What are your favorite ways to give and receive love?
Words of Affirmation
Acts of Service
So Love Languages are a thing I’ve talked about before. Twice. The most recent time was just at the beginning of October, so I’m not sure how much else I have to say on the subject. Physical touch, words of affirmation, and quality time are my highest rated languages, by a wiiiiide margin.
Anyone who has spent any amount of time with me can tell you I’m a touchy-feely person. I am a hugger. If we’re laughing about something, I will probably put my hand on your shoulder/arm/knee while we laugh. If you are upset about something, my initial reaction will be to pull you in for a long hug. I’m here for cuddling and resting-heads-on-shoulders among friends. And in relationships, I’m pretty PDA-y (but hopefully not to too gross of a level?) when we go anywhere: hand-holding is sort of a must, and I’m a fan of quick impromptu kisses in like the middle of the grocery store. My day gets better the instant he reaches for my hand on the bus/in the car. Touching the people I care about makes me feel close to them, and makes me feel supportive, and can make me feel tingly and warm depending on the circumstances. There is safety in hugs, comfort in shown affection.
Quality time, interacting with one another rather than just existing in the same space, is the stuff relationships are made of for me. Any kind of relationship, not just romantic ones. And that can look like time spent physically in the same place or be virtual — for instance, regardless of how many times I see JJ in a week, the fact that we communicate daily is a big part of how our relationship works for me. Those gchats show that we’re there for one another even when we’re not there with one another, and that’s how I feel about my regular chatting with BD, SO, and SM as well. I treasure my sporadic phone calls with JA and KS. CC and I have a standing weekly Skype date. That’s quality time, and it’s what makes our friendship as strong (if not stronger) now than it was when we were on campus. With some people it’s more sporadic, like making time for one another on trips home, or a visit once or twice a year, but that’s okay. Making time is what counts. Quality time ties into prioritization for me, which is super clutch in my relationships.
Words are sort of my thing, so I think having words of affirmation be highly ranked for me makes sense. Words are JJ’s thing even more than mine, so this is definitely one of the giving AND receiving languages. We say “You’re awesome” to one another as much as we say “I love you,” haha. Generally speaking, I try to tell my friends the things I appreciate and value about them and the way they interact with me. I want the people who matter to me to know that they matter to me, because knowing that I matter to other people is important to me. I try to support them as they figure their own shit out like they support me on my journey — I sort of treat everyone in my life like Tinkerbell, letting them know I believe in them to help them be better/stronger. I have no evidence that this actually does anything, but it can’t hurt, right?
Acts of service are a thing I’ve gotten more into this year. In some relationships, supportiveness feels incomplete without asking “What can I do to make this easier for you?” “You being okay is as important to me as me being okay” is a thought I’ve found myself having/expressing lately. Finding the line between acts of service as loving support and as taking away from your loved one’s agency can be hard, but so is watching them struggle with things you can help with or fix altogether. I’m finding that, like with most things, open communication about how to best be helpful is the path to success.
Gift giving is a thing I enjoy greatly, but college taught me that this is not a thing that is going to happen in all close relationships, even around the holidays. Gifts are fun luxuries, but unnecessary. Time and touch and words can be gifts in and of themselves.