Those who have been around me for some time is likely to have received a book or two. I think there is something special about giving books as it reflects both the giver who selected the book and the recipient for whom it was handpicked. Furthermore, I consider this open invitation to commune my likes and inspirations as an active acknowledgment of our closeness and view giving any gifts for that matter as more meaningful than benevolence without particularity. Yet I’ve learned not unscarred that this expression of love is not always received most warmly; for some, they would have much preferred my accompaniment to game nights for the effort and the time that I’ve put into preparing gifts.
As we can clearly see, we all speak love differently. Dr. Gary Chapman from his 30 years of experience as a marriage counselor saw over and over that everyone has a unique way of expressing and interpreting love, which he named one’s primary “love language.” We all identify most earnestly with one or two of the five love languages- words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service and physical touch.
So don’t make the mistakes I made, pouring out your precious heart only to learn later that none of that was ever felt, and learn fast now how you and your loved ones speak love!
1. Words of affirmation
If this is one of your love languages as it is mine, you know that actions not accompanied by friendly remarks do not speak louder than words. You can feel shattered by other’s thoughtless, unkind comments even if uttered with good intentions. Know that such hurts can only be remedied through articulate words of apology, and speak and receive love through short notes, emails and frequent compliments.
2. Acts of service
Do you fancy a mate who will come offer a helping hand in your overwhelmed daily life with no questions asked? You will no doubt feel loved through other’s cooking, cleaning, driving and other practical services provided, but what you really appreciate is other’s availability and those who have often silently listend through your whatever vents and saved you from last minute lone dinners. Therefore, those who some might find impersonal can make you feel comforted.
3. Quality Time
Beware, there is no correlation between total X amount of time spent together and perceived love for the bearer of this love language; what will matter in the end is the undivided attention and the intentional presence of the beloved. Note: if you are always the first one to call it a night at sleepovers or likely to fall asleep at crucial moments of vulnerability, you will not find this quality endearing.
4. Receiving gifts
No material girls here- as explained above, this is about having keen regards for the thoughtfulness behind tangible signs of sacrifice. Know that celebrating any small occasions with a gift or picking up lunch bills will bring hefty return on investment in your relationship with those who speak this love language.
5. Physical touch
Alas, this has nothing to do with any amorous advances. For this person, a quick pat on the back could mean anything from “I appreciate you” to “you had me at hello” and on. When this person needs encouragement, a really big hug should do the job. Do not ever, ever, wimp back at this person’s caring touches on the arm: they value the human connection sensed through physical touch more than you do.
What’s your love language? Find out here.
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