The 5 Love Languages • LOVE, SEX & RELATIONSHIPS

Love Languages
There's a strong popular belief that there are five languages to love, which sounds incredibly corny but if applied int the right manner it can work wonders. How? Learning the languages that you and your partner speak. They may be different languages but if you both know each others (and your own) there will be a significant reduction in the arguments and communication issues in each other's thought process.

Before you read this thinking that this post is going to solve all your arguments and everything will be Happy-as-Larry after this and that you will never have any relationship problems again, let me just crush that ideal world you're creating. The point of this post is to help guide you into dealing with problems in a healthy way or avoiding issues occurring. Now the illusion of a perfect world were everyone is happy 24-7 is gone, let me explain what the hell the five loves languages are and what they all mean.

So the five love languages are: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time and Physical Touch. It is likely that you will instantly recognise a primary language just looking at those five, and this is the way in which we (you) like to receive love from others and in particular what makes us (you) feel most loved. Most people will be a mixture of the two, some may be a small portion of each. What matters is not what language 'you are' but how you and your partner use each others languages to feed each other love and to make sure you are getting the most out of your relationship.

But what does this all mean? Well it's actually really simple. 

Words of Affirmation

This is basically using compliments and positive language to make our loved ones feel noticed, cared for and appreciated in the relationship. This could be in a variety of forms, if you and/or your partner speak this language you will know what to say to make them feel better and what they respond well to. It could be saying 'I love you' at random points when in that moment you really feel the love and appreciation you have for your partner - and before you say 'But I always love my partner' you will notice times where you will just look at them and think 'Wow, I love them.' or 'They are so amazing' and that's the moments when you should tell them. Even if they are just chopping carrots for dinner or tidying the lounge. Tell them you love them, make them feel appreciated and that you are grateful for all they do.

I'm a strong believer in the idea that you should tell your partner multiple times a day the words 'I love you' but it's surprising how little some people say it and how often some people need to hear this. This is definitely one that I really connect with, as I like hearing the 'Clap Not Slap' approach; which is basically using encouraging language to push me through tasks, whilst some may prefer the idea of proving someone wrong. I need the 'you can do it' mentality from others in order for me to believe it myself. Which is the same when it comes to receiving love from others. I need to be told things that in a way I want to hear, but most of all how the other person feels.

If you think that you and/or your partner is this language tell them that they look beautiful/pretty/gorgeous/(insert adjective of choice here) when you can see they've made an effort with their looks and you're going on a date, or when you notice something they've done with their hair or clothes that you like. Hearing that you look nice is always going to go down well and produce a smile. It could be thanking them when they do something that's slightly out of the ordinary or complimenting a dinner that they cooked differently to suit your preferences etc. Just letting them know that they are doing well and that you love them through complimenting their appearance and telling them what you love about them is the best approach to this language throughout the day everyday. Even if it's a cute text or you send them a random series of sweet emoji's or a picture of their favourite puppy as a surprise at any point of the day. Just so they know you care. 

Acts of Service

This language is the basic function of doing something for the other, be it a nice surprise or something you know that will help them. If you've been home all day and there's clearly stuff that needs to be done, such as doing the washing up or ironing and hanging up clothes, putting dirty washing in the washing machine, whatever it is - why not do it? When your loved one comes home they are not going to want to face a list of chores when they are tired from a long day, which you could have easily done for them. It may sound so simple and blindingly obvious, yet it's amazing how many people wouldn't actually think to do it. But it can make the world of difference and save a huge amount of arguing. By doing things like this, you are more likely to receive greater amounts of love in return. By doing something to help that is easy to do but saves them a job or that they can't or won't want to do it creates a cycle of positive behaviour, you do something > they love you for it and reward you with positivity and maybe something you want > you feel loved and happy and therefore it continues. It's about taking the obvious and thinking of it first for yourself.

I'm all about this language, for me this is a really clear way to show that you care about me and my feelings and what I want by doing something that makes me happy or helps me. Whether it's doing an activity I really want to do, like baking cookies or helping me lift or carry something heavy. It's all the small things that matter and add up. Don't leave the grand gestures for major holidays, it seems less thoughtful, for me trying out a vegan recipe so I can try something new each week is far more meaningful and shows your efforts.

Have they asked you to do something around the house, like fix a shelf or change a lightbulb or take out the rubbish and you haven't? Do it! They won't nag you about it if it's already done! Are they working later than expected and going to be missing your usual time to have dinner? Cook for them! They will be over the moon with a hearty hot meal when it's raining on their journey home. Are they meeting a friend for the day and you're going in a similar direction for something? Drop them off! Send them off to their friends house with a loving kiss and let them listen to their favourite music on the journey, it means they will be beaming to their friends about how amazing you are and make you look so much better! Have they just been promoted or got a great offer at work? Take them out! It doesn't have to be anything fancy, but surprising them with cinema tickets to the film they've desperately been wanting to see or drinks/dinner at that new place in town they've wanted to go is something that will light up their month and really make them appreciate your above and beyond trying.

