Relationships aren’t just important, they are critical for our survival and happiness. As humans, we depend on love and connection for growth and development. It’s been scientifically proven that if a baby were to have all its needs met by a robot (nappy changed, fed, washed) it would die due to a lack of interaction and connection. Amazing.
We need connection, even as adults, to survive. This might explain why we sometimes stay in relationships that are not healthy or feel destructive. We know that being alone could leave us worse off. With 7.4 Billion people on the planet though, each one of us needing connection and relationships, it is pretty safe to say you will always have opportunities to connect and grow relationships, if you are courageous enough to love yourself first.
In Gary Chapman’s best-selling book The 5 Love Languages, he introduces the concept that we all say and hear “I love you” in very different ways. So different that they can even be viewed as completely different languages.
He categorised “I love you” in five distinct categories. While we are all capable of each of the five languages, we usually have a favourite, one that resonates with us most strongly. If you have not taken the 5 Love Languages quiz online, it really is eye-opening to learn the love language you speak.
Sometimes the fights we have or the dissatisfaction we feel in relationships or with our families is not due to a lack of love, just a mismatched way of expressing that love. Discover your love language patterns and help others and yourself give you what you need in order to fill up your love tank and have happy and satisfying relationships.
We look at our love in the way you might consider a rainwater tank. As you give your love out, the levels run low, and as we take little hits and knocks in life our tank can spring leaks. Knowing how to repair your tank and fill up on love is essential for being able to have love to give to others. If you let that tank get too low, you become frustrated, your options feel limited, you might feel drained, highly strung, unsupported, unappreciated, overwhelmed and burnt out.
Once you know your love language you can communicate what you want to others far better, and when you know other’s love language you can get creative about expressing your love in a way they’ll hear and understand. This will help improve your relationships with your partner, your children, your parents, your siblings, your friends and even your co-workers, business associates, clients and customers.
Here are some fun examples of how you can express your love in five different ways.
Words of Affirmation
Document how you feel in a recorded video. Tell them what you love about them, list your favourite qualities, memories and say thank you for the things you realise they have done for you. The video adds a very special layer as it allows your tone and facial expression to be part of your words which are really important to someone who is Words of Affirmation.
Pay attention to how you say it. Warm tone, gentle voice and smiles make all the difference. The more voices you are able to gather, the more proof that person will have that they are loved, so feel free to montage and get everyone together for some fun and creativity.
Physical Touch doesn’t need to be intimate and serious, it can also be playful and publically acceptable. Dance is a great way to spend time with your loved one/s, get some exercise, and also get their loved tank filled up through physical contact.
This might mean overcoming a fear of embarrassing yourself, which only makes the gesture even more romantic. Dance is just movement, and anyone can do it. Relax and have fun and know that, like all things, practice makes perfect. Keep an open mind, playful attitude, and take on some lessons or instructions to help you improve and you will be sending your partner into a spin. Just keep in mind that you are not required to be good at it, just get out there and have a go.
This a perfect activity to do with your kids as well so put on some music, make some space, and let your hair down.
Acts of Service
Running errands, doing chores or looking after someone are all great ways to say I love you to an Acts or Service person. Ask yourself what you can do to make their life easier and do it with a beaming smile. Their wellbeing is your number one priority. This is so important because often an Acts of Service person will run themselves ragged looking after everyone else. Get them to put their feet up and take care of the little things in life, be thoughtful and let them recharge. It’s the best way to show them just how much you appreciate everything they do.
It’s important to know that these gifts don’t need to be large or expensive. It really is the thought that counts, so just grabbing anything that sparkles isn’t going to cut it. Nothing is more thoughtful than being listened to so notice those times your partner mentions things they love, or wish they had bought, and keep a list.
When it comes to birthdays, anniversaries or special occasions you will be able to give them a gift they truly want. The fact that you were paying attention will fill up their love tank faster than you’ll believe. If you are on holiday and probably won’t get to that particular item again, buy it in secret and stash it away for later. The fact that you kept it a surprise will have them beaming.
Doing a focused activity together is perfect bonding for someone who values Quality Time. Dedicate a slot of time just to an activity with them. You might like to put together a photo album with stories and mementoes of places you have been, or, if your Quality Time loved one is a child, create a time capsule of memories, pictures, paintings and trinkets.
This is not only a wonderful way to reminisce on past time together and build new memories, it’s also going to be something you can open and enjoy in the future as well.
Also, put your phone and laptop away! Quality time is just that, quality time. So no sneaky checking of your messages or scrolling through Facebook, or all your good work will quickly be undone.
Knowing your love language and the love language of your nearest and dearest can make all the difference to effective communication and great relationships.
If you’re ready to take your relationships to the next level, join us in Sydney from March 24 to 26 for our incredible Love & Power training with the renowned Michael Adamedes. Book online today or by phoning 1800 552 168.
14–16 Chandos St,
St Leonards NSW 2065
1800 552 168