You may have heard of love languages before - touted around in social media posts, but perhaps without much context or the deeper meaning and value that they have. Understanding love languages and using your love languages as tools can help to deepen your connection with your partner. Tapping into your partner's love language can open new doors to your relationship.
We spoke with relationship expert Elizabeth Overstreet, about how you can use love languages and other tools to build intimacy, while still keeping things fun, sensual and passionate! Relationships should be life-giving and fulfilling after all.
Enjoy the below article from Elizabeth, with her advice in her own words - and a huge thank you to Elizabeth for her wonderful words of wisdom and guidance around intimacy and connection.
How to build intimacy with your partner
As a Relationship Expert, I’m often asked, how can I build intimacy with my partner? What happens when things get boring in the bedroom? Why doesn't my partner seem to understand and be willing to meet my emotional needs?
These are all important questions. When you think about your emotional and physical connection to your partner, there are many layers to build that connection. The process of getting to know your partner is a discovery period that takes time and mutual effort. I will help you figure out how to deepen your relationship with your partner by understanding and using your love languages.
Start at the very beginning
But, first, let's take a walk down memory lane. Do you remember your first day of school? For most of you, whether it was pre-school or kindergarten, you probably felt a mix of emotions. There was a bit of anxiety about being away from what was familiar to you. Then there was this excitement of going somewhere new and different. And then once you were in this new environment, there were a wave of emotions, some good, some indifference, and maybe some level of discomfort too.
Drawing a parallel to relationships, for most of us, the beginning of going to school, having teachers who could connect with us, and developing friendships were initially pretty interesting. And, most of the time, the memory of your first teacher was rather fond and warm. But, as time went on, depending on the teacher, the grade level, and your friendships, the school experience was varied. You may wonder, what does this have to do with connecting with my partner and their love languages? Let me explain further.
In the beginning phases of a relationship, often the chemistry is a little easier because things are new and exciting. It parallels those first days of school. You are learning about this person, and there is so much exploring and unique information you are consuming about them. And this keeps things interesting. Often, you are leaning into the good and exciting aspects of them as you draw closer and get to know them better.
But, as time goes on, it's easy for monotony and routine to settle in, along with the other day-to-day responsibilities that can creep into the relationship affecting your chemistry with one another. However, not all is lost if you can learn your partner's love languages! Let's dig in, and I'll give you the cliff notes version of how you can still keep the chemistry and connection in sync within your relationship.
Get to know the five love languages
You may be pretty familiar with the five love languages. But, in case you're not, here's a breakdown of them:
- Words of affirmation – It's when you build your partner up by saying things that support and encourage them.
- Quality Time – It's creating intentional time to connect with your partner.
- Giving Gifts – The gift conveys how much you value your partner and demonstrates that you understand what connects with them and what they value.
- Acts of Service – It's doing gestures that are helpful to your partner that make things easier for them as they manage what they have to do daily.
- Physical Touch – Touch encompasses hand-holding, hugs, kisses, and embraces and with your partner.
There is a quick test you can take here if you are not sure of your love language. But, for now, let's talk about how you can use the love languages to deepen your level of intimacy with your partner. It's often the connections you build outside of the bedroom that increase the emotional connection and deepen the physical chemistry in the bedroom. Incorporating you and your partner's love language can be helpful to not only building a solid foundation but also in you building a healthy and sustainable relationship with one another.
Using love languages to deepen connection
First, be curious about your partner. Observe what makes them most responsive to you. What are some of the things your partner responds to in a positive way that you do for them? Are they excited when you cook for them, do something to make their day more manageable, or when you give them words of encouragement? Does your partner like to rub your back, hold your hands or be close to you? These are clues to the ways they feel connected to you and their dominant love language. If they like it when you do things to help them out, their love language is likely an act of service. Suppose they like it when you tell them you are proud of them or positively expound on their other characteristics. In that case, words of affirmation are likely their love language—express curiosity with your partner in a natural way. And be inquisitive about what makes them feel most connected to you and your relationship, and they will give you some clues and definite answers.
Secondly, spoiler alert, it's easiest to practice the love language that is yours. It’s normal for you, and your partner, to show love in your own love language. And it can and will likely happen even after you have told them your preferred love language. This is what I want you to know. It doesn't mean they don't love or care for you or aren't sensitive to your needs. It's the opposite. It's normal for you and your significant other to do what is comfortable for you.
So instead of rejecting this, use this as a way to learn more about your partner's love language while gently reinforcing when they do show you love in your preferred love language. Crazy part? You may find out you enjoy being loved in ways outside your preferred love language. While I feel there can be a love language you lean into, it doesn’t mean there aren’t other love languages that resonate with you too.
Love languages and intimacy in the bedroom
I know you're now wondering how all of this adds to deepening intimacy in the bedroom? For women, intimacy is often more mental versus physical, and women tend to look for emotional connection, which leads to more comfort and expression on an intimate level. There is typically a visual component for men, but when you can build that along with an emotional connection, it helps you create intimacy with them in more than one way.
With a love language, there can be misunderstandings around certain ones. Sometimes, some may feel that the physical touch love language is only related to sex. It's deeper than that. The reality is sexual intimacy is part of how that person connects, reconnects, and stays connected to you. However, it isn’t always about the physical act of intimacy. It's also the introduction of intimacy with touch, hand-holding, hugs, kisses, etc.
Another often misunderstood love language is "giving gifts." Sometimes there's a misunderstanding that the gift has to be expensive to convey how much you love your partner. But, that isn't necessarily the case. A gift to someone who has this love language is about you understanding who they are and what they value. The gift is representative of how much you value them and get what matters to them. It can be a walk at the botanical gardens if they are a nature lover. It can be time spent at a restaurant that holds fond memories for them. Or if they are a woman who loves her intimate wear, hint, hint, Anya Lust might have the perfect gift for them.
If you can understand your significant other's love language, it can help you to build an even stronger connection and more profound level of intimacy. It’s a starting point to build a strong foundation for your relationship. And it will also go a long way to deepen your emotional connection to one another.
For more tips like these, you can visit my website at elizabethoverstreet.com