Last year at this time I wrote a blog titled “Self-Love (The Greatest Gift)” it was my way of sharing the love with my readers and celebrating an important love that often is overlooked. We are constantly bombarded with images that direct us to find love instead of focusing on creating it. The practice of self-love is creating love and it's the most important thing we can do. It fills us up so that we enter the world with strength and abundance instead of desperately seeking approval and looking for ways to feel loved. When we create enough love within ourselves we give it freely and without conditions, this is the purest form of love- unconditional love.
Valentine's day can be a very lonely day for single people. The special menu’s for two at so many restaurants, the chocolates and sweets begging you to "be mine", the commercials bombarding you with seemingly perfect couples blissfully in love… These images can make us feel that something is missing in our own lives. If you feel there is a void in your life I encourage you to show yourself some love you can learn how by reading this blog from last year. We need to create love and fill ourselves up first.
Love is as fluid as water. You will have floods and you will have droughts until you build your own well within.
Since last year I have practiced self-love rituals regularly and have grown a deeper bond with myself that has transformed how I carry myself in the world. I am no longer desperately seeking love or attention, which feels a lot like the love we seek. Instead, I have love within me and I give it to friends and family. Giving love to others only draws more of it back to you. Even writing these blogs has caused others to open up and share their hearts with me. What you give you will receive. The universe is great at keeping books, trust that what you give will come back to you in time.
I picked up a book earlier this year called "The Five Love Languages" by Gary Chapman. In it, Gary goes in-depth on ways to enhance romantic relationships and understand how people best receive love. I have used the knowledge I have acquired from this book to help my clients and friends build stronger bonds with their partners and spouses but it can also help you with other relationships that are important in your life as well.
So what are the five love languages?
In his best-selling book, Mr. Chapman outlines five major ways we express and receive love that are referred to as "love languages”.
The love languages are-
Words of Affirmation
Acts of Service (Devotion)
Would you like to learn your primary love language? You can take the test here: http://www.5lovelanguages.com
Knowing how you best receive love and being able to articulate that to your lover is very important. Especially if you feel like you are misunderstood or that there is a lack of love in your relationship. It could be that you are speaking two different languages and your attempts to build intimacy are getting lost in translation.
If you are in a romantic relationship think about your partner. How do they show you affection? Often this is the way they like to receive love. So if your partner is constantly saying nice and nurturing things to you, they are giving you “words of affirmation” and that may be how they best receive love. Another example would be if you hear your partner complain about wanting you to show more affection, this could mean they best receive love from “Physical Touch”.
If you aren’t able to figure out how your partner prefers to receive love you can have them take the test or have fun experimenting with the five love languages until you feel them responding well to their primary or secondary ones. The reaction is often intense when you uncover it.
I remember when I first realized that my primary love language was “Quality Time”, instantly I thought back through memories of friendships and relationships. The times I was happiest was when I was spending time having deep conversations with friends, going on adventures that seemed to bond us, the funny stories we shared just between each other, the closeness of paying attention to each other and being present. Then I thought back to the times when I felt disappointed when I made plans and the person flaked at the last minute, or when I was with someone who was on their phone the whole time or seemed distant. It all made sense.
While reading the book I started to notice the ways my friends and family best receive love and I was able to be there and give them what they needed more often. Being conscious of these five languages can truly strengthen relationships and help you become self-aware so you can ask for what you need. After learning my truth about desiring “Quality Time” I started seeking it and explaining that it was important to me.
One note I would like to make clear about “Quality Time” is that it doesn’t include watching tv, playing on your phone, or on the computer while in the same room with someone. The key word is quality, meaning you devote attention to the person you’re with. You must be engaging one another and creating memorable moments for it to be quality time spent together.
When I told my girlfriend about the five love languages she was very worried that “Receiving Gifts” might be her love language. She thought that this might mean she was materialistic, I laughed and explained that when people get “Receiving Gifts” as one of their top love languages it can mean they enjoy surprises or little tokens of love. They may have a favorite plant or candy and become overjoyed when a friend surprises them with it because they cared enough to remember it was their favorite. It could also mean that they are delighted by a partner that remembers special occasions and dates. Having someone show that they care, even in little ways can mean the world to folks with a primary love language of “Receiving Gifts”, they can also be devastated if you forget their birthday or an anniversary. If you know someone with this love language set reminders in your phone write important dates down and you will make them feel your love. Once my friend heard my explanation she was put at ease and took the test.
The love language that most often goes unacknowledged is “Acts of Service” where a person may show their love by doing the dishes, folding the laundry, organizing the fridge, etc. This person's partner may not perceive household duties as an act of love if “Physical Touch” is their primary love language and the partner doing the work may feel undervalued. Ideally, you will want to show your love for people in all five of the ways outlined in the book but knowing which way your loved one responds the best can help immensely in creating a deeper connection.
So take the test to learn your primary love language, what it means, and how you can use it to get more of the love you seek and then think about other people you care about and how they might best receive your love.
If you would like to read this book you can purchase it here:
The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
Sending you all love,