Have you ever wondered what is the best way to show love to the people around you? Whether that be a life-long partner, a best friend, or someone who just needs a bit extra, each person in their own unique way, desires a unique expression of love. Feeling disconnected from the people we care about is scary, but knowing how to best show love is a simple way to strengthen connections; it is one of the greatest gifts we can give. We experience joy when we are connected in relationships; both when we give but also receive. Knowing your own love language is a simple and easy way to strengthen your relationships and connect to those around you.
So what are the five love languages and how do you discover what your predominant one is?
Dr. Gary Chapman, the author behind the Five Love Languages concept, identified the five different ones as these:
3. Acts of Service
5. Quality Time
While we might enjoy all five, there is normally a predominant form of giving and receiving that we prefer. So how do you identify what your main love language is? As you read through the options below, think about what you have experienced of these in your life, and the moments you felt most connected and valued. In other words, what made you feel truly loved?
If touch is your number one love language, you will feel most loved when you receive physical signs of affection. Physical intimacy serves as a powerful emotional connector and can be very affirming for people with this love language. They need the intimacy of touch to feel affirmed. Actions include making a deliberate effort to cuddle, the use of body language and touch to express love.
People who have ‘Words’ as their predominant form of love language appreciate verbal acknowledgements of affection. Actively listening and genuinely taking the time to encourage goes a long way. It can also be as simple as saying ‘I love you’.
3. ACTS OF SERVICE
Gifts are as simple as it seems; people with this love language love to receive visual symbols of love. It is not about the cost of the gift but the thought that goes into the process. Small things matter in a big way.
As the famous saying goes ‘actions speak louder than words’; this is true for people whose love language is acts of service. They feel most valued and cared for when their loved one goes out of their way to do something specific to provide a helping hand. Simple actions communicate love. It could be as small as a cup of tea in the morning.
5. QUALITY TIME
This love language is all about the other being present, attentive and not distracted; making that person feel like the priority. Quality time is actively expressed through one’s loved one wanting to spend time with them and giving their undivided attention. Creating special moments together is a key to meeting the quality time needs of someone close to you.
Having read the above you might be thinking back to moments in your last week when the dishwasher was unloaded without you asking, or you had an uninterrupted quality hour with your partner, and left feeling loved and more truly connected. There might be one that clearly resonates with you.
If you don’t know, pay attention this week to those moments that make you feel seen and you will slowly work out what your predominant love language is.
It’s one thing to know your own, but another to ask those around you what theirs are too. It is not surprising that in all our uniqueness there are different ways that we like to be shown love. We need to learn our nearest and dearest's love languages to be the most effective at making them feel special. It is a key to strengthening relationships.
So let’s take the time and choose to put the effort in to learn to love the best we can, for we are all better when we are connected.
Simple things can make a big difference.
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