Love Languages Matter

Its so important to know and work within your significant other’s love language. Not just showing or doing what works best for you…but intentionally loving them the way they best receive love. Both people grow. Both people win. Loving someone the right way is important too.

-a man I once loved who is now happily married.

I didn’t think love languages were a real thing before. I figured there were things that everybody just “knew” to do. Duh, women like flowers and men like massages after a long day. I thought everyone knew that surprises and just because gifts were normal and necessary. I assumed that everyone needed to hear they were loved and why, and shown affection. But love has no blueprint and everything isn’t for everybody. There are people who could care less about hearing/saying “I love you” because they’re shown in other ways and that’s enough for them.

When I was first introduced to the 5 Love Languages, it was August 2016. I was fresh from a breakup with the love of my life and dating a new guy, he & I would drive to Target randomly at night and buy books & board games. I figured I got shit so wrong the last relationship, let me figure out MY needs first and then make someone else happy. So I picked up the book and we took the quiz. I wasn’t surprised with my answers:

10 Words of Affirmation
9 Quality Time
6 Receiving Gifts
3 Acts of Service
2 Physical Touch

I loved hearing I was loved, missed, appreciated, valued, adored, beautiful, amazing, all the above. My need for reassurance didn’t come from a place of insecurity, I do know that I am all those things but I grew up never really hearing many words of affirmation. I remember being talked to when I had done something wrong, not as much when I had done something right so it made me feel on top of the World to receive praise as an adult. I needed that in my relationships, no matter what we were doing. I needed to hear “Jam, I love you and I’m in love with you and you’re my World.” I had dated men who were bad with words and would often chastise me when I asked how they felt about me. “Obviously, I love you.” or something along the lines “If you can’t tell that I care about you then idk what to tell you.” TELL ME YOU CARE ABOUT ME! Why was that so hard?

I didn’t realize I valued quality time until I read the book/took the quiz though. I had grown up an only child, I was very much adjusted to my solitude and welcomed time alone. But this wasn’t just time, it had another word in front of it. What did quality time look like? For me it’s going to the movies and just being into each other and the movie. No cellphones at the dinner table. Conversations laying in each other’s arms in a park during the day. Learning something new together, cooking together, going out and just talking and holding hands. Quality time for me is when I’m with someone and we forget there are other people even around because we’re so into one another. Quality time is a lost art, so many people are in the same spaces but mentally somewhere else. They’re on their phones instead of communicating, they’re doing a million things instead of just giving someone their undivided attention.

Receiving gifts, acts of service and physical touch are all important aspects of a relationship but apparently FOR ME, Words of affirmation and quality time are my main triggers. It’s how someone can show me that they love me, the best. Now don’t get me wrong; I’m all for some flowers for no reason, a foot rub after a long day or being cooked for, and being kissed on my forehead. All of those things are important. I think as much as I should know how someone can express love to me, it’s important for me to learn how someone wants love expressed to them.

Naturally, I go with what works for me. I’m very vocal about my feelings for someone, I know how to build a man up with my words and I’m big on showering them with attention and affection. But what if their love language is physical touch and I’m so focused on doing everything else? What if they don’t need to hear “I love you baby” and they’re an acts of service lover? You see how quickly things can get tangled. You can’t love everyone the way you want them to love you; you have to individually love people the way they need to be loved.

Getting to know your partner is more than knowing their favorite movie or ice cream flavor. Instead, it’s truly understanding what makes them happy. One of the best ways to get to know your partner further, especially if you’re already married, is to know their love language. Would I be ecstatic if I came home to a lavish gift from my husband? Absolutely! That’s because one of my love languages is “receiving gifts.” But that’s not the case for every woman. If your spouse’s love language is “words of affirmation,” write notes telling them how beautiful or intelligent or appreciated they are. If it’s “acts of service,” complete a chore that you wouldn’t normally do. Spend an extra few hours a week watching a movie if they desire “quality time” and randomly embrace them when they least expect it if your spouse’s love language is “physical touch.”

-Alyssa Rachelle, Madame Noire


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