Welcome to the first day of the 2018 Love Blog Challenge! Today’s prompt is The 5 Love Languages (Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, Physical Touch). Check out the announcement post for all the prompts and rules this month. This post contains affiliate links.
This is the third year I’ve hosted my annual Love Blog Challenge. This is also the third year I’ve used The 5 Love Languages as a prompt. In fact, during the first year, each individual language was its own prompt!
Words of Affirmation has always been my primary love language. I’m a writer, so this is no surprise! My secondary love language changes back and forth between Quality Time and Physical Touch. When I took the quiz two years ago, Physical Touch was my secondary love language, with Quality Time scoring as a high third.
When I took the quiz a few days ago, Quality Time is now a distant second to Words of Affirmation, with Physical Touch and Acts of Service tying for third.
This is how I scored.
Words of Affirmation – 11
Quality Time – 7
Physical Touch – 5
Acts of Service – 5
Receiving Gifts – 2
Even though Physical Touch has dropped its ranking, I want to discuss it today.
When you hear Physical Touch as a love language, what comes to mind?
If you thought sex, that’s okay. I did too!
But Physical Touch can be your primary love language even if you aren’t in a sexual relationship. When Physical Touch is your primary love language, that applies to your platonic and familial relationships too.
Related: Physical Touch Isn’t Just About Sex
Physical Touch Love Language Ideas for Friends and Family
I don’t think my mom ever took the official 5 Love Languages quiz, but I feel confident in saying her love language was Physical Touch. She could never get enough hugs from my dad, my brothers, or me. She loved when any of us played with her hair (okay, that sounds a lot like me). My mom would reach out to touch my hand if she was expressing something serious. She expressed her love in many ways, but her instinct was Physical Touch.
If a close friend or family member’s love language is Physical Touch, here are some ideas to speak their love language.
- Hug them hello and goodbye. I am a hugger. Give me alllllllllll the hugs! Not everyone is, and I respect that, but I do love me some hugs. Whenever I see my friends or family, I give them all a big hug. When I was a college student, this was true with many friends, even if I saw them every day! When I have to leave my friends or family, I also hug them goodbye. Hugging is a small and easy way to show someone you love them.
- Give them a neck rub or back scratch. It’s sad that certain touches tend to be associated with sex. I give amazing back scratches, but they’re not sexual. I just have strong nails! When I studied abroad, my friends and I would hang out at night and chat about our day while I gave each of them a back scratch. Sometimes when Dan and I spend time with his family, he’ll walk around, giving his parents and his brothers a quick neck rub. Just a few minutes of physical affection helps your loved one relax.
- Celebrate with a high five or fist bump. If you aren’t a physically demonstrative person, that’s okay. You can still offer small touches likes high fives or fist bumps. Just because someone else’s love language is Physical Touch doesn’t mean you should give more physical affection than you’re comfortable doing. I’m quite the snuggly person, and I still appreciate an excited high five or fist bump!
- Hold them when they’re sad. My family has been through a lot over the last few years. Nothing can describe my emotions from my mom’s cancer journey and eventual death. A lot of people held me as I cried. My husband, yes, and my dad, certainly, but also many friends and family.
- Kiss their cheek or the top of their head. I used to live in France where I frequently greeted people with cheek kisses. Back in the States, this is less common as a casual greeting, but I still appreciate platonic kisses from my friends and family. My mom’s side of the family tends to do this, and I love it. Even though I don’t get to see those relatives very often, I feel like a true part of the family when they greet me with a big hug and a kiss on the cheek.
Physical Touch Love Language Ideas for Spouses
If your spouse’s love language is Physical Touch, then yes, sex is part of that. However, you can speak their love language in many ways. Try one of these Physical Touch love language ideas!
- Hold their hand in public. I still remember the first time Dan held my hand. On our fourth date, we were walking around a rose garden. He reached for my hand and intertwined his fingers with my own. I had already kissed him on our second date (and our third), but there was just something so special about holding hands. We’ve been married almost four years, and I still love holding Dan’s hand! Sometimes at restaurants, after we’ve ordered, I’ll reach across the table so we can hold hands and talk until our food comes. When we go to the movies or the theatre, Dan’s hand eventually finds my own to hold during the show.
- Kiss each other good-bye every time. Dan leaves for work when it’s still dark outside. Right before he goes, he wakes me up to kiss me good-bye. When one of us is leaving for a trip, we always hug and kiss right before leaving. It’s a quick, little kiss, but I cherish my good-bye kiss every morning.
- Dance together. I love to dance. Dan tolerates dancing. Luckily he loves me enough to dance a few numbers with me at weddings and at appropriate concerts. I enjoy dancing with friends too, but I always save a few dances for my husband, even if that means skipping a dance with a good dancer or leaving my girl group behind on the dance floor. And I save ALL the romantic slow songs for my husband.
- Initiate touch. Anything on this list can easily be initiated by the partner whose love language is Physical Touch and just received by the other partner. But really speaking Physical Touch as a love language means you should also initiate physical touch. Let your partner know how much you enjoy touching them.
- Respect physical boundaries. When Physical Touch is your love language, this also means you’re especially hurt when touch is misused. Dan and I have agreed to certain boundaries regarding how we physically touch each other. For example, neither one of us likes to be tickled. I sometimes tickle Dan inadvertently when I’m being affectionate with a light touch (he’s very ticklish), but I realized early in our relationship not to tickle him deliberately. When I do tickle him inadvertently, I apologize and adjust my touch. Speaking your partner’s Physical Touch love language needs to include knowing what NOT to do.
Related: 25 Simple Ways to Show Affection in Marriage
If Physical Touch isn’t your own love language, learning how to speak it can be a challenge. However, you can still respect your own boundaries while expressing the Physical Touch love language. I hope these ideas will help you with any of your loved ones whose primary love language is Physical Touch.
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Brita Long is the pink and sparkly personality behind the Christian feminist lifestyle blog, Belle Brita. While her first love will always be Paris, she lives happily with her husband Daniel Fleck in the Atlanta area.
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Alessia is a lifestyle blogger, entrepreneur and post-graduate student in History from the best borough in London, up and coming Croydon. She’s a bit like Emma Woodhouse (Pemberley Digital version) and just about no longer the most eligible Catholic bachelorette, as she has found her Mr Knightley in sunny Derbyshire.
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Susannah is a small town living, simplicity loving, stargazing mama who lives in the Pacific Northwest. She spends her days loving on two precious little boys and one amazing man. She chronicles the way she is reclaiming simplicity in motherhood and marriage on her blog, Simple Moments Stick.
What’s your love language? If you have a significant other, what’s their love language? How hard is it to speak a love language different than your own?