Another cultural holiday is upon us.  I wanted to take an opportunity to consider not just our significant other, if we have one, but all of those we love.  When we think of all of the people in our lives to which we express love how do we do this?  What are the ways that we show our mate, parents, our close friends, siblings, children and grand children our warm regard and appreciation.

Gary Chapman termed the “5 Love Languages” in his 1995 book so named.  They are:

Words of Affirmationflowers

Acts of Service

Receiving Gifts

Quality Time

Physical Touch

Take a look at the list, which do you think you want to receive?   Which do you think are the most often employed in your relationships?  There is a questionnaire on the site, www.5lovelanguages.com.   You will discover your top 3 in the order of importance.

I love to observe people and how they interact with one another outside of a business or work environment.  No matter what age or gender we all have ways of showing each other that we care, that we are important to one another.  Can you imagine an infant not receiving physical touch?  Studies show how detrimental this can be.  In any of our relationships showing positive regard is essential.  How do we?  And more importantly, how does the significant other receive what we interpret as giving love in their language?  ‘Words of Affirmation’ constitute a strong relationship builder when sincere.  To some, this may be a moot point.  If touch is important to one person and not the other chances are that neither will be very satisfied.  A squeeze, showing appreciation could be interpreted as a “bother”.

The adage, “Money isn’t everything” would apply to ‘Acts of Service’ and ‘Quality Time’.  We show our regard by doings things for and with someone.  When you wash the windows, is it a turn on for your mate?  May be.  Our attention is one of the greatest gifts we can give to ourselves and to others.  Being present with someone is a wonderful gift.  Before they were married, one of my friends now husband would take her car and have it washed, fill up the tank and return it to her on a weekly basis.  She got that he was doing a wonderful act of service for her.  Yet, it inconvenienced her when he had the car.

I like that the next category ‘Receiving Gifts’.  So many of us love to receive gifts.  I know we also like to know that thought went into the gift, that it is something especially for us.

What do you think are your top three? Which do you think make your loved one’s feel loved, appreciated and secure?  I remember being admonished by someone I was in relationship with when I couldn’t remember his favorite, See’s candy.  Forget buying a box; he wanted his favorite!  When we give what we think will please based on our likes and dislikes, our assumptions, we don’t always hit the mark with the person to whom we want to show appreciation.

I bring this up because we are in the throes of another Valentine’s Day.  I wanted to underline that there are so many ways to show love to those we cherish in our lives.  There is a side to Valentine’s Day which is focused on a significant other, yet love is a bounty that knows no bonds.  Part of being happy, well adjusted is loving and being loved by family and friends.

The question too, aside from taking the test and discussing it with your loved ones, is how do we broach this subject?  There is an underlying assumption in our culture that we should instinctually understand the object of our affection.  In my experience this is sometimes hard work or at the very least, a process.

Here’s hoping you will give this some consideration, some exploration and conversation so that your relationships will be enhanced in the process.  Love and affection do create health enhancing hormones!

Whispers of the Breath Diva:

real face.2

In this moment, I open to giving and receiving Love!

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