I was talking with a friend about the language of love and I got curious about the literature on these different ways of showing affection. Here is a summary of some of the things I was reading. It is very interesting because I believe we need to find ways of perceiving love… improve the perception of being loved is as important as being loved. The ways of expressing or showing affections are called love languages and are usually summarize in 5.
5 Love languages – (website here)
There are different ways of showing affection to our love ones. 1) Words of affirmation; 2) Spending time; 3) giving/receiving gifts; 4) Acts of service; and 5) Physical contact.
1) Words of Affirmation
Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important—hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten.
If you love someone, you say it, right then, out loud. Otherwise, the moment just passes you by. – Julia Roberts
2) Spending Time
In the vernacular of Quality Time, nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there—with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby—makes your significant other feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful.
Give whatever you are doing and whoever you are with the gift of your attention. – Jim Rohn
3) Receiving Gifts
Don’t mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you. A missed birthday, anniversary, or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous—so would the absence of everyday gestures.
4) Acts of Service
Can vacuuming the floors really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes. The words he or she most want to hear: “Let me do that for you.” Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t matter.
Let deeds match words. – Plautus
5) Physical Touch
This language isn’t all about the bedroom. A person whose primary language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face—they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive.
They invented hugs to let people know you love them without saying anything. – Bil Keane
- Determine which of the five love languages – verbal statements, spending time, giving gifts, helpful acts and touch – is your own way of expressing love. Consider whether you prefer to tell people you care for them and give them compliments, devote time and attention to your relationships with them, give them thoughtful presents, offer to help them with errands or duties, or frequently embrace them or hold their hands. Each individual primarily uses one of these methods to show affection.
- Identify your loved ones’ ways of expressing affection. People like to receive affection the same way they like to give it. If your significant other shows her love for you by giving you small, hand-made presents for no particular occasion, she expresses affection by gift-giving, and she will feel loved in return if you also give her small presents.
- Use your loved one’s love language, rather than your own, to show him affection. If you like to give and receive love by offering to help with housework, but your significant other shows his love for you with kisses and hugs, you can show him affection best by being physically loving with him in return.
- Make small, frequent gestures of affection toward your loved one in her love language. You don’t need to make grand, sweeping gestures to show her that you are thinking of her. For example, if she shows affection by giving compliments and saying “I love you,” you don’t need to write her epic love poetry; simply telling her on a daily basis that she brightens your life or looks beautiful is more effective.
Tips and Warnings
If your loved one shows affection through gifts, this does not mean that he is materialistic or mercenary — he appreciates the thought and attention of the gift, rather than the gift itself.
Discuss the love languages with your friends and family, so they can show you affection the way you need it, too.