Receiving Gifts

This is an obvious one that doesn't need defining, but what is important to define is the types of gifts you're giving. Do not give lavish and over the top gifts that don't mean anything to them or don't reflect their interests and again not giving them lots of presents at holiday seasons, instead thinking of personal gifts that have a deep connection to you as a couple or to their passions and hobbies. They don't have to be expensive, and not everyday, some gifts may be more extravagant than others and some might not mean much to you but may mean the world to them or show that you really do listen. This is the secret to getting this language perfectly mastered. To be fluent in giving gifts to your receiver you need to listen to the subtle hints - things they look at in shops when you're together, things they say they like or want to try, something they point out on an advert etc.

I would say that Words of Affirmation and Acts of Service are my join primary language and then  Receiving Gifts is my secondary language. If Connor ever surprises me with something pug themed, a pair of earrings, or a bouquet then not only would I feel incredibly spoilt but it's a random kind of treat for me. A bit of makeup I liked and really wanted would be one of the best things, as Connor is really good at understanding my obsession with beauty products. Whenever I go up to Sheffield to visit him, he always buys me vegan chocolate or if they've run out of my favourite he will get packets of oreos and let me pick a cute Disney film for us to watch in the evening. If you know your partners favourite brand of jewellery, whether it;s Tiffany, Cartier, Pandora, Swarovski, whatever then it might be worth finding something very special for a time when they really need a pick me up, although not essential to learn this language.

The word 'gifts' implies that it has to be a physical present that is wrapped and handed over in a formal way, but it's far more basic than that. If your partner is really into jewellery and you happen to pass something in your price range that you know is their style and that they would love (that you can easily afford to splash out on) for a special gift say after a special moment, such as a new job, then of course go ahead. But it could be a lot smaller such as their favourite magazine when you go to the petrol station or picking them up something they like from the supermarket. Maybe surprising them with flowers at the end of each week/month? Or perhaps if you see something new like a drink or something that they've been craving/wanting, walking in with it in your hands for them is a very obvious way you care. Have they run out of a of specific piece of makeup/perfume? Is there something you've been wanting to try in the bedroom or are they particularly proud of their weight loss? Why not buy something sexy for them to wear and have a nice night to yourselves? Do they love pampering themselves with nice nails or skincare products? Is there a film they want to watch in the sale that would make a great spontaneous film night in? Are they always chilly in the winter? Buy them a cosy blanket or fluffy socks (girls love socks). Even makeup remover or hair products when they use the last bit. Just by paying attention and noticing what they want/need and every now and then bringing it home or paying when you're out. 

Here is some inspiration for the types of gifts, big and small that can be distributed throughout the year as a sign of gift giving... even if it's a soy hot chocolate from Costa!
Random gifts of Love

Random gifts of Love by b-arose featuring

Quality Time

Now this is one that I'm less bothered about in comparison, of course it's important to spend quality time with your partner, however take note of the word quality. This does not mean you need to live in their pockets and be with them all the time, that can be seen as clingy and possessive, not great qualities. Everyone's schedules are going to be different, and if the two of you have patricianly contrasting ones, then make sure you take one day a week as 'Date Night'. Date Night is a really down-played idea that actually has so many benefits to it. For Connor and I we have a scheduled Skype date, where once a week we set aside two hours in the evening that fits both our lifestyles to have a quality 'face to face' (as close to as possible in a long distant relationship) where we talk about cliche things such as feelings, the progression of our relationship, random things we want to tell them etc. This works really well for us as we know that that is our special time together and anything else is a bonus. By being apart for usually two weeks or more, the few days we have together are always really special and not wasted by lazing around. We make sure we go out for the day, even if it's running errands like buying new makeup for me, or vegan food together, we make a proper day out of everything we do. I personally really treasure those rarer moments as they mean so much more than just sitting in ordering a takeout every time and having a routined relationship.

The key to a long lasting relationship has many elements, one of the most important being keeping that spark. Not allowing the other to feel bored or in a rut, routine is amazing at structuring your life, but your relationship should not be that. It should not feel mundane or the same each day, despite if you know your partner inside out and all of their habits and quirks, your life together shouldn't be the same. Yes, it's important to have 'you things' that are only done between you two as a couple. Connor and I love to go running together and play badminton, we also love to cook and bake together, but we break those up with exploring new cities, going to new restaurants we've never tried, doing physical activities such as riding tandems in Amsterdam or ice skating.  Never let your relationship feel like an old t-shirt. You love it, but you want something more, something exciting that you want to wear and makes you feel good. Ordering a Chinese every Friday night and staying in every evening is going to make you feel fat and lazy. You want to feel exhilarated and enthused.

