Today I wanna talk about relationships, or more specifically, why so many of them go wrong. As you know, I am constantly talking about the importance of communication in our relationships because that leads to more closeness, understanding, and overall intimacy. However, something that I haven’t talked about on here before is the importance of speaking the same love language.
Yeah, you heard me correctly, love languages. We all speak them, whether we realize it or not. We could do this by giving a friend a gift for their birthday, or picking someone up from the airport, when people were able to travel, or possibly by giving someone a hug or telling them that you love them.
Love languages are the ways we express our affection to those we care about, and there are five of them. Now, I didn’t come up with these, and I’m not trying to take credit. The five love languages were created and discussed by Dr. Gary Chapman in his 1992 book called “The Five Love Languages, “How to Express Heartfelt Communication to Your Mate”. And he has built on the simple, yet powerful message for over 25 years. So if you wanna learn more, I would encourage you to pick up one of his books or even take one of his online classes.
Okay, so these love languages, they’re important, but what are they and how do they work? Well, the five love languages are:
1. Acts of service
Which is when someone does something to help you out. This could be your friend ordering your groceries because she knows you’re sick or your girlfriend making you dinner. These are things that we do for others because we know it will help them out or make them feel taken care of, maybe less stressed or whatever.
2. Physical touch.
This one’s pretty simple. These are things like hugs, back rubs, holding hands, or sexual intimacy. We tend to only talk about physical touch when we are in romantic relationships, but this is also important in our platonic ones. I used to have a friend who would play with my hair, loved my hair getting played with, while we waited for soccer practice to start, for example, and also my family is huge on physical touch. So consider whether someone touching you in a caring and loving way is important to you.
3. words of affirmation.
These people tell us how important or loved we are. We all know people like this, who tell us all the time how wonderful they think we are, how much they value our relationship or all of that stuff. These are people who cause me to blush. I feel uncomfortable and not know what to say. But, doing our best to hear them and say, “Thank you.” or possibly telling them how much they mean to us could potentially improve the relationship.
4. Quality time.
Which, you guessed it, is when we get to spend uninterrupted time with the one that we love. This could be at dinner, going on a trip, doing an activity together, or anything where you get quality access to this person.
I had a friend in high school who was like this. She did not like big group get-togethers and doing things with other people in general. She really just wanted to hang out just the two of us. So if I was going to see her, I would have to only see her. Otherwise, she would get upset and no one ended up having fun.
5. Receiving gifts.
And as all with all the others, this one’s pretty self-explanatory, but people with this love language love to be showered with gifts. This doesn’t mean that they have to spend a lot of money or anything, although some people prefer that based on, you know, what they’re used to or how they were raised. But it’s more the act of giving someone something or getting a gift from someone else that makes us feel loved and cared for.
This could be a stuffed animal, flowers, clothes, you name it. Taking the time to get someone something is how they show their love and appreciation and also how they receive it.
And I know you may be wondering, why are these love languages so important? ” We all know people show love and affection in different ways. “That’s not anything new. “So why are you telling us about this now?” Well, it’s not just about knowing that people show love differently, it’s making sure that we consider how we feel loved and how those in our life feel love.
That way, we make sure that we are speaking the right love language to someone in our life when we want to express how much we care so that they get the message, and in turn, letting them know how we best feel loved and cared for, which I know many of you are thinking that by telling someone, what our love language is, aren’t we being presumptuous, or rude, or pushy, or like asking for something?
No, it’s not like we’re telling everyone about this. It’s just the people that we’re in close relationships with. And if they care about us, which I’m sure they do, then them knowing how to best let us know that they care is gonna be helpful and interesting. For example, my mom is an acts-of-service person, not so much like physical touch or gifts. Therefore, if I want to express to her how much I care, it would be most meaningful to her if I helped her with a project she’s working on or got her car washed, or took care of something that she was dreading.
By doing something to help her out, I’ve clearly expressed the love and affection I feel for her. However, if I tried to give her a gift or just hug her, sure, she’d be grateful, but it wouldn’t have the same impact or meaning as the act of service. In a way, by speaking the right love language, I am maximizing the impact I can have. That is why it’s so helpful to know your own love language as well as those you’re in relationships with. Then, when we wanna show them how much we love and care for them, we can make sure they hear us loud and clear.
And the last thing that I wanna talk about is that no one is 100% one love language. When you receive your results, you will see that they break each love language down into a percentage, and mine were, in order from most to least, acts of service, quality time, physical touch, words of affirmation, and receiving gifts, which means that any way we show someone love, they’ll hear us. It just may not be as meaningful to them.
And sometimes, we really need these gestures to be loud and big, like when we’re apologizing for something or trying to make amends. So it can help to know how they like to be shown, love. And I know this may sound silly or really simple, but trust me when I tell you, it can change your relationships for the better. Those in your life will feel more loved, cared for, and connected to you than ever before, which is important more now than ever.
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