Many of us are in Valentine’s Day purely for the roses, while others celebrate with jewellery and the cynics amongst us write the whole day off as Americanised-Hallmark-Capitalism at its worst. But we like to think that it’s a day for celebrating those we love, the people close to us and the relationships we share.
Valentine’s Day can be, if we choose, a day to reflect on the intimate relationships we cultivate, whether that be with a romantic partner, a close friend or a beloved family member. In these turbulent times, it’s become increasingly clear that maintaining these relationships is really the most important thing we can do, and what better way to show our loved ones we care than appealing to their love language?
You might feel like the concept of “Love Languages” is suddenly everywhere, but it was actually introduced almost 30 years ago by an American pastor and marriage counsellor, Gary Chapman, in his book “The Five Love Languages”. Chapman had been working with couples for years, and his book identified five different love languages, or ways that people express and feel love, and suggested couples use these as a means of fostering a healthy relationship.
Chapman identified Five Love Languages, and found that most people are dominant in one (though they may use a combination). These are:
- Acts of service: Doing small things for those you love to make their life easier, such as running errands or cooking dinner.
- Gifts: Giving small, thoughtful gifts regularly to show you are thinking of them.
- Physical Touch: Hugging, touching, holding hands.
- Words of Affirmation: Giving compliments, telling them how much you appreciate them, writing them personalised notes.
- Quality Time: Simply spending focused, quality time together.
Everyone speaks a different love language, which is probably down to the way they were raised. Perhaps your parents never hugged or said “I love you!”, but drove you everywhere and never missed a family dinner - chances are your love languages are acts of service and quality time.
The key to unlocking love languages in your romantic or platonic relationships is to understand not only your love language, but your loved one’s love language, and appealing to that to show them you care. You may show your love through acts of service, but if they show their love through gifts, then a gift is the best way to make them feel loved. While you may like a hug from a friend to feel loved and supported, they might appreciate a handwritten note telling them how much they mean to you.
Like anything when it comes to relationships, the key to love languages is communication. Sitting down with your family at dinner and talking about love languages, taking this quiz with a friend to find out your love language, or starting a conversation with your partner in the car can help you to better understand your loved ones and show your love in a way that is meaningful to them.
Whatever your love language, we hope that you feel loved this Valentine’s Day, and if you don’t receive a gift or flowers on the day we give you our full go ahead to treat yourself!
x Team Crisp