A few years ago my therapist asked me “what’s your love language?” I was confused because this term was foreign to me. We were unpacking some of my frustration as it pertains to my relationships. Let’s just say I was feeling unfulfilled and didn’t have the knowledge or understanding at the time. I was encouraged to take the Five Love Languages quiz and read Dr. Gary Chapman’s Five Love Languages book.
Dr. Gary Chapman’s theory on love languages breaks down how humans express and experience love in romantic relationships. However, these languages go beyond romance and can be applied to all of our relationships. Basically, everyone receives and gives love differently but knowing a person’s love language is a game changer and can strengthen your relationships. The book breaks down the love languages into five categories: Quality time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, Words of Affirmation, and Physical Touch.
During this period of isolation and uncertainty, I’ve been feeling extremely lonely and couldn’t really understand how to fulfill my needs. After a therapy session, I realized that my love tank was empty. My love language is quality time and I am a people person. My life before COVID-19 and career were centered around love and connection. Each morning, I would greet my students with hugs and spend time with my friends. Remembering your love language and reminding your loved ones of this is an extremely important tool.
To be honest, I was over the Facetime and the fifty-eleven video calls because for me that wasn’t enough. I wanted in person connection, which is why an impromptu brunch with my friend Sabrina and a dinner date on a restaurant’s patio with my friend Ashley gave me that fix . Love languages looks different for everyone and that’s okay. Figuring out your love language during this time is critical especially since everyone is adjusting to this new normal and still needs to feel loved. We all need love and desire to feel loved.
Here are some simple ways to show yourself and others love during this time.
- Set a date with friends or boyfriend/girlfriend for outdoor picnic
- Virtual cooking class ( Cooking with Friends offers virtual cooking classes. I haven’t been to one yet but it’s on my list)
- Go for a hike/walk (* find activities that you’re comfortable doing during this time. Being in nature seems to be one of the safest options)
Words of Affirmations
We live in the world of social media and technology sometimes writing a letter or making a card feels nostalgic but still thoughtful.
- Send a card in the mail
- Send a thoughtful text or email
- Write a love letter or poem
Acts of Service
- Order groceries or food (UberEats, Instacart, and most grocery stores have a delivery service )
- Volunteer to walk a friend’s dog or babysit their children.
- Be a helping hand and simply ask “what can I do for you”
- Send a gift card to their favorite store (mine is Target and Amazon)
- Send an item that the person wanted or you think they need
- Send cash (when in doubt send cash or Visa giftcard)
Now this one is really hard for those of us who are alone and it’s encouraged that we don’t hug people. This isn’t my primary love language but I would love to be held right now.
- Hug (simply ask if they’re okay with hugs )
- Rub their back or offer a massage
- Kiss and touch (whatever you’re comfortable with)
Knowing what you need and checking up on your loved one during this time is important. I’m trying to advocate for myself and give grace. Knowing how you want to be loved will allow you to communicate your needs.