It is the last few days of February and love is still on my mind. As a wellness coach, everything that I do is based in love. Actually, at B. Well, love is our primary value. Seriously, check out theB. Well Mission and Vision statement. Our first value reads “We practice and promote love toward self, others, and the earth that we share.” When working with our clients, love comes first. One of the most important books I’ve read on love was Dr. Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages. I recommend this book to anyone who seeks to create love with another. I know this book is often recommended for those in romantic relationships, but Chapman offers instruction on the 5 Love Languages in the workplace, of children, for singles, men, etc… He has a book for everybody.
So, what are the love languages? Chapman posits that there are five different ways that people give and receive love and that people feel most loved by those who speak their love language. I’ll explain the concept by using myself as an example. My primary love language is physical touch. I am a hugger. Nothing makes me feel more loved than hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, kisses, and all the other touchy-feely stuff. My love language probably started in my family. We are huggers. Seriously, to this day, I still hold my brothers hand when we ride in the car together. We touch. So, what if I was in a relationship with someone who showed love through giving gifts. If he bought me flowers, candies, cards, and trips but never wanted to hold my hand, I would not feel very loved in the relationship. If his love language was words of affirmation, and I rubbed his back and held his hand, he might not feel as loved because I didn’t say, “Baby, you’re the best!” I hope this makes sense. Check out some details about the love languages below:
Words of Affirmation: Expressing affection through spoken affection, praise, or appreciation. People whose primary love language is words of affirmation love to hear how much you love them. Statements like, “Nobody can bake a cake like you honey!” or “I love the way you mow the lawn every week” send these folks to the moon. Failure to verbalize your love will make them feel unappreciated and taken for granted. Tell them they are great, compliment their clothes, praise them publicly. Words are powerful!
Acts of Service: Actions, rather than words, are used to show and receive love. Acts of service is my second love language. These folks are not as interested in what you say, they are turned-on by what you do. Acts of service is the not-so-sexy stuff that makes life easier. This includes, taking out the trash, cooking dinner, stopping to pick up something he needs, or washing the car. When you do not help out, these people may feel unsupported or alone. Helping out makes your partner feel special and supported. Actions speak louder than words!
Receiving Gifts: Gifting is symbolic of love and affection. Loving gifts does not make you a gold-digger. Those whose primary love language is gifts are often looking to feel remembered and thought about. Bringing them a special souvenir from a trip, flowers for no reason at all, or surprising them with something they really want or need makes them feel loved most of all. Coming back from a trip empty handed might make them feel forgotten and unimportant. Bring them something so that they know that you love them. They literally need to see it...and hold it too!
Quality Time: Expressing affection with undivided, undistracted attention. People want to be in relationships because they want to be with someone. If your primary love language is quality time, nothing makes you happier than just being with your sweetheart. If your partner's love language is quality time, you need to put away your cell phone. Cuddling on the couch, working out together, or FaceTiming at the end of the day makes their heart smile. If you are not making time for them they will feel unwanted, disconnected, and neglected. Make some time. They just want you around.
Physical Touch: It can be sex or holding hands. With this love language, the speaker feels affection through physical touch. Get your mind out the gutter folks. This is not just hanky-panky. Those who love physical touch are just trying to feel connected to their partner. This includes holding hands, back rubs, hugs, or quick touches on the booty when you walk by. Forgetting to touch these folks might cause them to feel unwanted, undesirable, and alone. They know that you are there because they can literally feel you. In the words of Rose Royce, “I just want to get next to you.”
I encourage you to take a few moments to discover your love language. Click here to begin the journey!
I hope this message was helpful in your self-discovery. B. Well offers opportunities for you to discover yourself, and your partner, in powerful ways. We would love to coach you as you journey toward creating a more loving life. B. Well!
Dr. Adrianne R. Pinkney
Integrative Wellness & Life Coach