We all have a love language that speaks to us. How you want your partner to express their love for you might be different from the way they want you to express your love for them.
There are 5 love languages: words of affirmation, quality time, physical touch, acts of service, and gift-giving. As wonderful as it is to have a partner who understands your love language, you have to love yourself in the ways you want, too.
Words of Affirmation
If words of affirmation are your love language, practice daily affirmations. Make a point every day to look at yourself in the mirror and compliment yourself. Say, out loud, three things you love about yourself. It can be a physical feature or an aspect of your personality, but whatever it is, talk positively about yourself. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to yourself in the mirror, try journaling instead. Write down everything you love about yourself or what you’re proud of yourself for. Turn down your inner critic and compliment yourself for once. Tell yourself things like: “You’re doing your best.” or “I’m proud of you.”
Quality time is all about giving your undivided attention to them while spending time together. When you’re coupled up, this is pretty self-explanatory, but this is all about spending time with yourself. If quality time is your love language, set aside time every day for you. Do some self-care, like doing a face mask and watching your favorite movie. Meditate. Go to the gym by yourself. Be present with yourself. Learn to enjoy your own company.
Acts of Service
Acts of service are for those who value a partner who does something for them, often without asking. If acts of service are your love language, do things that are a means of taking care of yourself and your environment. Book that dentist appointment. Don’t skip your therapy session. Do your dishes, fold your laundry, and sweep your floors. Prepare healthy meals for yourself. Put thought and effort into your space.
Gift giving is for those who value the thoughtfulness and effort of being gifted something you love. If you have the means for it, treat yourself to something you’ve been wanting (or needing). Splurge on that perfume or that pair of shoes you’ve been eyeballing. Buy the concert ticket. Invest in yourself and your education. Budget out that trip you’ve been wanting to plan.
In a relationship, physical touch is very simply all about hand holding, hugging, back rubs — all things that are calming and reassuring. But if you don’t have someone around, it’s important to love yourself in ways that still fulfill that sense of calm. Stretch. Take a shower or a hot bath. Do a body scrub or a hair mask (don’t forget to massage your scalp!) and moisturize every inch of your body. Masturbate. Give yourself a manicure or a facial. Maybe even treat yourself to a spa day where a professional massages you or gives you that glowing facial you want so badly.
When it comes to self-love, it’s important to practice your love language on yourself. This isn’t to say that self-love is easy, that it doesn’t take dedication and devotion. But you can’t wait for someone to come around and love you the way you want them to or the way you deserve. Sometimes you really just have to love yourself enough for the both of you.