Find out your love language

We all know that not everyone expresses love in the same way, but it is still love that we are trying to express

By Delna Mistry Anand

Published: Fri 11 Feb 2022, 12:13 AM

Last updated: Fri 11 Feb 2022, 4:51 PM

A million songs have been written about love. Songs about wanting love, not wanting it, not having it or understanding it and doing anything for love. However, it is in our very nature to want love (whether you admit it or not). Being isolated or abandoned is damaging to the human psyche. But if you really look with an open heart and an open mind, love comes to you in so many different ways; we just expect it to look a certain way and don’t recognise it in the form that it is showing up.

Way back in 1992, author Dr Gary Chapman wrote The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts, based on his experience of counselling couples. He recognised a pattern amongst couples and was shocked at how many couples misunderstood each other’s needs for the simplest and smallest of reasons.

He identified five different languages in which we express love. We all know that not everyone expresses love in the same way, but it is still love that we are trying to express. He felt that each of us must understand the ‘language’ of the other, and also our own. Read through his five languages and understand which language is most prominent for you when it comes to showing and receiving love.

1) Words of Affirmation

People with ‘words of affirmation’ as their primary love language place more value on affectionate words, compliments, appreciation, letters, cute WhatsApp messages, regular texting and social media engagement. They feel loved when they hear these words of love spoken to them, and also show their love through their words.

2) Quality Time

Those whose love language is quality time feel most adored when their partner wants to spend ample time with them. This means switching off your phone, chatting, making eye contact, having a meal together, and basically being fully present with each other.

3) Physical Touch

People with physical touch as their primary love language feel loved when they receive physical signs of affection, including hugging, kissing, holding hands, cuddling. This is how children feel loved too. Babies enjoy being rocked to sleep, or games that require physical touch/ presence. As we grow up, this pattern changes for some.

4) Acts of Service

This is your love language if you value when your partner goes out of their way to do things for you. Making your morning coffee, filling gas in your car, picking up the kids if you are busy, helping with errands, etc.

Some people show their love by doing these little acts. But if the love language of their partner isn’t the same, they would not appreciate or notice this little gesture, which is really love in action.

5) Gifts

Giving gifts is universally accepted as a gesture of love. You feel loved when you receive a “visual symbol of love,” as Chapman calls it. People with this style recognise and value the gift-giving process: it isn’t about the money, but the simple gesture of someone thinking of you, reflecting on what you like and picking it out just for you.

So if this is your love language, you feel like this person knows you, understands you and loves you when he or she takes the time to pick you a gift. People with this love language often remember every little gift they have received from loved ones because it means so much to them.

Understanding love language is not just important for couples, but in any relationship — parent child, siblings, friends, etc. We all express and receive love in our own unique ways. Understanding these differences can significantly impact your relationships, helping you to show and also receive love, as it is meant to be.

Now, go back and read each of the five languages, and see how each of them can be translated into a self-love language.

Words of Affirmation — using empowering words for yourself, positive self talk

Quality Time — me-time, self care, your childhood hobbies and whatever else this means for you

Physical Touch — a nice massage is always welcome, or a relaxing session of stretching and yoga

Acts of Service — what can you do to make life easier for yourself?

Gifts — a gift we give ourselves is sometimes the most precious

Remember that loving yourself is the greatest love of all.

Connect with Delna Mistry Anand across social media @DelnaAnand

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