Over the past couple years I have grown to see that there are five particular ways you can express love. Each person has a primary love language that we must learn to speak if we want that individual to feel loved. Once you are aware of what they appreciate, it’ll help you understand them as a person and be able to show them just how much they mean to you!
Words of Affirmation
There are many times in my life where I have seen and felt the need for affirmation. Receiving encouraging words gives a boost of confidence and support. Coming from someone who appreciates being loved through speech, I can say that words are powerful and have deep influence. Words of affirmation can be expressed through gratitude, praise, and encouragement. From hearing “I’m proud of you," “Thank you” and “You look lovely today," simple building up goes a long way.
If their love language is quality time, giving them undivided attention is one of the best ways you can show them you care. Even though you may be able to multitask and watch TV while having a conversation, shutting off the show so you can listen and interact with your full attention will mean a lot to them. Quality time is very important to me as well, so I know from experience that sometimes engaging in conversation is not required to enjoy quality time; it could just be spending time in the same room.
We have long known the emotional power of physical touch. For most, long before we understand the meaning of the word love, we feel loved by physical touch. If physical touch is someone’s primary love language, nothing communicates love more clearly than for you to take the initiative, make the thoughtful effort to be close, and adapt to their needs. This love language can be expressed simply by hugging your loved one!
Acts of Service
Do you remember the old saying, "Actions speak louder than words?" For some people, that is particularly true of love. When someone’s primary love language is acts of service, nothing will speak more deeply than simple acts of service. It’s important to understand that if someone appreciates acts of service the most, a simple word of affirmation may not be enough for them. Sometimes acting on your love for others proves it more than words.
In every society throughout human history, gift giving has been perceived as an expression of affection. To someone whose primary love language is receiving gifts, you will make them feel loved and treasured by giving gifts on birthdays, holidays, anniversaries and "no occasion" days. The gifts need not be expensive or elaborate; it's the thought that counts. Even something as simple as a homemade card or a few cheerful flowers will communicate your care.
Love languages can be difficult to discover. Most people have two or three they prefer, so narrowing it down can take some time. Another thing to consider is the realization that some people give love one way and best receive it in a different way.
Sacrifice, thoughtfulness, and patience are required in order to adjust to each individual’s needs. Misunderstandings of love languages make relationships more difficult as tension is present and desires are not met. When you are meeting their love language’s requirements, implementing the language that makes them feel loved most deeply, your relationship will be strengthened. I challenge you to be intentional in relationships and discover how to best love others. You will not regret the effort and they will greatly appreciate your care as well!