Have you ever wondered why your mate WhatsApps you everyday but never bothers to come and chill at your house? Or why you’ve got that friend that loves to link arms and cuddle but never remember your birthday prezzie on time? It’s annoying, I know. But if you look a bit closer, you might realise that those around you are actually screaming “I love you” and you never even noticed.
Welcome to the world of love languages. A theory dreamed up by Dr Gary Chapman that suggests that the way we all show love can be really different, dependent on what our love language is.
(Before we get into it, I’m talking about love in every which way. You and your mates, you and your special someone, you and your family. Love love love.)
So in a nutshell, the theory is that humans say “I love you” in 5 different ways;
- Words – actually saying nice things to each other.
- Physical touch – hugs, high fives, snuggling, air kisses, real kisses…
- Gifts – home made or shop bought!
- Quality time – chilling together.
- Acts of service – when someone does something nice for you.
If you had to choose your top love language what would it be? If we’re honest, most people tend to have one or two preferred love languages that make us feel extra special. Problem is, we often assume that those around us speak the same love language that we do. Rookie mistake. This is how relationships get messy.
“They’re always messaging me on WhatsApp” you say, “but never bother to come to my house”…
“I always try and do something nice for them and they never do anything nice back”…
“I spent ages writing a message in a card for them and I never even got a thank you back”.
When someone doesn’t seem like they care about you the way that you care about them, it can get really frustrating. But instead of sitting there getting annoyed, have a look again through a difference lens.
I’ve got a friend who loves it when I hug her. I’m not the hugging type and she knows it. But sometimes I make an effort to give her a squeeze, and she always replies with “aww thank hun” because she knows I’m way out of my comfort zone.
Once you’ve cracked the love languages code of those around you, you may just realise that they have been saying “I love you” all along, just in their own special way.