February 6, 2013

Making them feel loved, or the five love languages - Part 1

We all want to be loved, and to make others feel loved as well. Wanting to feel loved is a part of human nature.  (Unless, of course, you are a coldhearted Scrooge.  He did long to be loved though, he just buried under all his greed and selfishness.  But I digress.)  Yet we can have the best of intentions, we can have the strongest desire to show love and the deepest longing to feel it... and still sometimes our best attempts don't quite cut it.  It's frustrating, and I'm sure that trying so hard to show love and falling short is no doubt what leads to the crumbling of many relationships.

As Valentine's Day draws closer, we start to plot and plan ways to ensure that our special someone, our family members, our friends, really know how much we love them.  Naturally, we want to get it right.  We want to make sure that we give them the best Valentine's Day ever.  Sometimes finding the perfect idea is easy, sometimes we end up wracking our brains for hours on end.

One thing that I have found to be very helpful - both around Valentine's Day, and every other day throughout the year - in making a loved one feel loved, is the theory of the Five Love Languages. You might be familiar with them already, or this could be the first time that you've ever heard of them.  It's an awesome theory that is both simple and brilliant.

A good part of the reason that we can often run into trouble with making someone feel loved is the fact that not everyone gives and receives love in the same way.  What makes me feel loved may still mean something to my sister, but it's not what really lets her know that she is loved and cared about.  Gary Chapman, relationship counselor and author of the book The Five Love Languages, breaks love down into - you guessed it! - five categories.  These categories are: Quality Time, Physical Touch, Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service and Gift Giving.

After I wrote this post I realized it was kind of long, and if I have learned anything from my Marketing Major father, it's that people don't like to read long things on the internet.  Thus, part two shall follow tomorrow.  Also, to make this post a little more interesting, here is an early Valentine with a kitten.  Because everyone on the internet loves kittens ;-)

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