It’s important to express our love to the ones we care about.
Everyone has their own way of expressing their affection, more so at this day and age where technology has helped us with digitally interactive options. Be it through FaceTime calls, sending funny memes, or even dropping the heart reaction to someone’s post – love languages has continuously evolved with each generation.
The Sociology of Love
During the early 90’s, a certain Baptist pastor named Gary Chapman published a relationship advice book that breaks down love languages into five different categories that depend on how each person expresses their affection to other people. It doesn’t have to be romantic, as platonic or even professional relationships can show as much admiration.
A quick online test at 5lovelanguages.com can easily help identify the love language you’re most comfortable with, and give you insight on how others actually perceive what love is. Knowing these can help you communicate better, and more importantly, avoid misunderstandings with those you love.
The Five Love Languages
Chapman’s book generally categorizes love languages into five categories: Acts of Service, Quality Time, Words of Affirmation, Physical Touch, and Receiving Gifts. Now while these languages may look totally different from one another, we need to remember that each person might be more comfortable expressing themselves with one particular language but still offer the same level of affection to their social circles – family, friends, or colleagues.
Acts of Service, for instance, means you might feel more validated when others do things for your convenience. Doing favors like picking up lunch when you’re still working, cooking dinner for when your spouse gets home, or organizing a birthday party for your boss could be considered an act of service.
Do you like it when phones are down during a meetup with friends? Or perhaps having your best friend just intently listen to your rants after a stressful day? That falls under Quality Time where clear presence and undivided attention is given to your loved ones when they need it, and when you’re with them.
Sometimes, saying what you feel is enough. Words of Affirmation are direct to the point since you are saying what you are feeling. Say that you think your mom’s new haircut looks great on her, or congratulate your brother for winning his game at school – whatever the situation is, let yourself be heard and speak out.
Physical Touch could be more professing and might actually be worth more than a thousand words: like a long hug from your dad who just got back from working overseas, or a passionate kiss from your fiance after you said yes to his proposal. While some people might be averse to this, a pat on the back or a handshake could also work – ideally with workmates or male friends.
And finally, Receiving Gifts–who wouldn’t like receiving a token or two? While this is more common during the holidays, birthdays, or special occasions, the idea of gifting someone an item that made you think about them soon as you saw it is really special. Plus, unwrapping presents and surprising them just make it more fun!
It’s important to remember to also treat yourself: buy that dress just because, get that well-deserved massage, watch a movie alone, finish that list for tomorrow, or even just tell yourself you’ll be OK – because as much you can give love to others, let’s not forget to love ourselves from time to time. After all, we are all worth loving – more so if we love ourselves.