Diving into the 5 Love Languages
You have probably heard, at least, a mention of love languages before. Perhaps, however, you have never really known or understood your own love language. In this blog post, we will be diving into the 5 love languages, what they mean, the difference between giving and receiving love, and more! It is important to understand your own love languages, both giving and receiving, in order to have a better idea of what you need and want from a relationship. Furthermore, it can be helpful to understand your partner’s love languages so their needs are satisfied as well. You and your partner by no means have to have the same love languages to work out. However, you both may have to adjust the ways you give love. Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s first get a better understanding of the different love languages.
Words of Affirmation
Generally speaking, words of affirmation are about expressing affection through spoken words, praise, or appreciation. Someone whose primary love language is words of affirmation enjoys kind words, encouragement, and compliments. They like their actions to be appreciated and they feel loved when they are complimented for who they are. They also may enjoy uplifting quotes, cute text messages, and/or love letters. Words mean everything to someone whose primary love language is words of affirmation. This means both good and bad words will have a major effect on them. Choose your words with extra care if you know your partner’s love language is words of affirmation.
Quality time as a love language refers to showing love and affection by spending dedicated time together. To those with quality time as their primary love language, nothing says ‘I love you,’ more than undivided attention. Quality time does not include time spent watching tv, eating dinner, or scrolling on social media next to each other. Rather, quality time could be uninterrupted time with your significant other just talking or doing a fun activity together. The point is, if quality time is your main love language, you need time with your loved ones without distractions such as technology. Time needs to be set aside specifically for hanging out and connecting.
When physical touch is a primary love language, love is felt through physical affection. To clarify, physical affection does not just mean sex or sexual acts. Physical affection also includes hand-holding, kissing, hugging, cuddling, a light touch on the arm, a back massage, and really any other physical touch between two people. People whose primary love language is physical touch appreciate public displays of affection and being physically close to the people they love. If your partner’s primary love language is physical touch be sure to ask them what types of touching they like and do not like. The same goes for you if you feel love through physical touch. Let someone know if the physical touch they are giving you is not what you want.
Acts of Service
For someone whose love language is acts of service, they feel loved and appreciated when people do nice, thoughtful things for them. Acts of service are quite literally about showing up in ways that are tangible to support and care for someone. This love language is the epitome of “actions speak louder than words”. Acts of service are generally about doing little things like opening doors, picking up favorite snacks, fixing breakfast, doing chores, and more. These little things can be maintained and spread throughout a relationship long-term and don’t have to be grand gestures. Acts of service are a little less straightforward than the other love languages because it largely relies on subjective experience and the priorities in someone’s life. In other words, the little things you do for your partner, or that your partner does for you, should be catered to what you/they need done to feel less stressed and cared for.
Gift-giving is symbolic of love and affection for those with receiving gifts as their primary love language. Again, much like acts of service, the gifts do not have to be grand and expensive. What is more important is that the gifts are thoughtful and meaningful to the recipient. The time and effort the gift-giver puts into getting the gift is just as treasured as the gift itself. Of all the love languages, receiving gifts is often the most construed. For some, it seems greedy to have the primary love language of receiving gifts. Furthermore, some people may think those that feel love through receiving gifts value things over true love. This is not true. Receiving gifts as a love language is more about the sentimental value behind the gift than the gift itself.
Giving and Receiving Love
Some people have two primary love languages, one for receiving love and one for giving love. If you prefer to receive love in a certain way, you may also use that love language to show your love to others. Although, just because we prefer to receive love in one way does not mean that is also how we show love and appreciation. You may wish to receive gifts, but you are better at showing love through words of affirmation.
Moreover, your love language may not work for someone else. This is why it is important to talk about love languages with your significant other. To make sure you both feel the most loved and appreciated as possible, you must discuss how you both prefer to receive love. This doesn’t mean you have to completely abandon your natural way of showing love. Rather, it means you may have to work on utilizing a different love language in addition to make sure you are satisfying your partners needs.
How Therapy Could Help
If you are struggling with aligning and diving into the 5 love languages with your partner, therapy may help. Therapy provides a safe space for you and your partner to explore your relationship needs on a deeper level. Therapy can also provide you with the communication tools needed to successfully open up the conversation about love languages and ask for what you want. Chriselda Santos, licensed psychotherapist and certified life coach, specializes in helping couples and individuals strengthen their interpersonal relationships by fostering healthy change and habits. She believes therapy can be beneficial for all couples, not just those on the brink of ending. For more information about Chriselda’s therapy tactics, or to book an appointment, visit her website.