Was work seen as the way a father shows love to his family? Was there any abuse, neglect or other trauma involved with relationships of importance in your partners upbringing? Did your partner feel valued? If so, how was that shown?
These questions are only the tip of the iceberg in learning to know your partner and their language of love. Without knowing your partner’s world in this vulnerable and most intimate way, you can easily misinterpret their words or behaviors from time to time.
The best antidote for how to translate your partner’s language when uncertain of the meaning, is to simply ask questions for clarification. Asking a person to explain their intentions and what is behind them, is often the key that unlocks the soul and all the beauties that rest there. David Richo, PhD, is a licensed marriage therapist and author who leads popular workshops on personal and spiritual growth. He posits that “Our wounds are often the openings of the best and most beautiful part of us.” Being known by your partner is indicative of their understanding the best and worst parts of you – your strengths, your weaknesses, your struggles, your insecurities, your fears, your likes, dislikes, and goals in life.
Together, these questions form the story of your partner’s life and their world. Your partner authors or composes their story and you, in essence, are their biographer. To better understand your partner, you must learn how to build intricate love maps that help to translate the writings of your partners story in a way you will comprehend.
To learn more about your partner, download the free Gottman Card Deck app. Get started with the Love Map card deck and Open-Ended Questions card deck to build a stronger connection through “Love Mapping.”