Season 1 Episode 3 of Better Relationships After Baby Podcast
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TLDR Podcast Notes
- We each have a preferred way of receiving love from others
- We naturally give love in the way we want to receive
- Trying to love our partner in our own language instead of theirs can cause frustration on both ends
- After a baby, your love languages may change.
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Transcription of this episode:
Have you ever found yourself frustrated when someone tries to do something kind for you or show you love in a way that just isn’t comfortable and doesn’t hit the spot for you? And then maybe you cycle into this idea of feeling ungrateful or like you should feel a different way? Or perhaps there’s something wrong like why did you not feel an experience love in that way. Today, we’re going to be talking about love languages. And I use this as a foundational episode. Because this is a topic you are going to hear come up in future topics. If you have not listened to the foundational episode on internal and external processing styles, you’re also going to want to go back and listen to that episode. But the love languages is a foundational tool that is going to help us understand what is happening in our relationship when it comes to giving and receiving love.
As a quick sidenote, in the future, there will be an episode on love styles. Love styles is a new in 2022 set of research and as it sounds, styles that are very similar to the love languages, but it’s a little bit more updated. So further research has been done. And there are actually seven love styles. Whereas with love languages, there are five love languages that are recognized, I have decided to go ahead and record an episode and lay the foundation around love languages, because this has been around for years. And so many of you have either tried to figure out your love language in a season of your life. Or maybe you’ve heard about it or seen about it on Instagram or in a session with a therapist or a coach. And so this is more familiar language right now than love styles. However, I cannot wait to get to that episode and dive in a little deeper with you.
In today’s episode, our goal is to talk about how the love languages play into your relationship and where it may potentially be causing some tension. So let’s get into an example. And I hope my mom doesn’t hear this one because this is still a tense point that comes up during holidays and other times that we’re together. But growing up, I was pretty specific about what I wanted. And I clearly remember was probably 14 or 15. I don’t know. But the point is that I had a very clear CD player, a portable CD player that I wanted for my birthday. And my family likes to give gifts. And by that I mean like lots of gifts, lots of things. They’re surprising. And I tend to get uncomfortable around that. And I know there are some people that just love to be surprised by gifts. But I’ve always been a little uncomfortable. I’m going to tell you that baby showers kind of felt like my own personal hell. Now to be fair, I love the social aspect. I love having friends and family around. I love the emotional connection and the celebration. But opening gifts in front of people was kind of a torture for me. So getting back to the story.
As a teenager, I distinctly remember, on my birthday, I had asked for this specific, portable CD player, those of you who grew up with portable CD players and if you’re too young to remember that I’m sorry that you didn’t get to have this experience. But those of you that did you knew that there are there are different qualities. There were ones that skipped easily and there were some that you could walk to school and the song didn’t get messed up. Okay, there was a wide range here. So I felt like I did my due diligence of researching which CD player I wanted and when my birthday rolled around And lo and behold, I got a different CD player, as well as some additional other gifts, I would say that my mom and my grandmother, both would rank high on gifts at the love language, they enjoy shopping, they enjoy new things, they might show up with something that is unexpected, and it brings them joy. And so what I know in retrospect, was that it brought my mom more joy to give me three or four gifts than it did to give me that one CD player I had asked for him. However, I was not pleased, because I felt like I just really clearly communicated what I wanted. And I wanted to be known I wanted that quality, emotional connection enough that it was known and honored to have that one particular thing. Now, there are no hard feelings. And when I look back, I don’t think that there is one right way and one wrong way. But what I’m thinking of here is that there was a disconnect in love languages. And my mother was potentially speaking her love language to me. But that wasn’t my love language. So on the receiving end, it didn’t feel as loving as the loving energy that she put into it. And so there was a miscommunication of intention of reception of how this act of this gift was perceived.
This happens a lot in relationships. And I want to go so far as to say that this also is really important to revisit, as things shift in your relationship, like having a baby. I meet with a lot of clients, I talk to a lot of clients about love languages. And something that has become very clear to me is that this may shift for you. After you’ve had a baby, your top love language, the way that you desire to feel loved and the way that you really receive love can change with big life transitions. Let’s talk about what the five love languages are, and give a few examples of how they are used in a relationship. I’m also going to give you a couple of ideas of how you can love someone with each love language. And then we’re going to talk about why this can sometimes create tension.
