Everyone wants to feel loved. It’s a natural human desire. We want to feel loved by our romantic partners, family, children, and friends. We all show love and receive love differently though. When we understand how another person receives love, we can do a better conscience job to make them feel loved in the way we interact with them. When a person feels loved by another, they are more likely to show love in return. We can say, “I love you” but it doesn’t mean much if that love isn’t shown. Gary Chapman wrote a book called “The 5 Love Languages.” Below is a summary of the ways people show and receive love.
Words of Affirmation. When we tell our partner things like, “thank you” for doing a task, “I appreciate you,” “I like this meal you cooked,” or “You look nice” it tells your loved one they are appreciated. You are showing your love and care for them instead of putting them down. These kind of words build a person up.
Gifts. Giving a small gift to a person lets them know you are thinking about them and care about them. The gift doesn’t have to cost a lot of money to still show you care. It shows you know the person when you give something that reminds you of a special memory you had together, something they like, or something they were meaning to get. Gift giving doesn’t have to be expensive but is a way people feel loved and show love to others.
Acts of Service. Acts of service are the things we do to help another person out. We can help our partner with the dishes, clean the snow off their care, help them fold laundry, or do tasks for them that you know are difficult for them to get done. Acts of service show that we are willing to do our part for another person and we want to make things easier on them.
Quality Time. Spending quality time with someone you care about is a huge way we can show them love. When we spend time with them by choice, we are letting them know we enjoy their presence. We tell them we want to be around them. We make time out of our days to be there for someone else.
Physical Touch. Physically touching someone shows them we love them. Some people like to hug those they care about. Some like a tap on the shoulder when you walk by. Some people like to hold hands. Sexual contact in romantic relationships is important to some. Physical touch is a way a lot of people feel loved.
When we show love to others, our relationships with them strengthen. Though we think about showing love mostly to romantic partners, these concepts can all be applied to nearly any significant relationship.