A love language represents the way you communicate with your partner. This can be in actions, words or both. You may show love and affection to your partner in different ways, but are you sure he or she receives it? Just like Igbo Language or Spanish, several things can happen to a language – spoken, heard, understood, learnt, modified, and written. Your love language explains what you speak and what you hear. The kind of love you receive from someone may not be what you give, and vice versa.
Two partners cannot understand love language if they speak different languages. This can cause a series of conflicts, and if it becomes persistent, can lead to a breakup. When two partners do not understand each other, it is possible that they do not understand the love language. According to the book by Gary Chapman on five love languages, he developed the types of love languages and some exact needs of people. The five love languages are the ways people show and receive love. They are:
1. Words of affirmation
2. Quality time
3. Physical touch
4. Receiving gifts
5. Acts of service.
1. Words of Affirmation:
This love language explains the set of people that value words directed to them. Either negative or positive, it takes a toll on their behaviours. Of course, words affect people, but this is in varying degrees. Some people receive this love better than others do. Remember that you can either speak or hear a love language, one at a time. Just as language has different dialects, love language does as well. The language of words has two dialects as follows:
a. Words of appreciation: when you notice that your partner or friend enjoys hearing good things from you, you can be better at it. They feel more loved when you genuinely thank them for something they did. This sparks up something good in them. You may see them blush in front of you, or refer to what you did later on. In essence, your actions are precious to them.
b. Words of encouragement: This is the second subset of the love language of words. When they get mentally or emotionally down, you do not simply give them a back pat. You sit down with them and remind them that things were not always this way. These words will strengthen them during and after your speech. In addition, they feel that you sincerely care for them and you appreciate their efforts.
2. Quality Time:
People with quality time as a love language feel the most precious when you spend time with them. They always make themselves available to hang out with you. This love language centres on giving your full attention to someone. If you are with them and you were busy doing something else the whole time, then it is not quality. Quality time does not only mean that you are physically present. Make sure that there are no distractions when you are with that person. If there is, you may have ruined the whole plan. They want you to listen actively to what they have to say or contribute. The conversations may be meaningful or not; this is not the point.
3. Physical Touch:
This love language covers hugging, cuddling, holding hands, wiping tears from their eyes, kissing, or sexual activities (including sex). Even an action as insignificant as a gentle tap on the arm during a conversation can trigger the feeling of love from the recipient. People with physical touch as a love language feel loved when you engage them physically. Your touch can be a strong emotional spur for the feeling of love. The action of hugging can come to them as the feeling of security. They could interpret that they are safe when they are in your arms. This links to love because an important necessity of man on the hierarchy of needs is Safety. If you are giving this to them on a platter of gold, you are their hero. You just filled a love tank.
4. Receiving Gifts:
If you feel loved when people give you things without your request, your love language is probably receiving gifts. For you, gifts are visible symbols of love. People who love receiving gifts believe that they do not love the gift because of the monetary value on it. They feel loved because of the thoughtfulness associated with buying the gift. The thoughtfulness covers the careful decision-making on the need or wish of the receiver, the perfect gift to fulfil that wish and the way you presented the gift to them. If the efforts behind the gifts are tangible, then you have successfully spoken a love language. Stay rest assured that your receiver got your lovely message.
5. Acts of Service:
For people that receive the language of acts of service, they love when people help them. They are the ‘less talk, more action’ people. Instead of telling them that you are with them all the way, show them how. They value when you go out of your way to make sure that they are comfortable. Ironically, people in this category do not like asking for help. They believe that if you love them, you should see that they need help.
Besides, taking the initiative to do something without them asking you is more romantic. Examples of activities under acts of service are cooking for the recipient, running errands, or even filling in for them if they are unavoidably absent for a meeting. If you are trying to fill the love tank of someone who enjoys your acts of service, then let your actions speak louder. You cannot go wrong with this.
Everyone receives at least two out of the five love languages. It is possible to crave love in these five ways, but pay attention to your most dominant responses to all. How do you show love? Imagine someone you like speaking with you for long hours, how would you feel? If you spend half of the time thinking about how to end the conversation because you need to be alone, then quality time may not be your primary love language. The gradual study will reveal your strengths, and that of your partner, friends and even strangers. Love language is an interesting study area.
If you found this helpful, you would also like our post on Mutual feelings – How to know if someone is into you.