I’ll give you a little brief history of the love languages. These were developed by Dr. Gary Chapman, who researched and he has done numerous teachings on this and says that different people with different personalities express love in different ways. And you guys, this makes so much sense. And yet, it’s not black and white. This is an ongoing conversation. And this is something that can really play into how we’re connecting with our partner. If you are not aware of your love language, a couple of things. First of all, you can take a free quiz online and it’ll ask you a series of questions and then rank your top love languages. If you’re going to do this, I want to strongly encourage you and remind you to try to be non biased as you are taking the quiz. Okay? You don’t want to answer this in the ways that you think you should answer. Answer them honestly, okay, answer them objectively not trying to get a certain response or answer or think that you should be any way that you’re not. You’re going to get the most value out of this if you are honest and straightforward, forward with your answers. Another thing you can do is continue listening here as I give these examples, and then maybe do some blog reading, look at some Instagrams, find a few places that are talking about love languages, and really lean into what hits most for you. Sometimes hearing and seeing and reading about other people’s experiences, gives us a better look and some better insight than taking the quiz. So use those things in tandem.
There are five love languages.
And again, we want to see these as almost the pieces of a puzzle that makes up our love profile, the ways that we feel love and also the ways that we by default, think to give love. So the first one is words of affirmation, and those who have words of affirmation as their top love language, need verbal affirmation and appreciation. This is the person who loves to hear, I love you and get their cup filled with compliments and acknowledgments. This person gets filled up verbally, or through text and emails and even hand written thank you notes. So a couple of ideas for someone who values words of affirmation is to write a letter, or set a reminder to send a kind text each day. Or look around and say thank you for the things that you appreciate. These people want to hear the affirmation from those around them that they love.
The second love language we’re talking about is physical touch. So this is the person who gets their cup filled with physical affection, which could be hugs and kisses back rubs, cuddling sex, obviously from someone who is not their partner, this could be, you know, a hug when you see them or just having that gentleness with them. And so this is your love language than you might be someone who needs to hold hands and even hold hands during an argument or a disagreement to feel connected and feel on the same team. You might be someone who would like a backrub after a long day, you may be someone who really values not leaving the house without a hug or a kiss. Without that extra reminder that you are seen in You are loved. We’ll get into this in a future episode. But probably the biggest disconnect that I hear from new parents is when a man has physical touch as a top love language. And that is really tough for a partner who is experiencing touch out and is not interested in sex and connection in those ways. So we’ll do a future episode, diving more specifically into that. But I want to just say that physical touch is so much more than sex. This is those small ways of connecting and one of my favorite ways to connect with physical touch is just a long hug. Most hugs are like one to three seconds. But if you can hold on to that hug for five or 10 seconds and just get a really good squeeze you guys. That is such a great way to connect and CO regulate. So if you have a physical touch person in your life, just remember, like holding hands more often during your show or putting your hands on their thigh during dinner. These kinds of small actions can mean a lot to that person.
The third love language is gifts. So that means that you feel loved when someone gives you a tangible representation of their appreciation. You just really enjoyed knowing that someone thought of you and got a gift to show that. As I mentioned earlier, this is my bottom love language is not something that I experienced very well but I have friends and family who love gifts, they love being shown tangibly that they were thought of so if you have someone who loves gifts in your life, this might mean you bring home a memento from a trip or an activity. You might surprise them with a just because coffee or lunch. You remember big dates and make sure to commemorate that with some kind of meaningful gift.
The fourth love language is quality time and those who value quality time, enjoy the energy and the intention of really being together. Quality time is that time Time Spent focused on one another with limited distractions. And to be fair, as new parents quality time can be really hard to come by, with the distractions and needs of your family.
So if you have quality time as a top love language, you’re going to be super intentional about when and how you can set some things aside to give full attention. So if you’re loving someone through quality time, this might mean turning off your devices. When you have time together. Quality time, people do not enjoy having you looking at your phone while you’re also talking to them and they’re trying to connect, you may also schedule a date for the two of you. And this can be at home if you need at home date ideas, shoot me a message because I have a whole list of 50 for you. Or you with a quality time person. Only cancel plans if it’s totally necessary. Canceled plans can be a harder sting for someone who really values quality time than it is for a lot of other people.
