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The 5 Love Languages

Happy Belated Valentine's day!
I hope everyone had a sexy weekend.
What did you do for Valentine's day?
My husband and I had the house to ourselves, which is rare these days., so it was a great weekend.
Like most of us these days, we are spending a tremendous amount of time together.
I guess if one good thing has come out of this pandemic, we have been forced to re-examine the way we communicate with each other.
We ran across a book by a man named Gary Chapman.  It is called "The 5 Love Languages."  After reading it, we realized that we may have been speaking different love languages.
What are the 5 love languages?
The five love languages are five different ways of expressing and receiving love: 
  1. Words of affirmation, 
  2. Quality time,
  3. Receiving gifts,
  4. Acts of service
  5. Physical touch
Not everyone communicates love in the same way, and likewise, people have different ways they prefer to receive love.
We all may relate to most of these languages, but each of us has one that speaks to us the most. Discovering you and your partner's primary love language and speaking that language regularly can create a better understanding of each other's needs and support each other's growth.
1. Words of affirmation
People with words of affirmation as a love language value verbal acknowledgments of affection, including frequent "I love you's," compliments, words of appreciation, verbal encouragement, and often frequent digital communication like texting and social media engagement.
"Written and spoken shows of affection matter the most to these people," couples' psychotherapist Fariha Mahmud-Syed, MFT, CFLE, tells mbg. "These expressions make them feel understood and appreciated."
2. Quality time
People whose love language is quality time feel the most adored when their partner actively wants to spend time with them and is always down to hang out. They particularly love when active listening, eye contact, and full presence are prioritized hallmarks in the relationship.
"This love language is all about giving your undivided attention to that one special person, without the distraction of television, phone screens, or any other outside interference. They have a strong desire to actively spend time with their significant other, having meaningful conversations or sharing recreational activities," Mahmud-Syed says.
3. Acts of services
If your love language is acts of service, you value when your partner goes out of their way to make your life easier. It's things like bringing you soup when you're sick, making your coffee for you in the morning, or picking up your dry cleaning for you when you've had a busy day at work.
This love language is for people who believe that actions speak louder than words. Unlike those who prefer to hear how much they're cared for, people on this list like to be shown how they're appreciated. Doing the smaller and bigger chores to make their lives easier or more comfortable is highly cherished by these folks.
4. Receiving Gifts
Gifts is a pretty straightforward love language: You feel loved when people give you "visual symbols of love," as Chapman calls it. It's not about the monetary value but the symbolic thought behind the item. People with this style recognize and value the gift-giving process: the careful reflection, the deliberate choosing of the object to represent the relationship, and the emotional benefits from receiving the present.
People whose love language is receiving gifts enjoy being gifted something that is both physical and meaningful. The key is to give meaningful things that matter to them and reflect their values, not necessarily yours. 
5. Physical touch
People with physical touch as their love language feel loved when they receive physical signs of affection, including kissing, holding hands, cuddling on the couch, and sex. Physical intimacy and touch can be incredibly affirming and serve as a powerful emotional connector for people with this love language. The roots go back to our childhood, some people only felt deep affection and love by their parents when they were held, kissed, or touched.  People who communicate their appreciation through this language, when they consent to it, feel appreciated when they are hugged, kissed, or cuddled. They value the feeling of warmth and comfort that comes with physical touch
Dating with each type of love language.
Love languages are a deceptively simple concept, and understanding them can be transformative if you put in the practical work. It invites curiosity, not mind-reading, into the relationship.
For example, you might love words of affirmation, but your partner places a premium on quality time and touch. As a bid for connection, you might text him sweet nothings all day and think you're great at expressing love; meanwhile, he might be wondering why you're never interested in spending time cuddling on the couch together at night and may actually be feeling unloved because of that. See how it's easy for disconnection and resentment to enter the picture? By determining our primary and secondary love language preferences, it can be easier to give each other what we innately crave.
Some tips for dating people with each type of love language:
* Words of affirmation: Words mean everything, so choose them wisely. Err on the side of positivity, and communications will flourish. When you notice the good things, say it and say it often. Try not to engage in nonconstructive criticism—words have an impact and leave a lasting impression.
* Quality time: Carve out intentional space in your schedule for time together. It could be as simple as going for a walk together outside (an exciting pandemic activity) and having a good in-depth conversation about your day. Leave the phones at home.
* Acts of service: Go above and beyond with your actions to show your love. Don't always make it about chores—people have different interpretations of what this love language means to them, so ask them directly what they need. Display vigilance by anticipating how you could make their life easier. Those little acts add up and can make all of the difference.
* Gifts: They will remember the special occasions, so make sure to mark it on the calendar and honor the day and your partner with a thoughtful gift. Win extra Brownie points with a "just because" gift. It could be as simple as a hand-picked flower from the garden or getting them a cute keychain from a favorite travel destination. Those small gestures can celebrate the relationship in a big way.
* Touch: Tender caresses and physical affection are everything. This love language is refreshingly straightforward, easy to satisfy, and doesn't involve a lot of planning, exertion, or money. It's as easy as reaching out for connection by squeezing their arm while you're watching a movie or tapping their butt when you walk by them. Simple.
Love languages are a useful tool to improve how we communicate and express ourselves to each other, but they shouldn't be the be-all-and-end-all solution for happiness. Instead, it should function as a starting point that sets couples on a journey to meet each other in a more profound way and self-regulate better. But the work shouldn't stop there.
If you haven’t taken the 5 Love Languages Quiz yet, I recommend it. Knowing your top love language is a great way to start learning how to ask for communication in more loving ways.
If you don’t know your love language, you might be missing out on hearing the love others are trying to give you, or communicating love in a language your loved ones don’t hear.
Since I’m an acts of service person, I’m very sensitive to changes in actions toward me.   A former partner used to make me coffee every morning when I woke up, and then stopped without explanation. To me, this felt like a source of love had been shut off.
How to use your love language to your advantage
You can’t just state your love language on a first date and consider yourself well-communicated about your needs. It takes practice, but communicating your love language is important and not too difficult. The only difficulty is when you’ve had past relationships that made it hard to express yourself due to gaslighting or someone not respecting your boundaries.
But I promise, it gets better the more you practice.
Love languages are a way to learn exactly what kind of love one specific person likes to receive so you can make sure you're giving it to them in their preferred way instead of your preferred way.
The only wrong way to communicate your love language is to expect people to read your mind about it.

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