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The 5 Love Languages

Updated: May 21

How do we know if we are loving the people, we hold dear to us, well? The simple answer ~ Ask them! And not just once. Ask them regularly. Yearly, monthly, and even weekly. Do I make you feel seen, heard, and understood? Are you fulfilled? Is there anything I could be doing more or less of to be a better friend/lover/partner/parent? Chances are, we could all be doing a better job with most of the people in our lives. It is easy to fall into our routines, patterns, and subconscious programming of how we move through our days and weeks and show up for the people in our lives. We tend to often we see things through our own perspective or lens of what being loved looks like. Learning what, in particular, makes each individual feel safe, secure and attended to is not a one and done conversation. It takes consistent attention, intention, and action.

Reading The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman completely changed how I look at and engage in all the relationships I surround myself with, not just romantically but my children, friends, family, co-workers and even my community. There are versions of this book for singles, couples, children and teens. When we take the time to notice how someone shows up for us and how they are asking to feel seen and heard, we can learn to love them the way they actually want to or value receiving love and be more in tune with how they express their love towards us.


Sometimes, we are unconsciously neglecting the people we love and don't even realize it. I could be showing you love in 4 of the 5 languages but if I am not consistently expressing my love in the primary way you need to receive and believe my love is genuine, all of those 4 can feel a bit less meaningful, hollow or even ingenuine. However, if you are receiving love in the way that fills your tank most, the others are always nice icing on the cake and feel good because your cup is full and are already in the state of safety, trust, and security in feeling loved. That is why all too often, relationships can build tension when one partner feels like they need more and the other feels like they are doing everything they can. The miscommunication can be that simple because you are speaking different languages. The good news is that even if a love language doesn't come naturally to you, they are all fairly easy to put into practice with a little bit of effort and care. Obviously when you do find people with the same love language, it can feel a bit more effortless, almost like just being yourself is exactly what the other person needs to feel cared for, but it doesn't always work out that easily.


“Our most basic emotional need is not to fall in love but to be genuinely loved by another, to know a love that grows out of reason and choice, not instinct. I need to be loved by someone who chooses to love me, who sees in me something worth loving. That kind of love requires effort and discipline. It is the choice to expend energy in an effort to benefit the other person, knowing that if his or her life is enriched by your effort, you too will find a sense of satisfaction—the satisfaction of having genuinely loved another. It does not require the euphoria of the in-love experience. In fact, true love cannot begin until

the in-love experience has run its course.”


~Gary Chapman


This is a fun and easy Love Language Quiz you can take to get a better understanding of what each of these actually mean and learn a bit more about yourself along the way!


1. Words of affirmation

Positive words and phrases that communicate love, appreciation, and respect


2. Quality time

Spending time with your partner and giving them your undivided attention


3. Physical touch

Showing love through hugging, cuddling, being intimate, or simply putting a caring hand on someone's shoulder


4. Acts of service

Doing something for your partner that you know they would like, such as filling up their gas, watering their plants, or cooking them a meal


5. Receiving gifts

Giving someone a specific thing that makes them feel special


One of the important things to keep in mind is that sometimes the way we like to receive love is not necessarily the same as how we like to show our love so we can assume others may vary as well. With that being said, the old saying of "treat people the way you would like to be treated" doesn't really apply in this situation and you also can't observe how someone shows others love and assume they like to receive it in the same way.




For me, Quality Time and Physical Touch are a close tie for the top of the list with Receiving gifts at the bottom. That is why snuggles, vacations and even quick little getaways always fill my heart and soul in a way that I can't put into words. However, I really enjoy showing my love with words of affirmation as well but can actually find it a bit difficult to receive that way.


The best way to really know how someone you care about wants to be treated is to simply ask. Initiate the vulnerable conversation. They may not necessarily know right away so it may be fun to take the quiz with them or ask some probing questions. In the end, isn't that what intimacy and connection are about? Those simple moments. Taking the time and putting in the attention to have the meaningful conversations to better understand the people we choose to share our lives with.


I'd love for you to share your love languages with me! Let me know and spread love in the way you know best. They all matter!


All the love,

Pamela

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