Do you Speak the Language of Love?
written by: Megan E. Pappion
It’s the most wonderful time of the year again. “Cuffing Season” is beginning to round it’s last big corner, right before “Hot Girl Summer” takes the lead. The grocery store aisles are packed with chocolate covered strawberries and dozens upon dozens of roses. Restaurants across the country are prepping for what would usually be it’s busiest night of the year. But, Valentines Day 2021 was anything but “usual”. It’s still a whole panoramic outside. People are DRAINED! Emotionally and financially! A lot of folks were either busy making a quarantine baby, having a major breakup, or having a major breakthrough. Because last year, as much of a rollercoaster as it was….it forced us to sit down, and come face to face with some truth’s about ourselves, as well as the people we share our space with. During quarantine, we learned a lot about the fact that we really don’t know as much as we think we do. They say your home should be your sanctuary. It should be the place where you find peace after getting caught up in the chaos of the world. But, no one prepared us for what happens when your home now becomes your escape, and the place you want an escape from. Well, 2020 is what happened. There are years that ask questions, and there are years that answer. Last year, we were catapulted into figuring out how well we actually know ourselves, and how well we know the people around us. Some of it was beautiful, but most of it wasn’t pretty.
If you would have asked me what my love language was in 2018, I would have told you something random like crawfish, quotes from Pinterest, and the smell of a bookstore. Yes, these are all things I love, that’s because most of us just associate our love language with tangible things that make us happy inside. But it’s crazy how many times you don’t even learn what your love language is until you’re finally loved right. That’s why I don’t necessarily believe it’s true that you have to love yourself first before someone else can love you. Love looks and feels different to different people, so it is important to get to know yourself, what fulfills you, and what you respond to. But you don’t have to be at a place of perfect peace before allowing yourself to be open to experience love. Some people will spend their entire lives floating from situationship to situationship in search of a temporary high because they’re not “ready for love”, until one day you find yourself in quarantine and stuck at home for months with a partner that you’re just realizing you barely even know.
The thing about love is, you’ll never be ready, but you gotta stay ready.
Another important lesson to remember is just because someone loves you the best way they know how, doesn’t mean they are loving you the way you need to be loved. Don’t believe the hype that one day someday is going to magically show up and know everything about you and know exactly what you need. Love languages are all about communication. It’s about how you communicate and reciprocate love. Sometimes, you may have to teach someone your language just like you may have to learn theirs. But the journey is that you are constantly learning each other, together.
The question, “What’s your love language?” has become the new “What’s your sign?” Researchers will tell you that your capacity to love and be loved will usually fall into at least one of the following five categories:
Words of Affirmation
Acts of Service
I don’t need to break each one down for you because they’re pretty self explanatory, and the internet is oversaturated with it’s own definitions of what love is. So, note that these categories aren’t designed to limit how you receive love, but to instead target what your spirit responds most to. And the work starts (but doesn’t end) with you. That’s why learning about love languages isn’t just for couples. As a matter of fact, if there’s anyone that benefits the most, it’s the single folks, because how you speak to yourself matters, and often you’ll find that those are some of the most important conversations you’ll ever have. This past year we have had the blessing (and the burden) of getting to know ourselves, and the ones closest to us, better than we ever have before. Marriages, friendships, and families were put to test…..some passed and came out stronger on the other side. But, everyone didn’t. So this year, regardless of your relationship status, pop that champagne, light those candles, and drown yourself in grace, gratitude, and growth. Speak to yourself, in your language. Because Nippy was right, “Learning to love yourself, is the greatest love of all.”