How do you express love to your mate?

Most of us express love the way we want to be loved rather than the way our partners want to be loved. It’s just a fact.

Do you find difficulty in communicating your own needs and desires in a relationship? If so, you are not alone. Many people struggle in this area. Unfortunately, withholding this communication can often lead to confusion, conflicts, dissatisfaction, anger, and even emotional distance—not to mention create internal struggle and stress in your life. One of the main reasons people struggle to communicate their needs and desires in relationships is fear. They are afraid of being vulnerable, feeling misunderstood, or causing conflict. But effective communication is essential for building and sustaining healthy relationships with a romantic partner, family members, friends, or coworkers.
If you struggle to communicate your needs and desires clearly and respectfully to those around you, here are a few tips:
Be clear and specific: When you’re communicating your needs, it’s important to be as clear and specific as possible. Avoid vague statements or assuming that others will understand what you want without expressing it clearly. For example, instead of saying, “I wish you would think about me more,” say something like, “Would you help me clear the table and do the dishes after our meal?”

Be respectful: It’s important to communicate your needs and desires, but it’s equally important to do so in a respectful way. Avoid blaming, condescending or contemptuous language, criticizing, or using exaggerations. Show empathy and understanding towards the other person’s perspective, and strive to find a solution that works for both of you.

Be flexible: Communication is a two-way street, and sometimes when you express your needs and desires to others, you’ll find that they may conflict with their own. Be willing to find a compromise and work towards a resolution together. It’s not about winning; it’s about communicating better so you can grow closer.
Obviously, trust and empathy must be at the core of these types of conversations—they need to go both ways. Without them, insecurities will rise up and so will the defenses. If you are struggling with a lack of trust in your relationship, I’d like to invite you watch or listen to this insightful conversation I had with Ryan Hawk on The Learning Leader Show—Episode 453: The 5 Love Languages, Resolving Conflict, & Building Trust.
Remember, communication is a skill that can be developed with practice. If you are someone who learns by example, I think you will be inspired by my latest book, Love is a Choice. It contains real-life stories of love in action that will challenge and inspire you to go deeper in all your relationships.

Dr. Gary Chapman   Author of The 5 Love Languages®
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Practically Speaking: Suggestions for Speaking 'The 5 Love Languages®'

Could you use a little creativity in speaking love and appreciation to others? Here are a few suggestions to inspire you, sometimes with comments from our newsletter editor:

WORDS OF AFFIRMATION: “My boyfriend doesn’t like receiving gifts, but words of affirmation touches his heart. Instead of a Christmas present, I made him a Christmas calendar. I wrote little cards for each day where I wrote good things about him. Of course, I also added a little sweet surprise with each card. My boyfriend was very happy. He has said that he has saved the cards and reads them sometimes when he is having a really bad day.” —Jutta (translated from Finnish)

ACTS OF SERVICE: “As an act of service, when we do laundry, we will fold the others’ clothes. It is a reflection of care and love for the other person in such a small, mundane task, reminding us of our marriage vows and commitment to one another.” —Catherine

RECEIVING GIFTS: “When dating someone with children from a previous relationship, it’s important to go out of your way to do special things for their children on holidays or special occasions too to establish and build a relationship with the child as well. Helps them to see that they matter and that you pay attention to things they like and what they say.” —Jen

QUALITY TIME: “I recently moved to another state after working at my job for 7.5 years. During my final week at work, my boss made an effort to work in ‘quirky breaks’ during each day where we would do a short activity together. She plays percussion as a hobby and brought all her small instruments for us to play once, and another day, we did a few minutes of her physical therapy exercises. It was a great source of laughter that made me forget how sad I was about leaving.” —Alice

PHYSICAL TOUCH: “When we were both working, we would meet for lunch nearly every day. We made a practice of a ‘lunch kiss’ when we left each other to go back to work. We have both been retired for over five years. Lunch kisses are still regularly done as well as breakfast and dinner kisses which are now often added. Luckily, we both speak the same Love Language.” —Deb

If you have not already done so, stop what you are doing and take the 5 Love Languages with your mate. Then initiate the Burger King approach to loving each other…You can have it YOUR way and right away. Do it. You’ll like the results! Trust me, I’m a doctor.