How loved you feel might not be a reflection on how loved you are, but whether the love you receive is communicated to you in a way you can receive.
Gary Chapman came up with 5 love languages – the idea we all have certain ways in which we both give and receive love. He describes a ‘love tank’ we each have that gets filled when we receive love in the way we can experience it, but doesn’t when people show love to us in ways that we don’t recognise as love. So why is this important?
It follows that we generally give out love to others in the way we prefer to receive love. If this suits the languages of those around you, then this works just fine. But if there’s a mismatch, it can lead to feeling very unloved. And if others are giving out love in the way in which they like to, then you might not be receiving love in a way that makes you feel loved.
So what are the love languages?
Quality Time – being with others, regardless of how you are spending the time
Words of Affirmation – being told with written or spoken words what is loved or appreciated about you
Gifts – physical presents or thoughtfulness
Acts of Service – doing chores or things for another to help them
Physical Touch – showing love using touch including hand holding, stroking, hugs
What do you think your main love language/s might be? What about the important people in your life? How could you express your love to others in more meaningful ways to them, or ask them to express their love to you in a way that you appreciate? How do you feel loved?
Picture below from walkfm.org (excuse the spelling typo – receiving!)