How to better your relationship using the Five Love Languages by special guest Courtney Sharp
People communicate love and affection in different ways.
How do you love your spouse? How do you love your siblings? How do you let your boss know you appreciate them? We subconsciously communicate and accept love in certain ways. It’s usually related to how we’re raised and debated commonly as the nature vs. nurture argument. The reality is that numerous factors shape the way one expects love to be communicated.
Another reality is that most people go their entire lives thinking there is only one way to communicate love, the way they do. I’m here to tell you how much better you can love others once you understand the Five Love Languages.
How powerful is it to look at your relationship with your husband and say I know exactly how he feels loved so I’m going to do that? And how powerful is it to look at your relationship with your daughter and know that she’ll feel infinitely loved from just a single text saying “Thinking of you”?
Understanding the Five Love Languages gives you the ability to love others in the most effective way possible because it’s exactly how they want to be loved. And I promise that applying this concept to your relationships will completely change the level of love and respect in them. It’s a simple concept in theory but studies have shown that when you break it down, humans all over the world universally communicate love and affection in five ways.
The Five Love Languages:
- Quality Time
- Physical Touch
- Words of Affirmation
- Acts of Service
Most people have one main love language that resonates with them most, then one or two additional ones that also are relevant. For example, my main love language is quality time but words of affirmation strongly resonate with me as well.
Do you know your love language from the list above? Just think personally how you feel most loved, heard, and understood. Do you feel most cared for when your significant other tells you this out loud? Or if they stop by on their work break to spend a few minutes with you? These are different love languages and I’m sure one of these resonates with you the most.
Understanding that there are different love languages is extremely crucial in bettering your relationships but even more learning how to actively apply them is even more important. Below are some recommendations to begin with.
How to Love Others Based on Each Love Language:
- Quality Time:
Simply spend time with them. They feel most loved by you if you choose to spend your time with them. If you’re in the area, stop by their place and spend a few minutes with them to let them know their presence is of importance to you.
If you have a busy schedule, make sure you prioritize spending face to face time with this person. I recommend planning weekly, reoccurring lunches or date nights. This communicates that not only do you want to spend time with this person but it gives said person the comfort of knowing they are always going to have that time once a week with you. This makes them confident in your relationship.
- Physical Touch
Girls, don’t get annoyed when your man immediately responds that this is his love language. It’s not primitive, nor impulsive, it actually is almost all men’s strongest love language. Now don’t let them get away with just telling you that, figure out what their other love languages are because they will have others too.
Also, physical touch happens to be a love language of many of my best girl friends. You know, the ones that absolutely love hugs and cuddles. If you have friends, family, or significant others with this love language, make sure to acknowledge them physically especially when saying hello, goodbye, or comforting them. A simple gesture such as a hug when saying hello or goodbye, a tight grip on their arm to show you sympathize with them in times of hurt and sadness, even a reassuring elbow-bump to help cheer them up! Whether you may think these gestures go unnoticed, it will show your love and care for this person.
- Words of Affirmation
This love language is really dear to my heart and I’ve learned living in different countries that different cultures view words of affirmation differently. A lot of Americans value this while the Irish will literally always run if you ask them to tell you how they feel. Overall though, people who have this love language really value the meaning of words and strong eye contact. Make sure to tell them how you feel often, boldly, and with strong eye contact. Tell them often simple, definitive statements such as “You are very important to me” or “I really appreciate all that you do for me”. Tell them these statements out loud and write them down. Words of affirmation people are the ones that hang letter on their walls and keep postcards from years back.
- Acts of Service
This is the most endearing love language. This one takes more time and effort than the others but also has the potential to hold so much weight because of that. You can love others who have this love language by doing small random acts of kindness for them. It doesn’t have to be elaborate; if you know your significant other is extremely stressed juggling everything, simply tidying up the house so they have a clean space to come home to will make them feel so cared for. Loving someone who has the acts of service love language is all about thinking about ways you can serve them.
Now most people will always gawk at this love language saying, “well I’m definitely not gifts”. I’m sure this has to do with the superficial stereotype associated with gifts, as if you can buy someone’s love. But this is a huge misconception. If someone has this love language, they feel cared for when you give them something. This doesn’t necessarily mean you buy them something and even if you do, the monetary value means nothing to them. It’s the concept of physically receiving something knowing the other person thought of you in it. That’s what the love language gifts is about. If you have someone important to you with this love language, forget about money and think about sentiment. Sometimes surprising them with their favorite candy, flowers, or movie makes them feel so loved. Even just grabbing them a free pamphlet at the event you attended last weekend because it made you think of them is an amazing gift and will make your friend or significant other feel special.
As people, we give and receive love.
And it’s just as important to learn how best to give love as it is to receive it. We must take seriously our own mental health, part of this being communicating how we feel most loved. To love someone the way they want to be loved one must know how to love themselves first. Don’t forget to take the time to understand yourself and apply these languages of love to your mind and body so your family and friends know how to love you the way you want to be loved.
Often we innately give the type of love that we want to receive. This is on a subconscious level because of our own personal definitions of love. But sometimes what happens is the love language you’re used may not be the most effective to someone else. And that’s okay, it’s completely fine. The amazing thing is now you know how to love them effectively based on their love language.
Many couples often claim they have a disconnect or communication issues when it’s solely based on the fact that they haven’t stopped to think about the best way to love said person and the ways in which they feel loved from them. Communicating this to your partner is extremely important.
Being able to recognize that sometimes those we care about may have different love languages than us, helps us actively love them better. And in return, it’s extremely important to communicate to those important to you how you most feel loved. Tell your friends, family, and significant other your love language so they can connect with and love you on a level that makes you feel special and recognized.
I’m not kidding.
It’s really freaking powerful.
Understanding and implementing the 5 Love Languages can truly strengthen your relationships.
You see, there’s such power in loving someone well and the 5 Love Languages give you a way to do this. There’s power in strong relationships and as I get older I realize that those are really all that matters.
For all my lovers, fighters, friends, mothers, sisters, and never giver-up’ers,