It’s valentine’s day, so it is only fitting our blog today is about love languages and relationships. Are you in a relationship? Is your relationship healthy? Sometimes we don’t know if our relationship is healthy or not, and that is okay. A healthy relationship can be defined as a connection developed by two people based on mutual respect, trust, honesty, communication, and support. In fact, we all have love languages that are how we express, and experience love according to Gary Chapman.
We sat down with some students who are in relationships to talk about their relationship, their love languages, and how their relationship is healthy. As a side note, there is no textbook definition of a perfectly healthy relationship. Each relationship is unique, and as partners, you define how your relationship is healthy for you.
Here’s what we asked. How do you and your partner support each other in times of need and difficult situations? How open and transparent is your communication? How do you handle conflict? What is your love language?
The responses we got were eye opening because we could really see the uniqueness of each couple. In terms of going through hard times, some couples prayed for each other and went out of their way to help the other, while others focused on spending more time with each other, tending to them if they were sick, and providing comfort if they were stressed or anxious.
When it came to communication, some couples were very open right from the beginning, and others were shy at first and opened up later. One thing that couples were consistent about were saying that if conflict arose, they would talk it out right away. Others gave each other space, but no more than a couple of days before talking about the conflict. Most couples apologized, hugged, kissed, and continued. Couples also mentioned the downside of not discussing a conflict. Eventually, someone would bring it up in the future and it would leave to an unnecessary argument.
It was interested to hear about couples’ different love languages. For partners whose love language was quality time, they wanted their partner to spend time with them doing day-to-day tasks like homework, so they would still be spending time together even if they were busy. For partners whose language was words of affirmations, small acts like an unexpected text, or card were appreciated. For physical touch, hugs, cuddling, and kisses brought them peace. For persons whose love language was acts of service, they wanted their partner to help with chores to help reduce their stress.
If you are interested in learning more about love languages, you can visit http://www.5lovelanguages.com to learn more. Some resources we offer here at the University of South Florida include-
The Center for Student Well-Being: www.wellness.usf.edu
Counseling Center: http://www.usf.edu/student-affairs/counseling-center/