I’m a massive fan of “the love languages” and I think they are helpful when you want to understand those you love and ‘speak’ to them in the ways they’ll respond to best.
I think the 5 love languages (I’m fairly sure there are about 50 of them, to be honest) are:
Time (quality time together)
Acts of Service
Words of affirmation
The way to find out what those you love ‘speak in’ is simply to watch and listen to them. I figured out – after a few years of trying to get a very stubborn husband to do things I thought he “should” like that Alun’s love languages are physical touch and time. “Time” in the sense that you’re spending quality time with him.
If I want a happy husband, I make time to do an activity with him. Unfortunately for me, my husband is a thrill seeker and has NO FEAR, so we’ve been sailing, camping, climbing, hiking, snorkelling, diving, riding and e-Scooting around like maniacs. When I spend quality time with Alun, he beams. To see his happy face and hear him talk non-stop when we’re together…it’s worth the discomfort the physical toll Alun’s adventures require. Totally worth it.
Because Alun loves “touch” as well, I will hug him from behind when he’s cooking. I’ll squeeze his hand in support when he’s feeling anxious. I’ll rub his feet after he’s hand a long day at work and smile up at him as he tells me about his patients that day at hospital. If we’re walking somewhere, I’ll link my arm around Alun’s and love how he lights up at that. If we’re standing together on an escalator, I’ll put my hand under his shirt and up his back and just gently scratch it. Alun loves it. I do what I can to let my husband know I’m totally crazy about him.
Today’s question, though – how do I show love? Not just to Alun – but in general.
I show it by giving love in the way I prefer most to recieve it – through words of affirmation. If you’re someone I love, I’ll write to you ALL THE TIME. I’ll text you every time I see or hear something that reminds me of you. You’ll get loads of ‘just because’ cards and letters in the post from me. I like sending letters so much, in fact – that I always have a ‘book of stamps’ in my purse. Anytime I’m out and about and see a card or pretty stationery, I immediately write to whoever’s on my mind, address it, stamp it and drop it in the nearest post box with a big smile on my face.
I love Alun (I’m low-key obsessed, to be honest) so he gets written to ALL THE TIME. I put little post-it’s in the car “love you, have a good day“, on the bathroom mirror “oh hey there, you SEXY BEAST“, in his lunchbox “You mean the world to me, boyo” as well as about 70 (daily) texts, emails and Facebook posts. The SECOND Alun posts anything on social media, I’m all over it; so excited to show my WRITTEN SUPPORT for whatever mental/crazy/usually very dangerous video or sarcastic tongue-in-cheek status my other half has posted.
I love my friends so I’ll write to them, text them, call them, talk to them and message them AS MUCH AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE.
The thing I’m learning as I grow and mature (at 45, God help me) is that MY love language might not be as readily accepted and understood as THEIR love language. My friend Kim, for instance – would probably rather I do an act of service for her – like…babysit her FOUR BOYS (!!!) for an hour so she can have some precious ‘me time’ – than write her a letter. I need to be mindful of that.
My friend Aurelie loves “time” and “words” so I combine both and we have 4-hour phone calls once a week where we both put the world to rights. It makes Aurelie’s day, so even after a 9-hour work day on a Thursday night where I just want to go to bed – I’ll see Aurelie’s name flash up on my phone and I’ll think “Right. Better get comfy because I’m not going anywhere for a solid 3 hours at least” and smile as I swipe across to answer. I turn the tv off. I’ll put the book I was reading away. I give Aurelie my full attention for however long she wants to talk.
My friend Troy likes gifts and was SO HAPPY when last Christmas, I sent him personalised toilet paper in the post. Go figure. Guys can be so weird sometimes.
So…That’s how I love…I try to understand what makes my loved ones light up and I try to do that. I’ll come over and do the dishes so you don’t have to if you like acts of service. I’ll huff and puff beside you as we go for a “leisurely” (it’s never bloody leisurely for anyone overweight like me) walk around the river or we can do a puzzle together (and I’ll try my best to not be sarcastic about it) if you like “time together”. If you love recieving gifts, I’ll buy you something I think you’ll love and I’ll wrap it in bespoke paper and ribbons and give it to you when you least expect it.
I love to love those around me.
But I’m stubborn and fairly stupid so you’ll definitely get WRITTEN TO as well – whether you like it or not. Ha.