“It’s complicated,” many people like to say, when it comes to talking about their relationships with their significant others, spouses, and even kids! But it really does not need to be.
Best selling author of The 5 Languages of Love, Dr.Gary Chapman recognizes that just as every individual possesses a different personality and family background, a person’s manner of giving and receiving love may be different as well. He introduces the concept of a “love tank” to describe how loved someone feels. “Like a gas tank in a car, our lives run best when our Love Tank is filled. The alternative is running empty and burning out.”
Getting to know the love languages of your family can significantly improve and deepen your relationships. Here’s a cheat sheet to the 5 Languages of Love according to Dr. Gary Chapman.
1. Words of Affirmation
“I love you. I am so proud of you. I really appreciate all that you do for me. You are beautiful.”
These are just a few examples that make the hearts of individuals’ whose language of love is words of affirmation, soar.
Verbal compliments and words of appreciation are best expressed in simple statements that are sincere and candid. While actions may speak louder than words, sometimes–on a bad day, in a nervewrecking situation, or even just as a random moment, these words are what your loved ones need to feel loved and secure.
2. Acts of Service
While doing things for your children seems natural (because they may be too small to do things for themselves), they are paying more attention to you than you think. It is always more special for a child when “mommy” or “daddy” takes the time to do something for them–even if it as simple as changing a diaper, giving their baths, or feeding them at meals.
For your spouse, why not relieve him of tasks in the household that are usually assigned to him? It may be as simple as going to the bank to pay the bills, repairing a broken gadget, or washing the car. Doing each task with a warm smile is sure to make them feel loved and valued.
Never underestimate the power a hug and a kiss. Many studies have shown that “babies who are held, stroked, and kissed develop a healthier emotional life than those who are left for long periods of time without physical contact.”
Never doubt that your child (and your spouse) is craving for your touch! So if you’re a working mom and can’t be physically present to them during the day, make up for this when you get home by inviting them to sleep with you and showering them with hugs and kisses.
When it comes to physical affection, everybody wins!
4. Quality Time
This language of love is all about being together, and giving the person you care about your undivided attention, whether it be for a simple moment like meal time, or during a family vacation.
While most of us are juggling numerous roles and responsibilities, we should never forget those who need our time the most, our husband and our children. When we plan our days, let’s try to prioritize quality time with them, as much as our schedules allow.
Gift giving does not need to be expensive.
For this love language, it is truly the thought that counts. A small token or gift after some time away (even if this is just at the end of a full day of work) will make your loved ones feel that you remembered them while you were apart. It can be as simple as a favorite snack or a small toy, or in the case of your spouse, tickets to a movie date this weekend.
If you’re curious to know what your language of love is, take the test at the link below: