We all have a specific way we prefer to receive love. However, we don’t always take the time to fully explore how our partner wants to be loved. Take my parents for example: Even after 30 years of marriage, my mother recently told me that she didn’t always feel like my father expressed love to her. Interestingly, my father expressed the same sentiments about her. Being the inquisitive daughter I am, though, I talked to them both and learned that they simply don’t interpret love in the same way. This is incredibly common, and luckily there’s a framework to help you and your partner.
What helped my parents (as well as many other couples) is “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman. If you aren’t familiar, this book describes five ways people prefer to receive love. Naturally, each of us has a preference for certain love languages over others.
Believe it or not, now is the perfect time to learn how to show your partner love through their preferred love language(s). Take the quiz if you haven’t already, then use this guide to enhance your romantic relationship while social distancing.
During social distancing, we are spending a lot of time together in our homes. But are we actually spending quality time with each other? Go on a walk together around the neighborhood or on a trail. Talk about what is in your heart and what you would like to do together after social distancing is over. Even if you don’t live with one another, you can watch movies together virtually and communicate through Facetime or Messenger. Other cute things you can do – in person or not – are making crafts, assembling vision boards together, creating trendy face masks, or starting a garden together. Or, if your partner is the nerdy type, do a book study of a popular trilogy.
Words of Affirmation
Words of affirmation is my love language. Consequently, I love receiving handwritten letters. It makes me feel like I have stepped back in time. Especially if you’re far away from your boo, try sending them a note in the mail. Or, you can go on social media to express their love by creating a beautiful post or a video! If you and your partner live together, then leave post-it notes all over the house about what they do well and how you feel about them. Finally, you can express your love to your partner through music. Create a Spotify playlist and share it with your partner even if they live 1,000 miles away. What’s more, try titling your playlist, “Thinking of You” – for an extra sweet touch.
This love language is often associated with sex, but that is misleading. There are so many ways to send love touches to your partner without anything sexual. If your partner is a hugger, then surprise them with random bear hugs. It will catch them off guard and make them melt in your arms. If your partner lives far away, send your partner funny memes through the day and tag them, “Wish you were here with me.” If you are able to spend money, buy a friendship lamp. Whenever you touch the lamp your partner’s lamp will light with the same color as yours. Isn’t that sweet?!
Acts of Service
My mother receives love through acts of service. My dad often feels like the act of service my mom wants is back-breaking work. However, in reality, she (and many others) just want labor of love, no matter how small. To make things easier, wash your partner’s car or bike, or fill up their gas tank! Another thing you can do is to make breakfast in bed for your partner. If they usually do the dishes, then take over that task for a week. If they need to fix a light or clean up the yard, do it for them. It will make them feel very appreciated.
During social distancing, some of us may not have any extra money to spend. But don’t worry – gifts don’t have to be expensive! They simply have to be thoughtful and considerate. For example, this past week, my father picked a flower from the garden and gave it to my mother. Similarly, when I was in college, I used to send my friends care packages through the mail made up of homemade goods and their favorite things, such as homemade granola, lotions, and bath bombs.
From the list above, what are some ways you think will make your partner feel loved during social distancing? What are some things you would like your partner to do for you to make quarantine romantic? Once you figure that out, be sure to share and communicate with your partner! You’d be surprised by what you can do to become even closer.