Love Languages - Words of Affirmation
A classic way to communicate love is to say “I love you”. And to some it is vital to hear those words regularly in order to feel loved and cared for.
As a part of my little series on Gary Chapman’s “love languages” comes this post about people who understand your love and care for them best when it is communicated with words.
This might seem to be too simple an advice: Tell your spouse you love him or her. But most of us hook up with someone who has a different love language than ourselves. So it could be that you did not find any particular joy in words of affirmation, but that they were vital to your spouse. Or child, friend or relative.
Any other ideas?
If your spouse (or son or daughter or mom or best friend) speaks and understands this love language, don’t just leave it with a nice birthday card and an “I love you” every second Sunday.
Be creative and let them know how you feel and think:
I like that dress - it makes you look even more beautiful.
I really admire the way you have been dealing with this situation. (If words is his or her love language, you will probably get a “Really!? Why?”)
I respect you because…
I’m so happy my kids will have your genes too.
And to a friend: I’ve had such a good time. I really enjoy your company.
Also: Be careful what you say in general if your loved one has words of affirmation as his or her primary love language:
- Don’t be critical - even though he or she was wrong and you both know it.
- Don’t joke about leaving for another, how dreadful it is to be married, the good old days when I was still single etc. The same with children: No jokes about the wonderful life you had before their birthday. And don’t kid your mom about being adopted and all that.
- Never say anything disrespectful or uncaring about him or her to a third party.
Thinking of it… These rules should apply to all of us, but they are really important if you have a mate/child/mother with words of affirmation as their primary love language.
Recently a friend (who is single) said in a joke that he didn’t wanna be like me - falling for the first person looking my way. He must be referring to the fact that I met my husband when I was 15 and married him when I was 19… I promptly replied (and my husband heard) that I still feel I was very very lucky marring him. A few days later I was reminded of the episode and told my husband I really felt that way. I don’t think I would have met a better match if I had been on the lookout for five more years, and I don’t regret a thing.
Putting words to our dedication to a relationship, lets our loved one know that we are not in the boat because we feel obligated to, but because we want to. I call my mom because I like to talk to her. I build yet another Lego tower for my son because I enjoy spending time with him. And I call my friend and tell her what’s on my mind because I really appreciate her feedback. I hope they know.