UT Dallas Magazine

Love Language Tips for a Healthy Relationship This Valentine’s Day

02.12.2019

Sometimes, we need a reminder on best practices for a healthy relationship, and Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to remember that it takes more than flowers and chocolate (although that never hurts).

Dr. Aisha Evans, staff psychologist in the UT Dallas Student Counseling Center, suggests remembering the acronym CHART. It stands for communication, humility, appreciation, respect and trust, and each of these characteristics is linked to a love language.

“Love languages describe how we prefer to both give and receive love,” Evans said. “While your love language may differ from your partner’s, it is important to not lose sight of ways in which they feel loved and demonstrate those in your relationship.”

Here are some ways Evans suggests incorporating these qualities into your relationship:

  • Communication (Words of Affirmation): Maintain open and honest communication as a way to feel heard and understood. While you may assume that your partner knows how you feel, it is reassuring to hear it spoken. Taking time to verbally express the qualities you love about your partner can remind them that they are valued.
  • Humility (Acts of Service): In a healthy relationship, there will be times during which you will need to put the needs of your mate above your own. Whether you cook dinner or change a flat tire, helping out during a time of need shows that you view yourselves as a team.
  • Appreciation (Receiving Gifts): Showing appreciation for your mate lets them know that you notice their sacrifices in the relationship and do not take them for granted. Gifts can show that you pay attention to their likes and dislikes, but remember this is only one example of how to show appreciation.
  • Respect (Physical Touch): A primary component of respecting your partner involves acknowledging their personal boundaries and acting accordingly. While you may wish to express your love through physical affection, partners need to feel comfortable.
  • Trust (Quality Time): In a relationship with trust, each partner feels a sense of safety and willingness to depend on the other partner. Spending personal time together can build trust – participating in activities or engaging in conversation. Another element of trust involves providing your partner with the space to maintain separate interests and spend time with other loved ones.

“When both starting and maintaining a relationship, it is essential that partners feel invested and are willing to compromise,” Evans said. “There will likely be challenges along the way that you will need to overcome together. Relationships take dedication, time and energy from all parties.”

–Brittany Magelssen