Happy Valentine’s Day!
It is February and we are well into the new year. Around Valentine’s Day we tend to think about how we can express our love to those close to us, as well as individuals in our personal network of support. Most often we search the racks for the perfect card to express our feelings or purchase a gift to celebrate the occasion.
But wait, before you purchase your gift. According to Gary Chapman in his book, The Five Love Languages, he identifies ways to express and experience love. He calls these ways of expression “love languages” in which each person has one primary and one secondary language.
The five languages identified are:
Giving gifts that are meaningful to the person you are expressing love to.
2. Quality Time
Spending quality time together and sharing experiences can create fond memories. The time together doesn’t have to be an expensive trip to Paris. A gift of time can be priceless.
3. Words of Affirmation
Words of affirmation means expressing affection for your love one through spoken affection, praise or appreciation.
Telling your significant other, “I love you”, “thank you, honey” and “I appreciate you” are examples of affirming words.
4. Acts of Service
Acts of service involves taking actions rather than expressing words that are used to show and receive love. I recently made my BFF (Best Friends Forever), a pot of homemade chicken soup when she told me she was sick with a cold. She does so much for me and I wanted to do something for her. In other words, communicate in her love language.
5. Physical touch
It is amazing how much you can express or feel from a gentle touch, a hug, a kiss. A touch that says, “I love you”, a hug that says “I care”, or a kiss that says “I am here for you”.
Based on your personal experience, would you add more love languages?
Chapman suggests that to discover another person’s love language, observe the way they express love to you, analyze what they complain about most frequently and listen to what they request from you most often.
Chapman says people tend to naturally give love in the way that they prefer to receive it, and better communication between couples can be accomplished when you can demonstrate caring to the other person in the love language the recipient understands and appreciates.
An example would be if your husband’s love language is acts of service, he may be confused when he does the laundry for you and you don’t perceive that as an act of love, viewing it as simply performing household duties. You could have this view because the love language you may appreciate and understand is verbal affirmation that he loves you. You may be thinking, you can’t remember the last time he said “I love you”.
You may try to use what you value, words of affirmation, to express your love for him, which he would not value as much as you do.
If you understand your partner’s love language, by mowing the lawn for him, he perceives it in his love language as an act of expressing your love for him; likewise, if he tells you he loves you, you may value that as an act of love.
I believe we can express love every day and can add compassion, kindness, forgiveness, and humor to the list. I recall talking to a woman that had been going through hard times with her husband. When I asked her what it was about him that makes you stay, her response was, “he makes me laugh”.
No doubt your love one is a significant part of your network of support. How we demonstrate our gratitude and love for members of our personal network is through meaningful gifts, quality time, acts of kinds, words of encouragement, and a loving hug of appreciation.
This maybe a good time to take a minute to reflect and have a heart-to-heart conversation with your significant other to determine if you are “speaking” the “right” love language.
Let me know your thoughts.
Stay Tapped In to the Love Life Has to Offer……
Women’s Self-Empowerment Strategist
Author of the Upcoming Book: TAP IN: Elevating Women’s Self-Empowerment
A Dynamic and engaging speaker, Dr. Myra Hubbard is available for Keynote Presentations, Conferences, Retreats, Training, and Consulting engagements. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 707-481-2268.