In the 1970s, there was a popular single-frame comic created by Kim Casali. She titled it “Love Is . . .” In the upper left hand corner were the words “Love is . . .” and the remainder of the phrase was at the bottom, beneath the characters. These simple, yet heart —touching phrases had many couples evaluating their love, and developing insight to their own behaviors of showing their love for one another.
More recently, Dr. Gary Chapman published his book “The 5 Love Languages.” He identifies five primary ways people show love, and how they interpret love from others. In his book, the love languages are independent of each individual, yet bridge across all relationships.
Dr. Chapman identifies the love language of Words of Affirmation as unsolicited compliments, hearing words of encouragement, validation of feelings, sharing of excitement. Words of affirmation improve feelings of worth and importance to you or your love one.
Quality Time as a love language is just that — spending quality time, just being there. It is giving your undivided attention with everything else on stand-by. Whether it is going for a walk, playing at the playground together, just sitting and talking about the day, your loved one with this love language feels important, special and truly loved and supported when they receive your full attention.
The love language of Receiving Gifts should not be mistaken as materialism. This love language shows your loved one how well you know their likes, and who they are as individuals. The gift does not have to be expensive. It is a reflection of thoughtfulness, and a show that you were thinking of them even when you are apart.
Acts of Service is a common love language. When someone does something for you because they know of your burden of responsibilities it shows you care about them. Sometimes what you see as a small help, may be your loved one's biggest chore. Helping them says “I love you.” To make more work for them, tells them their feelings do not matter.
Last, but certainly not least, is the love language of Physical Touch. This love language isn't all about romantic intimacy. It is about the warmth of a hug, a touch of the hand, the snuggle while you watch TV, a kiss goodnight. Being physically present shows you care.
What is your loved one's love language? What is your love language? On Valentine's Day, be in tune to your partner's love language, and act accordingly. Use it as an opportunity for quality time, words of affirmation, an act of service, a physical touch, or a really thoughtful gift.
“Love Is . . . knowing your partner's love language.”