We express our affection to our loved ones in many ways. We all have a couple of ways we prefer to express appreciation, including our loved ones. Unfortunately, the way we like to express our affection to our loved ones is usually the affection we desire and not the way they prefer.
Often, we may think we are expressing affection that is best for them. However, we should first identify our loved one's favored love language. If our loved one's preferred affection is doing actions for them, then encouraging them all day with affirming words will not express your affection. If your loved ones like receiving small gifts and cards from their loved ones, then giving them hugs all day won't express the level of appreciation you are trying to convey.
By identifying their love language, you will express your affection in a way they understand. It shows intention and is a powerful tool in any relationship with your loved ones. So, what is the next step in expressing affection? Identifying if their love language is gifts, time, words, acts of service, or physical touch will help you express appreciation.
Identifying Their Love Language
Learning how our loved ones prefer affection expressed to them is just as important as the act of expressing affection. Like we would choose our preferred expression of affection, they know how we prefer they express affection to us. However, if we don't use their love language, they may not know when to express affection.
Just the way we would want our loved ones to be intentional in expressing affection to us, they want us to be deliberate in how we show our affection to them. So, finding out their love language could be the best thing to happen to your relationship with loved ones. The best way to find out what their favored love language is is just to ask them. I'm sure they'd love to tell you! There are five of the most common love languages as listed below.
1. Spending Quality Time Together
Prioritizing quality time for your loved ones may be simply watching their favorite reality show with them or playing their favorite video game. They just want to know they have your undivided attention for a specific amount of time. They can talk to you, sit with you, or enjoy their favorite pastime with you and know you are hanging on to their every word.
Carving out quality time with your loved one who prefers you expressing your affection through minutes instead of dollar signs means they feel valued by being together. It doesn't matter the price of the activity or the amount of time that you spend together. What matters is that you are spending one-on-one time with someone you love, and they love you.
2. Speaking Affirming Words
Positive, encouraging words spoken are an expression of affection. Without hearing affirming words, many people with this love language can feel almost invisible. Even a thank-you or please is considered affection to them. Encouraging them throughout the day through text works just as well. Although, they wouldn't complain hearing it in person too.
3. Displaying Acts of Service
Actions are louder than any other expression of affection for our loved ones who prefer acts of service. Anything from opening their car door to taking out the trash to helping them with their latest household project. In short, if there aren't actions associated with your affection, your loved one won't think you are trying.
Maybe they are tired of cooking and cleaning and would love to come back from the office with a clean house and a home-cooked meal. Perhaps they've been wanting to go on more bike rides with you but haven't had the time to tune up their bike. They would be able to identify you are expressing your affection if they found a newly tuned bike waiting for them in the garage when they got off work.
A few acts of service that may not seem like much to you but would mean the world to your loved one:
- Making their coffee in the morning
- Washing their car
- Picking up their favorite snack at the store
- Taking out the trash
- Drawing a bubble bath
- Baking their favorite pie
- Washing a load of their clothes
- Running an errand
- Fix something broken in the house
- Cleaning their patio/ garage/outdoor seating area
As you can see, displaying an act of service doesn't have to be extravagant, just something that says to your loved one that you care and that you are thinking of them.
4. Receiving Gifts From the Heart
Gift-giving may be how your loved one prefers you to express your affection to them. However, it probably isn't the size or price of the gift that determines if they feel loved, but if it is from the heart. Did you put thought into it? Did you DIY their gift?
One way to give them a gift from the heart is to provide them with a special message in our fully customizable Lovebox with photos, stickers, or your drawings. Expressing affection to someone whose love language is receiving gits could be as simple as a note in one of our magnetized spinny hearts that they could display. Your loved one just needs to know you are thinking of them.
5. Physical Touch
Finally, respectful physical touch is an evident expression of affection, but it can often mean a specific form of physical touch that is your loved one's favorite. For example, it may be encouraging random hugs throughout the day or holding hands during long drives and at the movie theater. Kissing is another form of physical touch that shows affection and intimacy.
A long, good back rub at the end of a long day is one of the best forms of expressing physical expression through respectful physical touch or cuddling on the couch while you watch a show. Likewise, prioritizing physical affection for your loved one goes a long way after a long, tense day at the office.
Expressing Affection in Other Ways
Sometimes it is difficult to know our loved one's number one preferred way of receiving affection. For example, they may love it when you give them back rubs AND do small acts of service such as feeling up their car with fuel or cleaning their windshield. What should you do then?
The best way to express affection to them, in that case, would be to talk to them about what they prefer when. For example, maybe they deal with a lot of stress and anxiety, and on days when they are anxious, they want to hear encouraging words.
Still, on particularly long days, they prefer to express your affection by cooking them supper. So, communication is key to expressing affection to loved ones. Your loved ones will let you know what is best for them.
How To Express Our Affection When Our Loved Ones Live Far Away
Maybe a loved one is currently deployed to another country or working out of state. How do you express affection in that scenario? We at Lovebox have you covered. Suppose their preferred affection is receiving gifts from the heart. In that case, you could send them a customized Lovebox or spinny with a heartfelt message, as we mentioned previously, along with a care package with their favorite snacks, magazines, or coffee.
If their preferred form of affection is spending quality time together, you could still schedule specific times to FaceTime. However, be sure to focus on them when you do schedule FaceTime calls entirely.
Or find other ways to use modern technology to show how much you love them. For example, you could watch your favorite shows together through streaming parties and chat in the chatbox about it, or you could talk on the phone while drinking your morning coffee.
There will always be challenges to distance; however, if the last year has taught us anything, there are ways to express affection regardless of the miles between you and your loved ones. It does. Of course, it takes time and effort to show affection to loved ones when there's distance, but it also shows commitment and a deeper level of love and attachment than if they live in the nearby vicinity.
Express Your Love
Finding your loved one's preferred form of affection is the essential step to take when wanting to make sure they know you love them and take the time to find out what is best for them, not you. When you discover your loved one's love language, your level of affection will speak volumes of how much you love them.
Whether receiving gifts from the heart, spending quality time together, speaking affirming words, displaying acts of service, or respectable physical touch, your level of affection will know your level of commitment and trust. It is sometimes difficult to determine their favorite form of affection and how they want you to show your love, but don't forget that communication is key to showing affection to your loved ones.
Let your loved ones know you listen and are there for them no matter the distance between you. Of course, it is harder to show affection through long-distance. However, through trial and error, you will both know what form of affection the other needs through a hard time, such as deployment. Affection is vital to any relationship and finding ways to show it is the most critical step to loving relationships.