After a nice and refreshing Christmas Break, my dear fiancé and I are back to long distance, so today, I’m here to share with you 10 ways we use the love languages in our long distance relationship.
WHAT ARE LOVE LANGUAGES ANYWAY?
The term was popularized by Gary Chapman (author of The 5 Love Languages), and basically, love languages are just different ways you can ensure that your significant other feels loved. According to Chapman, there are five love languages: quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service, physical touch, and gifts. No one love language is “better” than any other; they’re just different. And different people have different primary love languages. There’s an official quiz in the appendix of The 5 Love Languages to help you discern what your primary love language is.
My fiancé’s primary love language is acts of service, while I’m all about words of affirmation. Physical touch and quality time are important to both of us (rated second and third and third and second, respectively), but neither one of us care all that much about gifts.
It’s pretty natural to put these love languages into practice when you live in proximity to your loved one, but it can take significantly more thought and effort when you’re in a long distance relationship. Below, you’ll find 2 long distance friendly suggestions for each love language.
- Establish a routine. A few months into our relationship, my fiancé and I decided to read a Psalm together via FaceTime every day. We started with Psalm 1 and have read all 150 Psalms twice and are currently reading through the book a third time. With this routine of reading through the Book of Psalms approximately twice a year, we’re looking forward to seeing how familiar we are with the Psalms by the time we’re old and gray. Having a routine ensures quality time, especially if you guard it diligently. My fiancé and I don’t do our Psalm at the same exact time every day because with our schedules that would just be unrealistic, but whether we do it at 5am or 9:30pm, we haven’t missed a day of this quality time yet.
- Read a book together. My fiancé and I have read several books together, and this has facilitated many good FaceTime discussions. For us, reading a book together means we each read a few chapters over the course of a week, take notes and make highlights, and then discuss our thoughts on the week’s reading on Friday evenings. Reading a book together may look a little different for you and your love, but however you do it, it’s something I’d recommend.
WORDS OF AFFIRMATION
- Write letters. We’re big fans of the art of letter writing, and a long distance relationship is the perfect excuse for it. Handwritten letters have an intimate feel to them and give your loved one something tangible that they can keep even when you’re apart. Also, when they’re feeling down, they can pull your letter out of their desk drawer and be reminded of your love for them.
- Send sweet texts. Sweet texts are a must. My fiancé and I send “good morning” messages every morning (we try to alternate days, but it doesn’t always work out perfectly and that’s okay). Even if they get to be repetitive after a while, it’s nice to wake up to a little reminder on your lock screen that you are thought of and loved.
ACTS OF SERVICE
- Remind them. Your significant other may need help remembering something, and even though you’re far away, you can still help them with that. If they’re worried that they’ll sleep in and miss their first meeting, give them a call in the morning to make sure they’re awake. Or, if they keep forgetting to cancel an upcoming appointment, shoot them a text during their lunch hour reminding them to do it. If you choose to do this, just be careful to make sure you’re helping and not nagging. Constantly reminding your person to do something they haven’t asked you to remind them to do is more annoying than it is helpful.
- Be a study buddy. This one’s an easy one for us since my fiancé and I are both full-time students. Edit one another’s essays. Exchange study guides and then quiz each other via FaceTime. Not only will this help out your long distance love, but you’ll learn something in the process too!
- Give them something cozy. Before he left, my fiancé gave me his favorite sweatshirt and I love being able to put it on when I miss him a little extra. It’s comfy, it smells like him, and it reminds me of his hugs. Sweatshirts are great, but chances are, if you’re a gal, you’re not going to give your long distance love your sweatshirt and expect him to wear it. Give him a blanket instead. It’s an appropriate equivalent and will keep him both warm and thinking of you until he gets to see you again.
- Invest in Filimin Touch Lamps. https://www.uncommongoods.com/product/long-distance-touch-lamp I cannot recommend these highly enough. They are amazing! My mom got my fiancé and I a set for Christmas, and to be perfectly honest, I was a bit skeptical at first. I mean, how cool can a desk lamp connected via WiFi to another desk lamp possibly be? …Real cool, let me tell you! Every time my fiancé touches his lamp, my lamp will light up and vice versa. Go order a set and then read the reviews and watch the informative videos later. You won’t be disappointed!
- Send care packages. This is a fun way to let your significant other know that you’re thinking of them. You can send themed care packages or ones just because. Here are descriptions of two of the themed care packages I’ve sent in the past.
- “Falling For You” – a ceramic mug, tea bags, cookies, Werther’s caramels, a Moleskine notebook, and pens (because I associate autumn with school)
- “Apartment Warming” – printed photos, candle, dish towels, spatula, recipe card, non-perishable ingredients (called for by the recipe card)
ii. Try out a delivery company. If you’re feeling a little bit fancy, you may want to try out a company that delivers gourmet treats straight to your loved one’s door. It’s pricier than sending a care package, but it’ll make your person feel special. I’ve listed some good options below.
- Shari’s Berries
- Edible Arrangements
- Harry & David
- Cookies By Design
So there you have it…10 ways to use the love languages in your long distance relationship! Comment below and let me know which idea is your favorite.
“Real love…is a love that unites reason and emotion. It involves an act of the will and requires discipline, and it recognizes the need for personal growth.” -Gary Chapman (The 5 Love Languages)