I am one of the people who are convinced that there are 5 basic love languages and 5 ways to express love emotionally. Each individual has a primary love language. Which one is applicable to you?
Okay, let’s start.
They say action speaks louder than words. Well, not always. If you have this kind of love language, unsolicited compliment mean the world to you. Hearing the words like “I love you,” are important. Hearing the reason behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insult can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten.
Verbal compliment or words of appreciation are powerful communicators of love.
Encouraging words: “Encourage” means “to inspire courage”. All of us have areas in which we feel insecure. We lack courage, which often hinder us from accomplishing the positive things that we would like to do. Perhaps, you or your spouse has untapped potential in one or more areas of life. That potential may be awaiting encouraging words from you or from him.
Kind words: If we’re to communicate love verbally, we must use kind words. That has to do with the way we speak. The statement “I love you”, when said with kindness and tenderness, can be a genuine expression of love.
Humble words: Love makes requests, not demands. In marriage we’re equal partners. If we’re to develop an intimate relationship, we need to know each other’s desires. If we make our needs known in the form of a request, we’re giving guidance, not ultimatums.
Note: If this is the love language of your partner, set a goal to give your partner a different compliment each day.
In the vernacular of Quality Time, nothing says, “I love you”, like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby –makes your significant other feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed dates, or failure to listen can be hurtful.
This means giving someone your undivided attention. I don’t mean sitting on the couch watching television together. What I mean is taking a walk, just the two of you, or going out to eat and looking at each other while talking. Time is a strong communicator of love. The love language of quality time has many dialects. One of the most common is that of quality conversation – two individuals sharing their thoughts and feelings. A relationship calls for sympathetic listening with a view to understanding the other person’s desires. We must be willing to give advice, but only when it’s requested and never in a condescending manner.
Here are some practical listening tips:
- Maintain eye contact when your partner is talking to you
- Don’t do something else at the same time
- Listen for feelings and confirm them.
- Observe body language.
- Refuse to interrupt.
Note: If this is the love language of your partner: Ask him/her for a list of five activities that he’d enjoy doing with you. Make plans to do one of them each month for the next five months.
Don’t mistake this love language for materialism. The receiver of the gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you. A missed birthday, anniversary, or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous –so would the absence of everyday gestures.
Almost everything ever written on the subject of love indicates that at the heart of love is the spirit of giving, visible symbol of love, speaks the loudest. A gift is something you can hold in your hand and say, “Look, he is thinking of me”, or, “She remembered me.” A gift is a symbol of thought. Gift comes in all sizes, colors, and shapes. Some are expensive and others are free. To the individual whose primary love language is receiving gifts, the cost will matter little. There is also an intangible gift that can speak more loudly than something that can be held in one’s hand. Physical presence in the time of crisis is the most powerful gift you can give. Your body becomes the symbol of love.
Note: If this is your partner’s love language: Keep a “gift idea” notebook. Every time you hear your spouse say, “I really like that,” write it down. Select gifts you feel comfortable purchasing, making or finding, and don’t wait for a special occasion. Becoming a proficient gift giver is an easy language to learn.
Can vacuuming the floors really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes. The words he or she most wants to hear: “Let me do that for you.” Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t matter.
People who speak this love language seek to please their partners by serving them; to express their love for them by doing things for them. Actions such as cooking a meal, setting a table, washing the dishes, sorting the bills, walking the dog or dealing with landlords are all acts of service. They require thought, planning, time, effort and energy. If done with a positive spirit, they are indeed expressions of love. I’m not saying become a doormat to your partner and do these things out of guilt or resentment. No person should ever be a doormat. Do these things as a lover.
Note: If this is your partner’s love language: What one act of service has your spouse nagged you about consistently? Why not decide to see the nag as a tag? Your spouse is tagging this particular task as a really important thing to him or her.
This language isn’t all about the bedroom. A person whose primary language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face—they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive.
Holding hands, kissing, hugging and sex – all of these are lifelines for the person for whom physical touch is the primary love language. With it, they feel secure in their partner’s love. “Love touches” don’t take much time, but they do require a little thought, especially if this isn’t your primary love language or you didn’t grow up in a “touching” family. Sitting close to each other as you watch TV requires no additional time, but communicates your love loudly. Touching each other when you leave the house and when you return may involve only a brief kiss, but speaks volumes.
Note: If this is your partner’s love language: While eating together let your knee or foot drifts over and touches your partner.