Now You're Speaking My (Love) Language
Love languages, a concept developed by American marriage counsellor Dr. Gary Chapman, are the distinct and unique ways for people to give and receive love. The first time I read his book, I was blown away by the obvious simplicity of it all but had never thought about showing love in such thought-out ways that spoke directly to the needs of the person I was loving on! A light bulb went on for me, and I decided to try to understand the people that I love just a little bit better. I’m still no expert, but I’ve certainly paid more attention to what love looks like to the people in my life.
Understanding your love language along with that of your loved ones will help you to build better, stronger relationships by knowing the right way to say “I love you”. Each of us use the five love languages to show our affections, but as we are all unique, everyone has at least one love language that resonates with them most. To give and receive love more effectively, let’s explore each love language.
- Acts of Service
These are gestures performed that help to lighten the workload of your partner or loved one. (this is one of my top love languages…rake my leaves in chilly October? You couldn’t show me that you love me more!)
The idea here is to anticipate the needs of your partner or loved one to make his or her day a bit easier by performing tasks that show you care. Acts of service can take the form of one large gesture or multiple small tasks that you help them to accomplish. Nothing says love like cleaning up the kitchen after dinner or taking on laundry duty for the week!
- Words of Affirmation
Ever feel happier than when your significant other tells you how much you matter? I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t enjoy hearing they’re appreciated… Do this by simply using words to show love to your partner. To these love-language speakers, nothing says love more than hearing “the way you take care of me is so appreciated.”
- Quality Time
Life today is full of immediate distractions. We live in a world of hyper-stimulation between our smartphones, laptops and hello, Netflix! All have made real quality time with your loved ones harder to focus on – especially if you love a good binge session of Game of Thrones! If this is your partner’s love language, make sure to set aside time (ideally every day) to enjoy one-on-one time together, free of dragons and dire wolves!
This isn’t showing up with a gift card… In fact, NEVER give your loved one a gift card if “gifting” is their preferred love language. I learned this best when my daughter expressed her dismay when she saw the gift card I got her for her birthday – hello, lame mom. Yes, I was short of time and left it to the last minute, so to me, it was just survival, but to her it said “you weren’t really thinking about me”. I felt bad because I ALSO sometimes feel that way with gifts like that. Lesson learned.
Unexpected, and most importantly, thoughtful tokens of appreciation show them how much you care. These don’t need to be big expensive gifts - it’s meaningful items that make your special people realize “Aw, they were really thinking about me today.” Perhaps a box of Jacek Chocolates is in order!
- Physical Touch
Pretty straight forward, it’sholding someone’s hand, a hug orpat on the arm, or…well, you get the picture! It’s any way humans show each other physical affection and it’s definitely on my list of favourite love languages! Wanna show me you care about me? Give me a giant hug and a cuddle on the couch. Love it!
On some level we crave all of these various shows of love on some level, but the one that resonates with you the most is your main love language. It’s important to understand how you and your loved ones give and receive love, so that you can more effectively communicate your needs and meet theirs. To read more about the 5 love languages, or to discover your own love language and learn about Dr. Gary Chapman, check out the official website here. We promise, no matter your love language, you will love it!
Wild Tip- Show your loved ones you care with a simple gift that meets their needs. If you have a loved one that travels often, check out our Travel Gift Set. For the beer enthusiast in your life our Beer Soap Six Pack is the perfect gift. We teamed up with six amazing Alberta craft breweries to create these unique beer soaps! Lastly, the Wild Prairie Gift Box in Lavender is made for the person in your life who constantly puts the needs of others first.