There are many ways to say I love you. Author Gary Chapman in his book, The 5 Languages of Love, shares how each of these 'five languages' is so different from each other, in a way it’s like speaking another dialect. Which means you may be speaking Spanish while your partner’s native language is German, not quite fully communicating to each other.
Don’t get me wrong, we would all probably appreciate receiving love in any one of these languages, but there is one that speaks louder than the others. Once you know yours and your partners, you’ll more easily and clearly be able to express the love you feel.
- Words of Affirmation - Unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the reasons behind why someone loves you, or overhearing someone praise you, lights you up! On the other hand, insults might leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten.
- Quality Time - The best way to show this person “I love you,” is in giving them your full, undivided attention, not talking while watching TV, but really being present and spending time with them. Something like a picnic or an event makes them feel truly special and loved.
- Receiving Gifts – Don’t mistake this love language for materialism, the receiver appreciates the thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. It shows them you think of them when you are apart and that they are cared for.
- Acts of Service – Anything you do to that lightens the burden of responsibilities for someone with this love language speaks volumes to them. The words he or she most wants to hear are: “Let me do that for you.” Increasing the work-load of someone that 'speaks' this language, tells them that their feelings don’t matter.
- Physical Touch - It’s not all about the bedroom. Physical touch can range from hugs to pats on the back and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face—which show excitement, concern, care, and love. You could be verbally communicating how much you care for someone with this language, and while that may sound nice, giving him or her a shoulder rub expresses it so much clearer!
Enjoy finding and speaking these love languages! If you’ve read this and you’re still not quite sure what yours is, just start paying attention and it will become clearer. A good thing to remember is, the way you show love is usually the way you receive it.