What is the Language of Love?
The experts chime in on how to keep the love alive
Not too long ago, I stumbled upon a blog post written by a woman who had been married for more than 20 years. She called her hubby her soul mate, her best friend. A day spent cleaning out her and her husband"s closet, however, led to an unsettling discovery. There, on the closet"s back shelf sat a shoe box that could barely close. As she took down the box and slowly opened it, handwritten letters spilled out. She carefully unfolded one and read the words slowly. The writer called her husband, "her love." The letters were a bit on the steamy side and as she started to quicken her reading pace, she wondered who on earth this woman was? Who could talk so lovingly to her husband, calling him such intimate names? Truth be told, the handwriting was familiar. The letters were written by her two decades ago, during a time when she wouldn"t think twice about scribbling a love note to her husband before he left on business. Or, times when she jotted down words of love to stuff in his briefcase as he left for the day. He had kept every single note, some even adorned with lipstick kisses. The woman wondered, "How did I get here or, more importantly, how can I get back there?"
It"s not uncommon. Many couples fall from the state of ultimate happiness to a place that"s comfortable. We come to take each other a bit for granted. With the season of love upon us, how can you take a step back and rekindle the love you felt early on in your relationship? If you ask the experts, it"s not expensive gifts or lavish trips, it truly is the little things. We chatted with a handful of Marriage and Family Therapists who shared their top ten ways to keep the love alive.
Leave little sticky notes saying specific things you love about your partner ~Aimee Rust
It may sound a bit trite, but just slowing down, repeating back what I hear my hubby telling me, and really listening to him. That’s what has made a difference in my relationship! ~ Dr. Pamela Bing Perry
Make time for a date night at least once a month ~Julie Hecker
Rediscover the lost art of the love letter. Take some time, grab a piece of paper and a pen and let the words share how your love has changed your life. The letter doesn"t have to be long, just from your heart.
Give a hug that lasts longer than 10 seconds. ~Aimee Rust
Try doing little tasks to help each other out — fill his car with gas, or pick up the milk ~Aimee Rust
Approach each other lovingly when you have something difficult to discuss, such as “Honey, when you have a minute can we talk about something?” ~Julie Hecker
Share a compliment with the one you love. Noticing the little things will help the love of your life know that you will never take him for granted.
Take an interest in one of his hobbies or watch his kind of movie to show a willingness to do what he loves. ~Aimee Rust
Take time to truly connect through expressing gratitude to each other. It feels good to know we are loved and appreciated. ~ Julie Hecker
Want to Speak the Same Language?
Finding the secret to a love that lasts
If you're struggling to put love at the center of your relationship, maybe you and your partner are speaking two different languages. Dr. Gary Chapman"s book, "The 5 Love Languages," not only gives you a quiz to help you determine you and your partner"s love languages, but shares step by step how you can speak them with each other through quality time, words, and acts of love. This book, which has sold more than 10 million copies, is a New York Times best seller and has been helping bring marriages and relationships closer together for more than 16 years.