Sometimes two people fall together, but don’t see eye-to-eye. One person may value touch or intimacy, and the other might like words or actions. Depending on what you are reflects what you need in a relationship, and vice versa. So here are some tips to strengthen your relationships, based on your love language, or your partner/friend/family member/loved one’s love language.
Words Of Affirmation
If you or your person’s love language is Words Of Affirmation, that means you are in tune with words, language, and verbal communication. You value face-to-face conversations, written gestures, or just being able to talk with one another (in whatever form that may be).
Here are three little ways you can strengthen your relationships:
1. Go out of your way to compliment your person. Something as little as, ‘I like your shoes,’ or ‘That top really brings out your eyes,’ can really change the direction of an entire day.
2. Point out one thing that you really value in your person and share that with him/her, in verbal or written form. This can be a little note that you leave on the kitchen counter or something you say when you kiss one another goodnight—the little things matter!
3. Initiate a conversation. When was the last time you really talked? Start a conversation with your person by asking them what’s on their mind, how their day was, or even get deep and ask them about a future goal or dream.
Acts Of Service
The ‘Acts of Service’ love language is shown through giving, generosity, and intention. For someone who matches this love language, actions really do speak louder than words.
Here are three things you can do to strengthen these relationships:
1. Do something that you wouldn’t normally do for your person, just because. Maybe it’s a little chore around the house or apartment. Maybe it’s filling their car with gas. Maybe it’s just going out of your way to be thoughtful, like getting groceries or making dinner when they’re tired. A little effort goes a long way.
2. Wait on your person when mealtime comes. This may seem silly, but you can really make your partner/lover/friend/family member feel valued if you treat them like they are. Try this at mealtime—instead of your person serving himself/herself, tell him/her to sit down. Prepare their plate. Clean their dish. Pour their wine. Make them feel special and show them, in a tangible way, your love.
3. Help them without being asked. Sometimes we fall into habits, taking on roles with people (unconsciously or not) that keep us removed from really helping them. Example: Maybe your person always does the dishes because you do the vacuuming. Get yourself out of that role. Show him/her you care by doing something different, and without asking.
This love language is not just about presents or objects with monetary value. What’s really important to people of this love language is to be given something—physical, emotional, etc.—that is a representation of their value to you.
Here are three ways you can gift your person:
1. Surprise them with something small. Run to the store and grab your person a ‘thankful for you’ card. Leave them a little note on their bathroom mirror that they can wake up to. Have a small bouquet of flowers delivered to their work. These gifts are not very pricey, but they’re thoughtful. And with this love language, it’s the thought that counts.
2. Get them the gift they were hoping for. Maybe you know your person’s been looking for a certain pair of shoes or a concert ticket. If you have the means, buy or put money towards the one thing they really want. This not only shows your love, but shows that you’ve been paying attention to something they’re interested in.
3. Gift them with your time and affection. Gifts are not always things. You can give your person the gift of time, too. Take off a night of work and spend it together. Put your phone down and really pay attention to him/her. Set aside an hour to call them when you’re apart.
This love language is all about time, attention, and intention. There are many things you can give or bring to a relationship, but sometimes it’s about the moments you have together, and perhaps more importantly, the quality of those moments.
Here are three things you can do to strengthen your ‘Quality Time’ relationships:
1. Make it a point to ‘spend time,’ no matter the distance between you. Maybe you live across the country from one another. Maybe one of you is on a business trip, or traveling. Maybe you live down the street, but haven’t really had a quality night together. Whatever it is, set aside time to Skype, call, talk face-to-face, or just be in each other’s presence.
2. Plan ahead. One way to show value to someone with a ‘Quality Time’ love language is to make the effort to plan ahead. Schedule a date in advance. Book something for the future. Ask your person when they’re free and set aside a day/night where the two of you can be together. Thinking and planning ahead shows your intention to spend time with your person, which makes them feel valued and loved.
3. Give them your undivided attention. It’s one thing to plan a fun night together; it’s another to devote that entire night to the two of you. To show your person your care for him/her, turn your phone on silent, snooze notifications, put it totally away, or even turn it off. Show your person that you’re invested and interested in what they have to say, or what the two of you are doing—enough to get rid of outside distractions completely.
This love language is about purposeful touch—showing and allowing the people in your life to feel your presence.
Here are three ways to strengthen your ‘Touch’ relationships:
1. Create an embrace that’s uniquely yours. Maybe you nuzzle noses before you fall asleep. Maybe you kiss her forehead when she comes home from work, or you lay your head on his chest when he’s lounging on the couch. Maybe you have a secret handshake, or little hand-squeeze when you first see each other. Whatever it is, make it yours so that it’s special and intimate.
2. Make it a point to touch them when you’re talking. Listen with your whole self—not only your ears, but your hands, your eyes, your body. Be intentional. Put your arm next to their arm. Hold hands. Touch their cheek, or even kiss them when they’re done speaking. Make sure to listen and respect their cues and desires, but show them you are just as physically connected as you are emotionally.
3. Don’t underestimate the power of a hug. Hugs don’t always seem intimate, but when done with intention, they are a very valuable way of showing your person affection—in both private and public. Go out of your way to hug your person. When they’ve had a long day. When you wake up. When you go to sleep. For no reason at all. It’s just a simple, but personal way to show them how much they are valued.