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The 5 Love Languages: Long-distance Edition

My friend and I share our take on how to express the 5 love languages in times of physical separation a.k.a long distance!

In a huge twist of events, here I am writing about love & romance two weeks in a row. Anyway, it is part of life so let’s get to it, shall we?

Last week on the blog I wrote about whether or not long-distance is worth it, you can read about it here!

This week, as a follow-up, I have teamed up with my friend, Tireni and we thought it would be helpful to talk about the 5 love languages, specifically in times of physical separation. This is very timely as more people than ever have unintentionally joined the LDR squad!

Welcome, welcome, this should help you along the way. We’ll write in the context of romantic relationships but love is love, and most of these tips are easily adaptable and applicable to platonic relationships.

Quality Time

For a partner who values Quality Time, nothing says ”I love you” like your undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is so key- no distractions.

It is important that you show your partner that you value their time and presence. This means you need to get rid of phones, other people, any side tasks, generally anything distracting and just focus on your partner. This will make them feel truly special and loved, thankfully technology has made this slightly easier for us.

Distractions, postponed plans, or not listening to your partner can be very hurtful, so if your partner values quality time, you have to make a conscious effort to keep on being intentional because they deepen their connection with others through spending time with people. You need to be as keen on spending time with them, as though you were physically together.

Practical Tip #1: In times of physical distance, the next best thing is a Video Call. It may seem like a little thing but your partner would most likely prefer voice & video calls to texts because when you’re apart the closest thing they get is seeing and hearing your voice.

Extra Mile: Set a specific date and time and communicate to your partner that you would like it to be uninterrupted – essentially plan a lockdown date night.

This is so important for your partner because this is how they know you care.

Basically, be proactive, be intentional ( your partner does not want to be the one that has to explain how they would like to be loved all the time) and don’t forget to give them your undivided attention-major key!

Gifts

A common misconception about this love language is that it means such a person is materialistic but this is not the case. The receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. This shows your partner that you really know them, and you care enough to go the extra mile.

Don’t worry, you can stop holding your breath if this is your partner’s love language because we are happy to inform you that you don’t have to break the bank buying that Designer Wallet or the PS5 with extra storage lol!

Your partner just wants to know they are on your mind, that you remembered that conversation or thing they said in passing and you took the time to think and plan out how you could help or make a difference. This won’t be hard to do it you’re listening to your partner.

Practical Tip #2: So that you believe us when we say you don’t have to break the bank, here are a few suggestions – A framed picture of both of you, sending a care package because you know they had a tough week/are alone, a letter sent in the post, a card, flowers just because, a handwritten note, or just a few of their favourite things/snacks in a box. 

Extra Mile: When it’s that time of the month for your (girl)friend, you can put together a package with her favourite snacks, a candle, pain killers, bath salts and a nice note. 

In this time of social distancing, gifts are definitely a welcome idea and would put a smile on anybody’s face.

In summary, It’s the little things, make sure you’re thinking about something that would be good for them and that you’re paying attention to them.

Acts of Service

This love language requires you to do something helpful or kind for your partner. Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes. If your partner values this they want to feel supported and they want to know you are interested in the things going on with them.

Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for your partner tells them that their feelings don’t matter. 

Practical Tip #3: Helping them or their more vulnerable family members order groceries, offering to help if they have school or work deadlines, picking up things they are struggling to do because of multiple commitments i.e. tutoring their sibling, sending helpful resources if they’re applying for jobs as well as going to get supplies and dropping them off where you can.

In summary, the trick is to do things to take the pressure off them and it becomes even more special if you do it before they think about it or need to ask for your help. 

Physical Touch

This love language is pretty straight forward – your partner will enjoy more than most – hugs, hand holding, kisses and all the rest. You know where we are going with this.

If you are miles apart for whatever reason this is a pretty difficult one to pull off and requires extra creativity. Thankfully, we’ve done a lot of thinking so you don’t have to. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect can be unforgivable and destructive to your relationship.

Practical Tip #4: Send a teddy or item of clothing with your scent. Now to people whose love language this is, a hot water bottle might help. You can read more about the things you can try here and please share anything else you might think of in the comments section below!

In summary, if this is your partner’s love language you might try focusing on their secondary love language for the duration of the distance, the effort would be appreciated!

Words of Affirmation

Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important— hearing the reasons behind that love might make your day.

On the flip side, unkind words can leave you shattered and may not be easily forgotten. You thrive on hearing kind and encouraging words that build you up. So basically, this love language is all about what you say, this should be easy for most people to do especially now.

Practical Tip #5: This might sound like, “I am really proud of you”, “I am really proud of how productive you’ve been”, “You look really nice today”, “Thank you for making the time and effort to do this”, “Thank you for your help”, “You are always so thoughtful” and of course “I love you/appreciate you/love speaking to you.”

Extra Mile: Send a card or handwritten note expressing how amazing you think they are or send your partner something positive about themselves every day for a week!

Where your partner has attempted to love you according to your love language, and theirs is words of affirmation, telling them how happy it made you will go a long way for both of you.

In summary, a Words of Affirmation person wants to be reminded of how much they mean to you often and how great you think they are!

We hope you enjoyed reading this, at least half as much as we enjoyed writing this because we had a ball!

To find out what your love languages are you can take this short test and also share it with the people you love!

Don’t forget to subscribe so you’re the first to know as soon as a new post hits the blog! Let us know if you enjoyed this in the comments section!

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