Do you feel your efforts to show love to those closest to you are not being recognized?
Are you trying to reignite the fire that has burnt out in your relationship?
Are you struggling to cultivate love in your life?
What if love is all around you and you’re unable to recognize it because it’s being presented in a foreign language?
Developing healthy relationships with friends, family and partners was something I struggled with for a good part of my life. I always felt that my struggle to communicate my feelings made me incapable of loving the people who meant the most to me.
A couple of years ago, I read a book titled ‘The Five Love Languages’ by Gary Chapman.
This book opened my eyes to the different ways people receive and give love – which in turn gave me a better understanding of what made me feel loved and how I was unknowingly expressing my love to others.
The 5 love languages are:
1. Words of affirmation – saying I love you, compliments
2. Gifts – material things that represent affection and gratitude
3. Acts of service – doing something for others
4. Physical touch – hand holding, hugs, kisses
5. Quality time – time spent together, even if it’s in silence
Typically, we tend to give love in the same way we like to receive it, which isn’t always the most effective way of letting others know we love them.
It’s important to communicate your love for someone in a language that is best received by them. If someone’s love language isn’t obvious to you then have them take the quiz I link to below.
Once you’ve discovered each other’s love language, nurture and grow this new insight by giving your partner what they want and not just what you want to receive.
For example, if your primary love language is receiving gifts then you’ll be over the moon when your man shows up with flowers (or that new designer handbag you’ve been eyeing) on Valentine’s Day. If your partner’s primary love language is acts of service or quality time, he’ll be melting inside when you’ve put together a romantic dinner with his favourite dish.
We are all unique in how we give and receive love. The more effort you put into understanding, recognizing and applying all 5 love languages, the more love you will cultivate in your life and the lives of those around you.
I chose to write an article on love and relationships because I realize that as important as a nutritious diet and regular exercise are to healthy living, cultivating and enjoying close, personal relationships with others is equally (if not more) important and can play a crucial role in your health journey. I truly feel this is an area of health worth investing time and energy to.
Learn your love language here with this free quiz.
Note: The 5 love languages applies to all types of relationships including couples, family, friends and co-workers.
Written by: Jennifer DiGregorio, health coach & NOT a relationship expert