What are your love languages?

A table top with a pen and a colourful mug of coffee resting on a napkin on which has been written: coffee is my love language.

Figuring out what to do next in life is like undertaking one of those 1000 piece puzzles and with only part of the picture to copy. It takes time, patience and application. When you find a missing piece or complete a particularly tricky area, you feel a sense of triumph and it propels you to go on.

Much of the work I do with clients focusses on deepening and broadening their understanding of themselves, today. We can often get stuck in a part of our story that defined us some time ago. Through different exercises, approaches and coaching, you can take a look at yourself and your story in a new way, from a new perspective. I want to offer you one of these exercises, a new lens if you will, through which to look at yourself. Think of this as just another piece of the puzzle.

The 5 love languages

Ok, so this may, at first glance, seem irrelevant to figuring out what you want to do next in life. However, because much of the journey is about exploring and understanding yourself, it is important to uncover all aspects with curiosity. After all, you never know what understanding and insight may lead to!

I could add in all manner of quotes about love here, but I’m not (mainly because it involves trawling the internet to find them and then verifying they are genuine plus my back hurts and I’m mildly grumpy. Probably not the best frame of mind to be writing about love languages, but hey, I like this framework THAT much, I’m forging ahead for you, dear reader).

Now my little rant is over, let me introduce you to the 5 love languages:

Physical touch – let me give you a hug, kiss your cheek, touch your arm whilst I talk to you.

Words of affirmation – all the positive adjectives and if we’re really going for it, bring out the poetry.

Receiving gifts – you bought that for me?! You know me so well, I love it.

Acts of service – you cleaned the toilet, unloaded the dishwasher and painted my office?! Have I told you I love you lately?

Quality time – put the phone down, look into my eyes. I’m all yours for the next 1 hour and 33 minutes.

I entertained myself with the explanations but I’m sure you get the picture!

Discovering your love languages

You will most likely find you have a top 2 love languages that you mainly feel love through. The easiest way to identify these is through observing how you show love to others. For example, I like giving people hugs, touching their arm when I’m talking to them (I’m talking about close and well-established relationships here!) and I like to encourage people through words – I enjoy language. When I’m on the receiving end of these love languages my love tank gets a good top up.

Pause for a moment and see if you can pick out your top 2 love languages. If you’re struggling to work them out, try taking the official (and free) quiz.

Completing a little of the puzzle

Once you have identified your top 2 love languages, try asking yourself these questions to get some deeper insights:

  • What effect does knowing your love languages have on how you view yourself?
  • How might these insights help you in figuring out what to do next in life?
  • With this new knowledge about yourself, what becomes possible?
  • How can you love yourself through your love languages?
  • What would you like to do with what you have learnt?

Get curious over the coming week and see what you observe about how you give and receive love.

I’m interested to know how you get on with looking at yourself through this lens.

If you would like to, share what you learn with your partner, family and friends and see how they might gain more understanding of you – share the love.

Photo by unknown on Canva.