Ideally, we would speak each of these five languages. But just recognizing them will get us a long way. Many of us don’t recognize these signs of love and appreciation, thus failing to form a substantial connection with another.
Why Is Love Literacy Important?
We fall in love spontaneously, but maintaining love and connection in a relationship is something you learn along the way. You get to connect with your partner or friend just as you would learn another language. You need to meet them halfway and speak the love they can understand.
We receive and give love in different ways and feel like we’re foreigners in our relationship if our love language is not met. In other words, we don’t feel loved. It’s time to draw attention to these five ways of showing and receiving love so we know how to recognize when we’re being given love in the first place. And secondly, so that we could recognize the kind of love our partner wishes to receive so that they would feel loved.
Here’s a test to see which of these languages is your primary way of expressing affection.
1. Receiving Gifts
Giving gifts is cross-culturally considered an expression of love. For some people, however, this can be their primary, native language and they take gift-giving occasions much more seriously.
You don’t have to overdo it, although they will be just as happy. Simple holiday presents are just as valuable, getting them in Christmas Hampers Australia – gift hampers online for Christmas, or a book you think they’d like without an occasion will signal to them that you care.
Also, if this doesn’t mean much to you, you might miss these signs of affection and feel neglected, but realizing that this is someone’s primary way of saying they care will help you see the love you’re receiving.
2. Quality Time
Some, in order to feel loved, need to feel understood first. And this comes with your undivided attention. Although you might be perfectly able to listen to someone and work on something else at the same time, for some it does not feel the same as you being fully present.
If you deny them your time together, focused on each other or doing the same thing, they will feel alienated and misunderstood which further deteriorates into deep sadness and loneliness. So cultivate closeness by shared time together and by keeping up on each other’s internal worlds.
3. Words of Affirmation
Some people just need you to say it. Say you care, say what you think of them, say that you appreciate what they did when they do something for you. Simply put, this is acknowledging their existence. Otherwise, they’ll feel invisible, like their actions are unnoticed.
They need little comments here and there to feel their significance in your life. On the other hand, if this isn’t your primary language, you might take words of appreciation as mere decor, as if they have no substance, but a simple “good job” might in someone’s dictionary mean much more than simple appreciation.
4. Acts of Service
For this type of native speakers, action speaks louder than words. Saying you care doesn’t mean they are taken care of, while on the other hand, showing them by simple acts of service will speak to them more deeply than you might imagine.
5. Physical Touch
Finally, physical touch is the primary language to all of us. It is the first love language we learn. Touch depravity, as shown in Harlow’s experiment, can seriously injure our feeling of security and emotional development.
For some, this remains the crucial way of connecting, appreciating and nurturing. In Snyder’s book the Love worth making we see how good sex is not just physical, but a metaphysical experience of feeling recognized, seen and understood as well.
Just be mindful of these languages and, hopefully, you’ll become fluent in all five of them, which will not only help you sustain your relationships but teach you how to receive love in the ways you did not feel possible before.