The five love languages don’t only apply to romantic relationships. You can bring the concept to your friendships and strengthen the bonds with your friends.
If you haven’t heard about the love languages, the author of the book The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts, Gary Chapman, says that we express and wish to receive love in one (or sometimes two) of five ways which are words of affirmation, physical touch, quality time, acts of service and gift-giving.
Regardless of what many people believe, the five love languages aren’t a concept used only in romantic relationships. If you know a family member or a dear friend’s love language, you can help to strengthen your relationship by understanding how they demonstrate and appreciate receiving love.
So, in any relationship, it’s helpful to know what makes the other person feel happy and loved. When we honor our friend’s love language, we show appreciation, making them feel cared for.
Love Languages in Friendships
Putting these principles into practice will require some careful analysis. Through some observation, chat, and asking questions you can understand your friend’s love language. Once you know, here are a few ways you can show your appreciation.
Words of Affirmation
This is one of my love languages (the other is physical touch), and when someone I love and care about passes a compliment, trust me, it brights my day!
You don’t need to constantly say “I love you” to your friend but eventually checking in on them (I mean, literally doing it with a text message), and sending some loving messages like “I hope you have a wonderful day,” or “Hey, I just wanted to say I’m thankful for you and our friendship.”
Acts of Service
For someone whose love language is acts of service, instead of words of affirmation, for these folks, action speaks louder than words.
You can support your friend in many ways —for instance, if they’re upset or stressed out, you can bring over a piece of food they enjoy, like chocolate or ice cream. Or just being present and asking, “what can I do for you?”
It doesn’t matter if you go out for a coffee, for a few drinks or to party. What truly matters for them is the time you spend together, the connection you create. To show this friend they have a place in your heart, make sure to give them some of your free time and attention.
This love language goes beyond giving and receiving material things. The person whose first love language is gift-giving cares much more if you, for instance, go on a trip and bring something for them because you thought about them. It’s much more of the “I saw this and I thought of you” kind of gifts.
There are plenty of ways of showing love through physical touch than a good hug. It can be something as small as a touch on the arm, or it can be a full-on embrace. To determine whether your friend appreciates physical affection, you can simply ask if they want a hug, a touch, or even a cuddle.