And the fifth love language that we’re talking about is acts of service. So in acts of service person feels loved by someone else doing something for you. This is the person who wants their life made easier by having a task completed or taking something off of their list. This could be having your coffee ready in the morning or unloading the dishwasher. These make you feel like you have a teammate and you are being served and cared for. If you are loving someone who values acts of service, then you can show them love by taking care of something on the to do list without being asked, asking what you can do to alleviate stress, not just fix something and make a big day easier by prepping meals, prepping the diaper bag, etc. So if you know that a big day is coming, that’s a great time to show extra love. With acts of service. We know that this can change after having a baby.
So again, maybe you knew your love language and another season of life. But with these big transitions, like having a baby, your needs and desires can shift. And so this is a great time to reevaluate what your top love language is and how to express it. We get into this pattern where naturally and usually without ill intent, we speak our own love language to our partner. So sometimes we forget that the way we receive love is not necessarily the same way that our partner receives love. So this can be a big shift where someone is feeling like they’re really going out of their way. They’re doing extra work to show love and their partner is just not receiving it and appreciating it as much as they expected them to this can cause hurt, this can cause frustration, this can cause someone to be like, You know what, I’ve tried so hard. And I’m just gonna stop trying because I’m not doing it right. And we don’t want to get to that point where we just feel discouraged. And we feel like we’re at odds with each other.
What is probably happening here is that someone is using their energy, speaking a misaligned love language. So this is really important conversation to have with your partner, so that they understand that the things that make their cup filled, the things that make them feel loved and super appreciated, may not be the same for you. This is the takeaway in the conversation I want you to have from this podcast, I want you to do some exploration and spend some time figuring out what your top love languages are. And then look at is that how you’re trying to love your partner? And ask yourself is your partner loving you in the ways that you most want to be loved.
And this is not a blame game. This is not a time to have heated conversation. This is a time to say hey, we’re on the same team. And I just realized that you are trying so hard to show me love in this way. And I wasn’t really internalizing it as love or I wasn’t receiving it as love to the extent that you were showing it because the way I see love or the way I feel most loved is by x instead of y and maybe saying babe, I have been I have been trying to affirm you. I’ve been trying to tell you how much I appreciate you and use all this affirmation and I feel like you’re just not getting it but I’m realizing that maybe there’s another way Maybe it’s a different way that you most receive and internalized love, can we can we figure out what it is that you most need and that you most desire from me.
Sometimes couples get caught up in this scorecard of who’s doing what. So I hear this and again, we’ll do a whole episode on this pretty soon, like, I’d have more sex with him if he would do more for me, or I would give her more affirmation if she would turn off her phone when we spend time together. So I want to encourage you to not get caught in this cycle, it can be easy to draw back from showing your partner love, if you do not feel like they are giving love. keeping score is a sure way to feel resentment and disconnect. So instead,
I want you to try to do these things in order. There’s four things here and you guys here on Anchor, you can shoot me a message, a voice message, you can find me at the WTF trimester on Instagram, like, let me know, what did you discover about your love language, and how you’re speaking that to each other. And these four things I’m about to share? Let me know how they go for you. Let me know how they work.
1. Number one, revisit your love languages individually. So you do the work for yourself and ask your partner to do this work to maybe they’ll think it’s silly, maybe they’re super excited about it, I don’t know. But ask them, let them know this would be meaningful to you.
2. Next, schedule a time to discuss your findings and talk about how you do and don’t feel loved with your current operations.
3. After that, spend a week committed to focusing on giving love to your partner in their language, like just really try to get good at speaking their language and giving love in their language.
4. And then schedule a time after that after that week to discuss that week of intention. Appreciate problem solve, get better talk about what was great talk about what was well intentioned, but did it really hit the mark. And this is without blame you guys, this is saying we’re a team. We are learning more about ourselves individually. And we’re learning more about each other. So let’s have this conversation and reflect on how this is going and how we can continue to grow together.
The Five Love Languages is a great place to start with seeing if there’s a breakdown in how you are giving and receiving love with your partner, and to have some purposeful conversations, like I just shared, on how to love each other better, how to be a great team and how to move forward with intention.