While reading the book the 5 Love Languages, I began to realize the power of each language. This communication is a great key... The awareness it can bring to oneself. I noticed personally that I really find physical touch, acts of service, and gift giving really important. Initially, "gift giving" made me feel like I was materialistic, or self-centered, so I ignored it, but as I have gotten older, I have realized it means much more than that.
I like to know that you are thinking of me during the day. A gift can be a simple little thing that you saw during the day, flowers, or my favorite... the gift of Presence.
I think there's a lot of benefits to understanding these languages. Today, take the time to really look how you appreciate giving and receiving love. I have attached below a summation of what each of these love languages look like as defined by the book thanks to Lola Oloko.
"Words of Affirmation - Does it just make you blush on the inside when someone tells you how great you look, or takes time to verbally acknowledge your achievements? Do you find yourself easily complimenting others? Maybe you love being encouraged and encouraging others, if so, Words of Affirmation is your love language. If you feel most loved by what someone says, then Words of Affirmation is your primary love language. This language is crucial because words are powerful. Words have the ability to strengthen or tear apart a relationship. We need to be affirmed, and for some of us, this needs to be through words exchanged. Even if this isn't your love language, it's important to be able to speak this language to forge stronger relationships.
Receiving Gifts - Ok so maybe you're not big on compliments, but do you get excited for receiving gifts, a 'Just Because' gift that shows that the giver is thinking about you? Receiving little gifts from those you care about simply lights you up and confirms to you that the gift giver really cares about you. If that is the case then Receiving Gifts is your love language. Gifts shouldn't be given in expectation of something in return, but instead, it's a symbol of love. Most importantly, it needn't be a gift that is dominated by a certain price point or limited to coming from a store. A gift could be as simple as a trinket that would mean the world to the receiver and possibly to no one else.
Acts of Service - Are you prone to exchange gifts for personal favors? Someone there to assist you makes your day and makes you feel THAT much more important to them? Should this resonate with you, your fundamental love language is Acts of Service. Keep in mind that Acts of Service doesn’t require that you have an exceptional skill. Instead, it is your willingness to assist someone else in a manner that makes life more manageable. Even if it is a task that doesn't require much effort, knowing that someone was willing to take the time out of his or her schedule to help out in a meaningful way makes you feel incredibly loved. Often times this love language is neglected because we don’t ask others to serve us or we assume that they don’t need any help.
Physical Touch - Hugs are paramount in your life. You wouldn't think twice about holding up a "Free Hugs" sign in Times Square. When you're going through a hard time, a hug from a loved one minimizes whatever situation is at hand, therefore, your love language is Physical Touch. This is one of the first love languages most of us have experienced. Please don't mistake physical touch for anything sexual; it is completely different. This love language is so easily communicated to babies and toddlers, but we lose sight of the fact that some young adults still yearn for physical touch. A simple hug from a loved one has the power to effect change.
Quality Time - above all ways to communicate love to a loved one, does spending time rank first? Well then, your love language is Quality Time. Sometimes we get so busy trying to fill our lives with activities we forget about the simplest form of communication: talking and listening. Quality time is engaging each other in conversation, to ensure you and the other person are on the same page. It's not just about conversations; it’s also hanging out and serving together with the same goal in mind. The activity doesn’t matter so much as the fact that the person has your undivided attention."
Oloko, Lola. “How to Love: The 5 Love Languages | Blog Post from MVMNT.” The Brooklyn Tabernacle, 14 Nov. 2012, www.brooklyntabernacle.org/ministries/mvmnt/blog/2012/11/14/how-love-5-love-languages.