The idea that we hear love and speak love in different ways has been made widely popular and very accessible by the work of Gary Chapman.
I highly recommend his book, in fact I give it to all the young couples in our family. This link will take you to a site where you can take the assessment (just takes about 5 minutes) to see what your top love languages are.
Understanding love languages has 2 big implications. First of all, you will know better what you need and can be more confident asking for it. It may not be the language most easily spoken by the most significant people in your life - but you can share with them how you most naturally hear love.
Secondly, it will help you understand how the people in your life - life partners, family, friends, co-workers, receive love. You can start to observe what they offer to others and even without them taking the test you can start to pick up patterns.
We usually offer love to others in the way we most like to receive it.
Here's the caveat - I think all 5 languages are important to receive at some level. Even if, for example, affirmation is at the bottom of my list, it doesn't mean I don't need to be affirmed.
Also, there is something about not receiving culturally appropriate love. If I have really gone above and beyond at work, being acknowledged for that would be important - that may be with a gift and a note but most importantly, it will have the biggest impact if it fits my notion of what is appropriate.
It's your birthday - no matter what your language is you will likely respond well to affirmations through Happy Birthday wishes for you and gifts. If you don't get quality time with your loved ones on your birthday, that may have a big impact, even if quality time is lower down your list.
Lastly, I'll say this. Look for love coming your way in other languages than yours. So many times I have watched couples feel unloved by each other. He keeps doing acts of service for her. She wants quality time and keeps feeling like he isn't loving on her. Or, she keeps giving him gifts and he wants her to listen deeply and affirm and encourage him.
Being aware of love languages can help us understand ourselves and others better. What is your love language? What is the love language of the people in your life?
Marilyn, Luv Life Coach
Marilyn Orr is a relationship coach with Luv Life Coaching, passionate about equipping couples with the tools for real and lasting intimacy.
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