So how do you do that when you live together? Well you let them do their thing and you do yours, seeing friends, going out, exercising etc. etc. however when you are together, take away your phones, say goodbye to social media and just focus on them when you're with them. At that moment in time nothing else matters, reply to unimportant emails later, watch your tv programme on catch up and just be in the moment. So much of our lives is on-the-go and on demand that the quality time we spend with our partners is few and far between. When you live with someone and see them everyday you forget that you do need time out to be alone, even if it's just the two of you in the house. Maybe you've been neglecting your sex life, if so talk about that, don't bottle things up. Always make sure you are communicating as that is what quality time is about. Do things the other person wants to and then switch to what you want to next time, or come up with a list of ideas you are both happy with. It's not rocket science, it really isn't difficult. If you love someone enough, you will put in the effort. Plain and simple.

Dates don't have to be expensive or over the top, it could be a walk around a National Park and an ice lolly on a bench in summer. Going for a stroll along the sand on the beach and eating chips. It could be a cinema and dinner date, or bowling, it could be going around an vegan food festival or even sitting in a cafe and just talking. Quality time is about doing something you both enjoy and communicating together, connecting as a couple and growing.

Physical Touch

And finally the last language, yes it's physical touching... the act of intimacy is important in any relationship, even those who choose to abstain from sex for various personal or religious reasons. There are many ways that physical touch can be used without intercourse in order to show love and appreciation for your partner. I'm personally someone who needs cuddles and when I'm alone late at night and I've spent the weekend before with Connor I can really miss the snuggling up in bed together hugging part of being together. For me that's a large part of our physical touching is simply hugs and cuddles (which I assure you are very different). I also believe kissing to be very important in showing love quickly and whenever the mood strikes. I also believe that holding hands in public or putting my arm through Connor's is another strong way we maintain a good level of physicality between us as couple.

Sex is something that varies between couple to couple, how you do it, how often you do it - it's all a personal experience you should share with someone you trust and ideally love, in order to reach a new level of intimacy and profound experience that goes far beyond a  lustful one night stand. But it the language of physical touch doesn't mean to jump into bed every time they are sad (this really won't help the problem - just talk it all out and let them cry if needed) or going crazy with experimenting in areas you're not comfortable in. It could mean you talk about how often you think is a normal amount, a healthy amount, for you as a couple with your lifestyles co-inhabiting. Maybe you want to push your barriers and try things out safely, that's okay, as long as no one is harmed or physically or mentally damaged by the process and the whole ideas have been talked through and agreed to. If your partner says no, do not try and twist their arm about it and force them into changing their mind or pushing them to do anything that they don't want to do. No means no.  A safe word that is completely private between the two of you, one that is harmless and non-threatening word that has no triggers to bad or negative experiences for the both you. It can be anything, from strawberries to squash, magnet to mouse, you can see where I'm going with this.

If you're not feeling your best, maybe treat yourself to some new lingerie, or watch a video together and discuss what you like and commentate on what you see - this is a really key way to finding out what your partner likes and dislikes, areas they are willing to explore and areas you are too. This process is all about finding your comfort zones together as a pair and agreeing on the terms in which you liked to be touched. Even new kissing techniques, or hugging more often is a great start, trying to touch hands or be closer together more often is a good way of introducing yourself to the language.

If you're nervous about what kind of underwear you want to buy for yourself, look at the various styles and colours that will work best for your size and shape. You don't have to spend loads of money on the fanciest designer, it's about you feeling positive with your body and admiring how you look and feel wearing it.

Beautiful Bras

Beautiful Bras by b-arose featuring
Hanky Panky purple lingerie, £17  The Shangri-La Bra in Cranberry Red, £36  Monki lace lingerie, £11  La Perla underwire bra  Victoria s Secret underwire bra, £36  La Perla underwire bra, £86  Christies red lingerie  La Perla balconette bra, £38  L Agent By Agent Provocateur bow lingerie  Madewell lace lingerie, £14  La Perla lace lingerie, £53  STELLA McCARTNEY balconette bra  Strappy bra, £36  Hanky Panky purple lingerie, £14   Eberjey black lingerie  Posh Girl triangle bra, £19  Lace bra, £66  La Perla lace lingerie, £95  Christies bra  Lace bra, £180  Christies bra  L Agent By Agent Provocateur underwire bra, £29  Fleur du Mal demi bra, £145  Hanky Panky bra, £35  Underwire bra, £41  La Perla black lingerie  La Perla lace lingerie, £30  Christies shelf bra  Damaris triangle bra, £140  Miss Naory lace bra  Victoria s Secret underwire bra, £36
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