Story Time with Susie – Learning the Importance of Love Languages the Hard Way

February… The month of love! Whether you have a significant other in your life or not, we all have people who we love and who love us.

But have you ever experienced frustration with not feeling loved? Or maybe you’ve felt that the love you’ve tried to give to others was not being received? (Been there, done that!)

That’s because we don’t all give and receive love in the same ways.

The first time I really understood this was when Rishone and I first became friends.

NYC – December 2013

I love giving people gifts!! It’s a natural way for me to show people I care about them. I specifically recall on the second year of us being friends when Rishone’s birthday rolled around, I popped over to Walmart and got him an array of different things to give to him… A bunch of random things that I got a kick out of. But when I gave him these gifts, I didn’t get the reaction from him that I was expecting. Of course, he said thanks and I knew he was appreciative of the thought, but he didn’t seem excited about the gifts.

To be honest, I didn’t know Rishone very well at that point, and just wanted to give him something for his birthday cause I knew that I enjoyed receiving gifts. But just because (at that time) I may have appreciated getting a gift with a bunch of random things thrown into a basket doesn’t automatically mean that he would also like it. I’ve since learned that he does appreciate gifts as long as he can tell that there was thought put into it being for him specifically. But even with that being said, I’ve learned that he doesn’t value physical things and that gift giving is not primarily how he receives love.

If you’re not sure what I’m talking about when I say receiving and giving love, I’m referencing the 5 Love Languages, which are:

  • Words of affirmation
  • Acts of service
  • Receiving gifts
  • Quality time
  • Physical touch

Now that I better understand what’s important to Rishone and how he receives love, I always try to make sure I think of different ways to celebrate with Rishone for special occasions outside of my go-to (physical) gift giving nature.

For example, for his birthday back in 2015, I remember creating cards that I gave him throughout the day giving him “paths to choose” for different activities we could do together, like going to a specialty spice store or an oil/vinegar store, putt-putt or bowling, and of course going to get the best french toast in town (Rishone’s favorite) at Betty’s. This was me thinking about Rishone through meant much more to him than me giving him another kitchen gadget.

Betty’s – Rishone’s birthday 2015

This is such an important concept for everybody to understand! Because when we truly love someone, we want to make sure that they can actually FEEL and experience that love from us. So in order to do that, we have to speak THEIR language.

So I encourage you, take some time to better understand what your love language is as well as the love languages of the people you care about most. If you’re not sure where to start, you can try taking the official Love Languages Quiz and sharing it with the others you care about to take as well.

Once you better understand your love language as well as your significant others, parents, siblings, or friends love languages, now you can start taking action!

Let’s say you naturally like to give gifts, but your best friend who is going through a hard time with their job or their family actually receives love through acts of service. Maybe you bring them their favorite meal so it’s one less than that they have to worry about that day.

Or let’s say that you naturally give those you love words of affirmation, but your mom would actually most benefit from quality time with you. I’m sure it would mean the world to her if you gave her a call to schedule some time together even if it’s just doing something simple like taking a walk or doing a puzzle together.

Check out his chart for more ideas on how to show love for each love language:

When we start speaking in others love languages, our relationships get stronger. This certainly does take effort – don’t get me wrong. But if you love them, it’ll be worth it.

I want to hear from you! What is your love language? Does it differ from your significant other or the other people your closest to?

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