Love languages break down how we want to be shown love and appreciation, and how others want to receive the same. Despite this, most of us end up giving people the love we wish to receive. Why?
Naturally, we treat people how we want to be treated. Many of us are used to not getting what we want without even realizing it. In turn, we overly express what we desire by showing what we want instead of what the other person wants.
Sometimes we don't treat ourselves the best, so we may end up projecting our issues onto our partners and kids by unintentionally mistreating them. Honor your feelings, yes, but treat the ones you love better than how you treat yourself. They will take notice and do the same for you. If they don't, self affirm you did the right thing for you.
Let's briefly break down each love language to get a better understanding.
- Acts of Service - helpful actions
- Receiving Gifts - meaningful presents
- Words of Affirmation - uplifting words
- Quality Time - uninterrupted presence
- Physical Touch - bodily connection
Understanding our love language benefits not just us but our entire family. Imagine you're a child who feels most loved when mom and dad spent time with you, but instead, they tend to give you gifts. You may not feel as loved and may think your parents don't like spending time with you. Kids will easily translate this as their fault somehow. This child may grow up associating gifts as the only way to show love while still not feeling fully loved when they do get gifts.
Or imagine as a mom, you love receiving touch, but your partner is really good at verbally uplifting you. He loves compliments, but you're always trying to cuddle him. While neither is negative, it still miscommunicates what you want the most from your relationship.
It's important to state how you want to receive love directly. Maybe you're not sure. Take the quiz to find out. I encourage you to sit down with your family and fill it out for every member as well. It can be done for children, couples, teens, and single people.
It's also essential to show love how the receiver prefers it. This demonstrates a willingness to step outside your comfort zone to make the other person feel secure in their relationship with you. Just because it's easier for you to do what's convenient doesn't mean you should always choose to stay in your box. Love is about two, not just you.
Here are examples based on each language, but it's always best to ask! Mix between elaborate and detailed with small and simple.
- Acts of Service: unexpected and promised actions speak louder than words here.
- While mom naps, dad can give the house a quick clean up.
- Let your loved one sleep in once a month.
- Receiving Gifts: materialistic gifts aren't the only options here.
- Pick your partner's favorite pizza topping even though it's your night to choose.
- Randomly reward your kiddo with tickets for a show they want to see. Don't just wait for a holiday or birthday.
- Words of Affirmation: be specific, but it doesn't always need to be a lengthy statement.
- "You did a great job helping mommy with the laundry!"
- "It meant so much to me when you told all our friends how much I've been helping you get through this tough time, my love."
- Quality Time: give your all here; no distractions allowed.
- Fulfill your promise to have tea time with your little one after watching TV.
- Put away work tasks and electronics to eat dinner together with the family.
- Physical Touch: intentional, thoughtful touch is vital here.
- If your kiddo loves hugs, high fives, or fist bumps, deal them out daily without mercy.
- Hold hands with your partner walking in or out of a building.
When you understand your needs and can communicate them, you're more open to giving space for others to do the same. Here's to feeling more loved every day!
Parenting is awesome. Sleep is overrated. Every day is an adventure.
Meet Our KeaMommy Contributor: Nadia Rumbolt
Nadia Rumbolt is a mom of many trades, including creative writing, blogging, van life, minimalism, veganism, the beach, nature, and the occult.