Love is still in the air, and while a lot of people are thinking about the best ways to show love to their partners and friends, many are still ignorant about the 5 love languages.
What does a “language” have to do with love you might wonder. The 5 love languages are different ways in which people express love and also expect to be loved. According to Gary Chapman the author of the book, the major 5 love languages are
- Words of affirmation
- Acts of service
- Receiving Gifts
- Quality time
- Physical touch
Everyone primarily speaks a love language, or two, or all 5 of them, and to know the best way to express your love to a loved one and the best way to have your loved ones show their love to you, you should be aware which love language you/they are most fluent with.
What is your love language?
Words of Affirmation
The words of affirmation love language describes those who live for compliments from their loved ones. They thrive on encouraging, motivational and edifying words. They love to hear “I love you” and it’s even better for them when they understand the reason behind those three words. And in the same way, they tend to express their love through their words.
In the same way kind and thoughtful words can make the speaker of this love language’s day, hurtful words or the lack of uplifting words can mar their feelings.
Picture this: Tayo has been working all day on getting the right cake recipe for Thembeka’s birthday. After days of work, he finally made the perfect cake and proceeded to show it to Thembeka. Thembeka sees the cake and says:
Scenario A: “Wow! It looks amazing, you are one talented man, and I love you!”
Scenario B: “That’s a nice cake, although I would have preferred one from a store due to how fresh they taste.”
Although both scenarios have Thembeka complimenting the cake Tayo made, only scenario A is going to light up his eyes because he adores it when his loved ones speak words that build him up.
Acts of Service
People who speak this love language read meanings into every action. They love being helped out and having their burdens eased. To these people, their mantra is “talk is cheap”, if you care for them they expect you to show them. They love it when you help solve a problem, and when you go out of your way to do something for them especially something you are personally not interested in.
On the other hand, people who speak this love language hate broken promises, no matter how little or insignificant it might seem. Also, increasing their burden and workload either directly or indirectly tells them that you do not care for them.
Picture this: Thembeka loves home keeping, but it so happens that on this particular day, she doesn’t feel great and cannot do the usual chores she loves to do, including making dinner. Tayo comes home hungry, sees a tired Thembeka…
Scenario A: …but he’s more worried about having no set dinner, proceeds to call Thembeka lazy.
Scenario B: …finds out what went wrong with her day, consoles her, but still tells her to make dinner.
Scenario C: …consoles her and proceeds to either make dinner himself or orders take out for Thembeka and himself.
Scenario C would undoubtedly make Thembeka feel loved while scenarios A & B pictures Tayo as insensitive and therefore unloving.
There are two kinds of gift-lovers, the one who looks forward to the gift because of the thoughtfulness and effort put into getting this gift and the one who loves the gift more than the thought put into it or the person giving it. A person whose primary love language is receiving gifts loves to hear things like, “I saw this, and it reminded me of you, so I got it for you”. They resonate more with gifts that have meaning, that is, the reason for such gifts.
On the other hand, not putting much thought into a gift given to someone versed in this language can lead to them feeling like there is no depth in their relationship with you. Other ways they get hurt are through forgotten birthdays/anniversaries or lack of gestures which require effort and show that you are thinking of them.
Picture this: It’s Thembeka’s birthday.
Scenario A: Tayo totally forgot and rushed to a store to buy the most expensive earrings to make up for it, forgetting that Thembeka does not wear earrings.
Scenario B: Tayo gets her a bunch of pink lilies and Ferrero Rocher chocolates because he knows she adores pink lilies and she has been craving Ferrero Rocher chocolates for a long time.
If your primary love language is quality time, you enjoy being with your loved ones– just you and them, enjoying the moment with no distractions. These days, we have a lot of distractions, so much that a person who adores quality time will hate your smartphone just as much.
People versed in this language sometimes do not care if you are doing anything together, just being with their loved ones, having a fun activity together, sitting in silence together means a lot to them. As expected, doing the opposite, that is, not being there for them can cause them to hurt.
Picture this: Tayo is having a bad day, moments after letting Thembeka know…
Scenario A: Thembeka shows up to “just be there” for Tayo.
Scenario B: Thembeka sends a consoling text message.
Although both scenarios show concern for Tayo’s situation, scenario A will resonate more with Thembeka.
Physical touch is the last but not the least of these 5 love languages. Physical touch is the most primal of all the languages. The right touch at the right time can communicate feelings of assurance, safety, love and closeness that words cannot describe to your loved one. Physical touch and quality time complement each other, as one whose primary love language is physical touch needs you to be in close vicinity.
As a result, people whose main love language is physical touch tend to be “touchy-feely” as well. They get hurt when you recoil from their touch or when touch is used in an abusive way.
You can take the quiz to find out what your love language is here: http://www.5lovelanguages.com/#discovery-whom