At a meeting at work yesterday my supervisor tells us about the 5 expressions of love (it was a casual meeting).
1. Time spent - doing things together, just being together
2. Words of encouragement - telling someone you love them or other words of encouragement
4. Gifts - not necessarily stuff that is purchased, but little tokens to say I'm thinking of you
5. Acts of service - doing things for the other person, helping you out somehow
Usually there are two or three of these that when someone does them for you, you feel loved. Usually one is the strongest for you.
For example, one of the ladies in our meeting collects Betty Boop things. He said she probably really loves it when someone shows their love with little gifts. She said, yeah, that's true.
He told the story of his parents. His dad was the kind of guy who is like "Why do I have to tell you I love you. You already know I do." But his mom was the kind of person who needed to hear such words of encouragement. His mom was very traditional; she did the wash, ironed his shirts, cooked. To his father these acts of service meant she loved him. But while she was ironing and washing she was feeling angry at him for not showing her any love and feeling unloved. This is one way that relationships get out of balance.
We all were discussing this and someone gave the example of their parents. Their relationship had been really strained because Dad had been a workaholic and they never spent time together. Recently he got cancer and now he is home sick. When people call and ask how Dad is doing Mom has a hard time sounding sad that he's not doing well because she is so happy he is around so she can be with him and care for him.
Everybody decided they would go home and talk with their partners about this. I thought it was really cool so I talked to my Man about it, too. I know he likes touch but I don't like it much so I don't touch him very much. It was funny because I told him this and he said, "Yes, and....." Oh, I guess I should touch him now. Ha ha.
Basically, if you figure out what the other person needs to feel loved and give it to them, you can create more love in the relationship. I thought some of you might also find these 5 expressions of love interesting.