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Love Languages: How do you receive & show love?

Disappointment in Love

I recall MANY times when I’ve heard those around me say--- “They just don’t care...they should know this is important to me.” There is an assumption that because we want to receive love and affection in a certain manner that others also give and express their affection in that same way. This is a dangerous way of thinking because it sets us up for disappointment and missing out on experiences of love and affection.

What are the Love Languages?

Dr. Gary Chapman’s “5 Love Languages” serve as our way to show to someone else that we see and care about them, but also are the ways that we determine if others really see and care for us.

Based on Dr. Gary Chapman’s work, the truth is that we all have different ways for how we prefer to receive and give love. Your primary love language may not be your partner’s or loved ones.

The 5 Love Languages

Words of Affirmation

Acts of Service

Receiving Gifts

Quality Time

Physical Touch

Although it may feel that our partner does not care about us when they do not verbally praise us, it could also be that they prefer to show their affection and care through gifts. If we can have greater awareness of our own emotional desires, as well as those of others that we are in a relationship with, then we can feel more emotionally connected and appreciated within our relationships.

Of note, love languages are important and existent across all forms of relationships, including romantic, familial, and platonic. It’s also important to reflect on how your familial and cultural backgrounds and experiences have impacted your tendency to feel more comfortable around specific love languages versus others.

As you read below about the 5 love languages, I encourage you to think about how you prefer to be shown do you know when someone really cares? Has your familial and cultural background impacted how you understand love and affection? Also, how do you tend to show love? The challenge often occurs when the way we show love is not the way our partner or loved one prefers to receive love. Take time to think about how a loved one prefers to receive love… and if it is not your primary love language, use the challenges below to push yourself to demonstrate love to them in a way that is more easily felt by them.

Improving The Way You Express and Receive Love

Dr. Gary Chapman’s “5 Love Languages:”

Words of Affirmation- Expressing through written or verbal disclosures that you care and appreciate someone. It is through saying, “I love you,” “Thank you for helping me today,” or “You really mean a lot to me.” It is the act of praising them for their strengths and accomplishments in order to verbally let them know that I see you for all that you are and love you.

Your Challenge: Take time to write a hand-written note or send a voice message to express your love and appreciation for a loved one.

Acts of Service- This is anything you do to help lighten someone’s emotional, physical, financial, whatever they need load. It is knowing what they may need to feel better and doing it for them to free up some of their time and energy. Sometimes we may know what someone needs because they express it; for instance, a friend is stressed with a long list of chores, we may show our love through completing a few of them for them. In other instances, we may not know what our friend/partner needs, but we can ask them how we can help. Other times, our loved ones may not NEED anything, but we can still show them we care by doing something thoughtful and meaningful for them...Who doesn’t like a cup of coffee and pastry in the morning?

Your Challenge: Make your loved one’s favorite meal or run an errand for them that they have been putting off.

Receiving Gifts- Yes, I know… many of us love gifts. BUT, gifts as a primary love language is typically tied to someone who not only appreciates gifts, but really is looking for gifts that are meaningful and thought out. Gifts are a tangible representation of your love or care for them; thus, these individuals typically really value the meaning behind the gift- however small or large. They appreciate the thought process behind it, time you spent to find it, and all the little steps that went into the process. Gift-giving during celebrations, anniversaries, birthdays, or just because are especially important and desired by primary lovers of this love language.

Your Challenge: The perfect gift is often times based on really understanding the interests and needs of your partner, as well as what they enjoy. Did they mention something in passing that they want? Is there something that automatically makes you think of them? If so, show them you care through gifting them <3

Quality Time- The act of spending uninterrupted time with a loved one, during which you two spend meaningful time together either in activity or just being with one another. The focus is you two. This is shown through focusing solely on your loved one and the moment in front of you and intentionally disconnecting from all social media, telephone, emails, etc. Time is sacred and you make every moment count.

Your Challenge: Schedule two hours a week just for you two- it can be enjoying dinner, an activity, engaging in conversation, laying down together, or just completely focusing on you two and the moment.

Physical Touch- This is non-verbal, physical affection to demonstrate care and love. Someone who’s primary love language is physical touch tends to be more touchy and expressive non-verbally...they communicate so much through how they physically interact with you! It can be shown through hugging, kissing, sitting closely to one another, holding hands, giving massages, etc.

Your Challenge: Holding hands with your partner to non-verbally communicate that you are there with them in that moment.

***Learn more about your love language by visiting:***

I hope you’ve found greater clarity about your primary love language and that of your loved ones.

Challenge yourself to show your loved ones love in the way that they can easily recognize and experience.

May you receive love and give love in the way that it is intended.

Stay relationally well,

Dr. Sheva

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