You’ve definitely heard the phrase “love language” tossed around by now. You’ve probably even been asked what yours is. News flash, they’re not asking whether you prefer Spanish, French, or Italian — they’re asking how you best show and receive love.
Y’all, learning about love languages was life changing for me. I honestly hadn’t really considered that people can express and receive love vastly differently. And until I learned about the five love languages, I genuinely thought some of my friends didn’t really love or care about me, which ended up totally not being the case — they just expressed their love for me differently.
Educating yourself on how others show love won’t only help you know when others are showing you love. That’s great and all, but it has to be reciprocal — you’ll also learn how to best express the love you have for a spouse, partner, child, parent, or friend. Maybe a relationship has been suffering or hasn’t reached its full potential simply because the two of you don’t communicate love in the same way. Here’s a helpful overview of all the love languages, and I recommend talking with your loved ones about the love language(s) that you each most identify with.
This one is pretty self-explanatory — some people really feel and show love through touch. Hugs, being in close proximity to someone, hand holding, or more intimate physical affection like cuddling are how people with a physical touch love language are most likely to give and best receive love.
However, boundaries are super important with this love language in particular. Just because your love language is touch, that doesn’t mean that others will respond to or receive that well. If you go to hug someone and they decline, don’t feel spurned or rejected — they probably just don’t like using physical touch as a love language, and it’s super important to respect that and figure out which of the other love languages they’re most receptive to and comfortable with.
Words of Affirmation
This person shows and receives love through words. Phrases like “I love you,” “You did an awesome job with that,” “I’m so proud of you,” or just any verbal affirmations will work here! Compliments and frequent communication are important to those who have this love language. They might feel spurned if you don’t reply to a text for a while or if you don’t verbally express your appreciation for them.
They’re also likely to show you their appreciation for you through words. Ever received a heartfelt, handwritten letter or card? The sender probably has this love language. This was hard for me to realize for a while because words of affirmation is not one of my top love languages. So whenever people would compliment me or tell me they loved me, I figured they were just saying it out of obligation or to avoid spending time with me — now, I realize that’s how some people really express their love for others. Conversely, I probably need to be more vocal about my appreciation for those people!
This person shows and receives love through giving and getting gifts. Have you ever seen something randomly, thought of someone, and gotten it for them? Then this might be your love language.
My mom’s love language is gifts and I loved that growing up. She’d always come home with random things that she saw at the store and thought I’d enjoy. I obviously thought it was sweet of her and I liked getting things, but later in life I grew to realize the magnitude of the love behind those actions — it was my mom showing me she really loves me. I’m totally not a gifts person (I think I’m terrible at gift giving) but I always make sure to put some extra effort into gifts for my mom, because I know that will really help her know how much I love her, too.
Acts of Service
This person best gives and receives love through action. Think: filling up the car with gas, doing the dishes after dinner (without being asked!), cleaning the house, running an errand for them — anything that helps make their lives a little bit easier.
I guarantee, this person will notice even the littlest acts of kindness. This is one of my top love languages, and the little things make the biggest impact — when one of my roommates makes me some coffee, when someone cooks a meal for me, or even when someone unloads the dishwasher for me. Grandiose gestures are always appreciated, of course, but often the littlest actions go a really long way in showing acts-of-service people you love them.
And here we are, at my personal top love language — quality time. People like me love spending time with people, and we take it seriously when someone wants to get together with us. Time spent together is really the foundation of a good relationship for us, and we’re most likely to feel loved when you want to spend time with us.
We’re also going to actively try to spend time with the ones we love. We take quality time seriously, so cancelling plans can make us feel spurned or rejected. If your loved one has quality time as their top love language, make sure to spend some one-on-one time with them — it will make a world of difference in the health of your relationship!
Which love language(s) do you most identify with? How do you express them with your loved ones? Let us know in the comments!
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