February—the month where pink branded goodies fill our stores and we are reminded to celebrate the ones we love. For many of us those people are our significant others. However, some might be focusing on celebrating some self-love this month. How do we celebrate love? Love is such a broad concept and has so many layers of meaning to us. We love differently, both in giving and receiving love. So how do you love? Here is a short list of Chapman’s five ways of communicating love for you to explore and see which option(s) might fit for you.
Words of Affirmation: Do you feel secure and safe when you hear words of appreciation or encouragement? If so, then you might connect more with loving via words of affirmation. If you connect with this language then you might want to seek out a partner who can send you unexpected notes or texts letting you know that you’re doing great and that they appreciate you.
Receiving Gifts: Do you feel like someone understands you when you feel prioritized through receiving gifts or thoughtful gestures? If so, then this might be your love zone. If you feel that receiving gifts makes you feel most loved and appreciated then you might want to seek out a partner who can do just that.
Physical Touch: Do you feel comforted when you receive a hug or caress from a romantic prospect? If so, then perhaps you align most with the love language of touch. Remember that not everyone expresses themselves this way and it might be important to communicate a little extra with your partner if touch does not come naturally to them.
Acts of Service: Perhaps you are someone who feels most loved in the day-to-day activities that require someone to just show up and help you out. If you feel most loved when your romantic partner does the dishes, helps with the laundry, or even makes you a thoughtful meal, then you might align yourself more with the love language of acts of service. This can be found when building a home with someone or even during a normal day of running errands.
Quality Time: Perhaps you relate more with just being than doing. If you feel most connected with someone when you are just spending uninterrupted time with them, then quality time might be your preferred love language. When communicating that this is your preferred way of being loved, try to be intentional about carving out that space with your partner so you both can be on the same page.
Whatever language you are most fluent in, know that communicating these needs are at the core of ensuring you are loved the way you need to be. If you have identified a love language that suits you most and are not getting what you might need, then go ahead and ask for it. There is no shame in asking for what you need to feel loved. After all, advocating for yourself can be one of the highest forms of self-love.
Becca Lantry is currently pursuing her MS in Marriage and Family Therapy from San Diego State University. She currently holds her MA in Counseling and Education and works with youth, young adults, and families around confidence, love, relationships, and empowerment. Becca has been taking Jubilance for the last few months and she is able to love herself more during those times of emotional PMS because of it.