You may express affection regularly, but it’s also important to take the time to make sure you’re communicating it the way the other person wants to receive it. Unfortunately, even love can sometimes get lost in translation when people speak different love languages. We do not all communicate love in the same way and have different ways to receive love. Gary Chapman developed the concept of love languages in his book, The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts. He described the five unique styles of communicating love.
Here are some do’s and don’ts of each love language:-
The do’s include; putting your phone away when together, listening and engaging intently, engaging in deeper conversations, spending your time in a meaningful way, etc. The don’ts include; being distracted and not being present, assuming that the other person is needy, making the conversations one-sided, and postponing dates or complaining about them.
The do’s include; initiating intimacy, walk-by touches/ non-sexual touches, giving surprise back or foot massages, and close physical contact, for instance, holding hands, hugging, etc. On the other hand, the don’ts include; waiting for the other person to show affection first, long periods without intimacy, withholding affections after arguments, and assuming the person is always in the mood to be intimate.
Words of Affirmations
The do’s include; leaving thoughtful handwritten notes, giving a non-physical compliment, sharing reasons why you appreciate the person, celebrating the person’s success and accomplishments. The don’ts may include; long periods without reassurance or showing love, cold-hearted, disingenuous compliments, not acknowledging their value and efforts, and harsh words or lack of communication.
The do’s include; giving small “thinking of you” gifts, being intentional about important occasions, gifting meaningful and thoughtful presents, and small gestures when they’re feeling down. The don’ts include; making it about the monetary value, forgetting birthdays or anniversaries, assuming the person is materialistic and giving gifts out of obligation and duty.
Acts of Service
The do’s include; using actions rather than words, being reliable and following through on promises, being spontaneous and surprising them, and showing support in small, thoughtful ways. The don’ts include; not keeping to your word, not appreciating or noticing the person’s acts of service, seeing certain tasks as gender-specific, and ignoring when they ask for help.