Find Your Love Language
In this day and time, it can be really difficult to feel fulfilled. We are all just hanging on, having gone through a most difficult year and not exactly sure what this next one will look like. We have hopes and dreams and desires that are unmet because we are all on hold. So, let’s get back to basics.
Have you ever thought about your love language? Your love language is the way in which you most feel loved and fulfilled. There are five categories of love language: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch. While you may identify with a few of these love languages, there is usually one that sticks out the most. You can take a quiz to help determine your love language here.
I have thought a lot about love languages during the pandemic. When it is difficult to give people what they might need because you are separated and quarantined, it can be extremely valuable to try to understand what makes someone feel loved.
For me, words of affirmation is it. I am a fairly simple person when it comes to gifts and touch (a hug or a Chipotle gift card is plenty for me), and while I enjoy being with people and have no problems with crowds, I also enjoy being completely alone. I find it incredibly sweet when someone wants to help me with a chore or wants to pick something up from the store for me, but I also feel incredibly guilty. If it’s something I know I can do myself, it’s okay. You don’t have to help me with it.
These are some of the things that make me who I am. And when I know that you know who I am, I feel most loved. If I share a story with you or tell you something exciting that happened and you both hear me and share in the moment, I am at peace. I feel heard and I feel loved.
We will all have different experiences with love languages. My daughter’s love language is quality time. She wants to be seen and know that she is the only thing in your world for even a few moments. When I discovered that years ago, I made a point of saying things like, “Let me finish what I’m doing and then you can tell me. I want to make sure I hear everything!” I truly am interested in what she wants to share, but I also want her to know that I want to give her the attention that makes her feel loved.
I am pretty confident that my son’s love language is acts of service. He has always held a particular kindness towards others and has always appreciated when we’ve donated money to a charity, given granola bars to the homeless or volunteered to help people. Or animals. Or organizations. Anything that involves helping others, we get a very big, “Thank you.” He doesn’t want us to help him with our acts of service, he wants us to help him help others.
Think about the people in your life and who they are. Not the day-to-day goofiness of your friends or arguments you may have had with your family members, but what you’ve witnessed from them over the years. See if you can pick out their love languages (or even narrow it down to two). Calling someone because you just want to be in touch may be the thing someone needs. Dropping off a gift of cookies between their doors might be the highlight of their year. See if you can figure out what drives them.
And learn your love language. Take the test and get a little insight into yourself. It’s not a perfect measure of things, let’s be honest, it’s an internet test. But it should give you a little more understanding of what drives you to feel safe and loved.
The bottom line is that it is possible to make people feel loved right now, and to help yourself feel loved. Discover what your love language is and figure out ways to feel fulfilled. If you are currently living by yourself and your love language is physical touch, that might be difficult, but see what you can do to help fulfill yourself with your secondary language for the time being.
Also, you can share it! While it is not your job to teach people how to love you, your love language is not a secret. If you choose, you can tell people, “I feel most loved when I receive something, so if you ever feel inclined to bake some cookies, I’d so appreciate getting some!” Most people want you to feel loved, they may just not know how to best accomplish that goal, even though they try.
This time won’t last forever. We will eventually get back to normal and when we do, wouldn’t it be a huge benefit to know yourself a little better than you did when you began?