Whether you have a long-term romantic partner or a group of steady and consistent loving girlfriends, to quote the fictional Sex and the City character, Charlotte York, “Maybe our girlfriends are our soulmates and guys are just people to have fun with.” I believe in that statement. Girlfriends will hopefully be there for you when times get rough during any aspect of your life, a recent death in the family, moving to a new city, grappling with a job layoff, and consoling you through a difficult breakup.
At times, we’re so focused on getting it right with our romantic partners that we neglect some of their most important relationships, our girlfriends. We must remember that strong and impactful relationships in all facets of our lives can influence our mental health. It’s been proven that satisfying relationships make people happy and are associated with better health and longer life. Our community relationships are intertwined with some of our strongest emotions. For example, we feel happy, content, and calm when they are positive and supportive. When relationships are non-existent, we feel anxious, depressed, and lonely.
But how can we show up for ourselves and our platonic friendships, especially in a fast-paced, digital-focused world? Tapping into the five love languages. The 5 Love Languages® book, created by Gary Chapman, Ph.D. author, speaker, and counselor, describes five ways people receive and express love in a relationship. The core tenets are words of affirmation, quality time, physical touch, acts of service, and receiving gifts.
While these expressions of intentional love, care, and support were meant to be applied to romantic relationships, they can also be useful for our best friends. The purpose of these languages is to help each person in a relationship with one another to feel appreciated, heard, and seen. Check out several love languages you can apply to your friend group below.
Words of Affirmation
This love language is about expressing affection through spoken words, praise, or appreciation. If this is someone’s primary love language, they often enjoy receiving kind words, encouragement, and affirmations to help them get through the day. Try sending your bestie an inspiring Bible verse or dole a compliment. We promise it’ll make them smile and feel appreciated and thought of.
We know cuffing season is upon us, but carve out some quality time for you and your best friend. Someone who has this love language needs and wants undivided attention from you. If they feel the most loved when you are present and focused on them, then it’s a sign to schedule a girlfriend date. During the meet-up, put down the cell phone, turn off the computer, make eye contact, and practice active listening.
Acts of Service
Acts of service are nice things you do for a person that makes them feel loved and supported. Maybe you have a girlfriend currently going through it because life happens. She may need some assistance doing chores; perhaps you can help her with errands.
We all know that girlfriend who loves receiving gifts. It’s not solely about the physical gift for her; it’s more about the time and effort the gift-giver put into it. People who enjoy receiving gifts as part of their primary love language always expect expensive presents; the thoughtfulness behind the gift counts.