Do you know how you appreciate receiving love? Do you know how you appreciate giving love to others? These are all tied to your love languages. This may be from learned behavior you’ve seen or experienced growing up – knowing you loved when the special people in your life showed love in specific ways or it may even be what you have been lacking growing up and now this is how you crave to show or receive love. Regardless of the origin of your personal preferences, we are here to break down each of the Five Love Languages with their meanings.
Often times there can be communication breakdowns when you don’t understand the love languages in others. We can have a tendency to show someone else love in the way that we would want to receive it. We know how good it feels, right? But we are not the same. Everyone has different needs and this is one of the foundations in building strong communication with the people in your life.
Also, please keep in mind that love languages do not only relate to romantic relationships. This can show up in friendships and family relationships as well.
First of all, where did the Five Love Languages come from?
Through his ministry counseling, Dr. Gary Chapman discovered through a series of questions that each person has one primary and one secondary love language. He suggests that in order to truly know another person’s love language (and they haven’t taken the quiz) you must observe them. What does this person complain about? What do they request most from others? Is it validation? Is it time? This is a good indicator of what their needs are.
Words of Affirmation
The foundation of this love language is with the use of words to express love in how you build someone else up. It can be the simplest of praises, “I’m proud of you” or “I like your outfit” that can be effective. Words mean a lot to those where Words of Affirmation is their primary love language in how they wish to receive.
Acts of Service
The act of actually doing something for someone else. Whether it’s washing their car, doing the dishes, taking care of an errand – it’s all about the thought, effort, and time put into this act of service. Those with the primary love language of Acts of Service appreciate the effort and intent behind an action.
It may sound materialistic but gifts do not need to be expensive clothes and a car. A gift can be going to someone’s favorite restaurant or even buying a coffee at a favorite coffee shop. This is similar to Acts of Service in that there is a physical action that takes place but very different in that the gift is actually what is appreciated.
A long afternoon in the park, engaging conversation, or even a lazy Sunday together are all ways to express love for those that appreciate quality time. Attention and energy going toward the relationship or the person(s) in front of you is important. The time you take out of your life to focus on the other person is what counts.
Physical touch can sound like a lot of PDA or intimate time but this can also be seen as a hug, a touch, holding hands. It’s the little moments that also count when thinking how to express physical touch. Those that appreciate physical touch want to feel close emotionally but moreso physically.
After reading on all of the love languages, which resonate most with you and the people in your life?