How do you love to express, well, love? With Valentine’s Day coming up there’s no better (or appropriate) time to ask yourself what it is you need to feel loved and how you enjoy showing your affection. This could be to yourself, your partner, family, friends...love doesn’t always have to be romantic or saved for just one person!
So let’s get into it. The five love languages are:
- Words of Affirmation
- Quality Time
- Receiving Gifts
- Acts of Service
- Physical Touch
Gary Chapman, Ph.D., developed this theory in his book The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts. Understanding what it is you need and what your partner/friend needs is such an integral part of growing together in your relationship.
As you’re reading through these love languages, ask yourself if there’s one or two (or three!) that really resonate with you or that you could see resonating with someone else in your life. There’s no wrong answer, just follow your intuition and heart.
Words of Affirmation:
People that value and take to heart verbal acknowledgments of affection. Things like saying or being told “I love you”, compliments, or texts/social media that shows off they're being thought of.
Those that feel most loved when their partner is actively wanting to spend time with them and making time to spend with them. They appreciate a full presence without any distractions to feel prioritized in the relationship.
Acts of Service:
People who believe actions speak louder than words. They feel most valued when their partner does things to make their life easier. Things like making coffee in the morning, bringing soup when they're sick, maybe even picking up little treats at the store that would make them happy.
People who appreciate “visual symbols of love”. It’s not about the monetary value but meaning behind the item. I recently read a quote that said “the most romantic thing in the world is feeling understood”. You recognize and value the gift-giving process: the careful reflection, the deliberate choosing of the object to represent the relationship, and the emotional benefits from receiving the present.
Signs of affection is the name of the game with this love language. Things like hugging, hand-holding, kissing, cuddling. “People who communicate their appreciation through this language, when they consent to it, feel appreciated when they are hugged, kissed, or cuddled. They value the feeling of warmth and comfort that comes with physical touch” - psychotherapist Fariha Mahmud-Syed MFT.
There’s so much value in being clear with your expectations around expressing and receiving love. These five love languages can help you navigate and learn all about the types of affection you appreciate getting and giving. I learned about these a few years back and it’s really helped me set clear expectations and guidelines around what I need in all of my different relationships to feel content and most importantly, loved.And for those of you that resonate with Gift Giving you can shop my One-of-a-Kind collections and find the perfect piece for yourself or someone who you know would absolutely adore handmade jewelry.