“Love languages” are an act of service, both to yourself and to others. They are the little ways that you’re reassured that your affection, emotions, and experiences are valid (and they work in reverse, too). These small, everyday acts help navigate relationships and strengthen bonds. In essence, love languages are who you are in relation to other people.
In the wake of the pandemic, expressions of affection have been massively impacted. Now, during the “new normal,” common acts of affection such as hugging and kissing are deemed somewhat risky. Since people are social creatures, adhering to distancing guidelines has proven difficult. It’s impossible to go cold-turkey on your own love language, and you shouldn’t have to. Instead, tweak your own “love language” to fit the current circumstances.
First, do a simple assessment of who your favorite people are and what distinguishes them from others. Look through the moments when you’ve been happiest and the things that make you light up.
Once you have that figured out, it’s time to customize the love language between you based on what you/they need, and what you have access to.
Words of affirmation
Add a personal touch by short videos or voice messages to friends and family. This increases the quality of the connection versus a sterile text message.
Care packages – big or small — give people random reminders that you still love them despite any distance. Accompanying these gifts with a hand-written note is a nice addition.
Acts of service
Random acts of kindness allow you to reach out to those in need.
The best place to start is by asking your neighbors if there are areas they are lacking in and would welcome some support. Food delivery or shopping for groceries typically top the list.
Those whose household has more than one person get the better piece of this pie. That’s because they can combine love languages. If you have company in the house, ensure that you don’t spend all your time looking at the screen. Instead, plan dates and have actual conversations.
In case you live alone, or away from the people you want to love on, it’s crucial to set aside time to catch up. These “virtual hangouts” can include coffee, dinner, or wine drinking to make the situation more authentic. Or be creative, sharing activities as diverse as your interests, with things like art, crafts, or books.
Navigating today’s world has caused a disconnect for many people and their relationships. Hence, it’s crucial to keep evaluating the success of your acts and finding better ways to maintain meaningful interaction with loved ones.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons