Love languages in difficult times.

It feels surreal to write that we’re in the middle of a pandemic.  I keep alternating between feeling calm and taking things day by day, to panicking about worst-case scenarios. I’ve been thinking about the things that are truly important in life and everything we usually take for granted. Like pasta and toilet roll… who’d have thought it!

Covid-19 makes no distinction between race, disability or wealth, we’re all human, this is what connects us all. Our relationships with others are vitally important now more than ever, so it’s worth thinking about how we can offer our support.

I had a counselling appointment at the beginning of the week, before I started socially distancing, and she spoke to me about ‘Love Languages.’ The concept is based on a book by Gary Chapman, in which he outlines the five different ways romantic partners express their love to each other. This can also be applied to family members or anyone we care about.

Over the next few months many of us will be spending a lot more time together at home. So, what better time learn what makes people feel loved?

What are the love languages?

  1. Words of affirmation. Hearing words of kind encouragement or being told ‘I love you’ is important to you.
  2. Quality time. Spending time with the person you love without the need for any grand plans and being given their full attention makes you feel special.
  3. Acts of service. Someone physically helping you out with any responsibilities and sharing the load is meaningful to you.
  4. Physical touch. A hug, or a simple touch on the arm makes you feel loved.
  5. Gift giving. Receiving a gift that someone has put a lot of thought into is a symbol of their love.

We all have different primary love languages, and when there’s a mismatch between you and the person you love, this can often cause conflict. The love you would like to receive can also differ from the love you show to others. For example, I like to receive words of affirmation, but talking to people isn’t a strong point of mine. I like to spend quality time with family and friends or give them gifts to show them how much they mean to me.

There are many quizzes you can take online to find out what your Love Language is. Try thinking about the people you care about, and what matters most to them. If we all felt more loved and appreciated, then the world would seem like a much brighter place.

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