Do you feel like you’re constantly trying to show love to someone in your life, but they STILL don’t feel loved or appreciated enough by you?
Are you perhaps showing them the wrong kind of love – love that doesn’t actually fill up their love tank??
I just read about the Love Languages again recently.
If you’re not familiar with them, they are a description, created by relationship expert Gary Chapman, of peoples’ favourite ways to receive and express love.
You see we’re are all different, and often in a relationship with a partner or child, we may have different ways that we express love to one another.
And we often get it wrong.
The important thing is to express love to the people around you – your partner, child or even friends – in their preferred way of receiving love, rather than our preferred way of giving love.
It will mean that much more to the person if we express our love in a way that is meaningful to them.
THE LOVE LANGUAGES
Here’s a basic overview of the different love languages, adapted from Gary Chapman’s definitions :
(If you’d like to know more, go to http://www.5lovelanguages.com)
1. Acts of Service
Someone with Acts of Service as their primary love language will feel most loved when others do something for them – for example, taking their clothes to the dry-cleaners, washing the dishes, mowing the lawn or rubbing their feet when they’re tired.
If you want them to feel loved, ask them what you can DO for them to ease their burden and to make their life easier.
2. Words of Affirmation
This person loves to receive compliments and words of appreciation for what they’ve done. They love to hear the words, ‘I love you’ ‘I appreciate you’ and ‘Wow, you’re so good at that’.
If you want to show them love, tell them how much you mean to them, find specific ways to compliment them on how they look, things they’ve achieved or simply for who they are to you.
3. Physical Touch
The person with Physical Touch as a primary love language feels most loved when they receive lots of physical affection – a hug, an arm around the shoulder, kisses and back massages.
They’ll feel really loved by you if you give them lots of affection.
4. Quality Time
Someone with a love language of Quality Time will feel loved when they spend time with someone they care about. Just hanging out with you, doing fun things together, giving them your undivided attention in conversation will fill up their love tank.
5. Receiving Gifts
The person with a love language of Receiving Gifts feels most loved when they are given tangible gifts – not just large ones, but any thoughtful, personal gift that shows that you’ve been thinking of them will make them feel really loved by you.
When it comes to love languages, my youngest son is fairly easy to figure out! He always wants someone to play with, and will often ask one (or all of us) in our family to play a game with him, yet when it comes to getting a hug or kiss out of him, I have to chase him around the room!! You’ve probably guessed that Quality Time is his primary love language, and Physical Touch is NOT.
My other son will often make smoothies for us all (without anyone asking him to) and he’ll spend time creating special, thoughtful homemade gifts for his brother for Christmas and birthdays. These homemade gifts are time consuming and take lots of effort, but he does it gladly and with such enthusiasm. Acts of Service is big for him.
So who is in your life and do you know what their love language is?
Do you want to really increase the level of love between you? Have a look at the love languages, have a guess at what their primary one is, and find a way to lavish them with it today….you’ll probably be amazed at their reaction, especially if you’ve been making the mistake of trying to show them your love by loving them according to YOUR love language (a classic mistake we all make).
Hope your significant relationships flourish from this!
Let me know if you utilise the Love Languages on a regular basis already? I’d love to hear from you.