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How to Practice Self-Love Through Love Languages

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Alabama chapter.

Valentine’s Day is coming up and that usually means one of two things: Either you’re extremely excited…or you’re extremely bummed. Of course, there are some exceptions to these emotions, but these are the most common types of feelings you see broadcasted around this time. But what if I told you that you don’t need to wait around for a date to experience love in your life? That you don’t have to receive gifts or flowers from another person to have a good relationship with yourself? This is where self-love comes in. And what better time to start this wonderful journey than the most romantic day of the year!

Many of us have heard of what a love language is, but what exactly does this mean? The term was first written about in 1992 by author Gary Chapman, in which he highlights five ways that people prefer to express or receive love: physical touch, words of affirmation, acts of service, gifts, and quality time. By reading these, you may have an idea on which method(s) you prefer. However, if you have no clue where to start, there are plenty of online quizzes and resources on how to figure out which fits you best. Even looking back on past relationships and experiences may help you decide!

Originally, Gary Chapman created these love languages to organize relationships with others. Though, a good way to begin your self-love journey is by practicing these on yourself. By doing this, you can grow by treating yourself in ways that you already know you like.

For example, if your love language is quality time, a few ideas are writing in a journal, going on walks, or do something you love alone, like a hobby. Try to do these things without your phone so that the time is genuine and not getting interrupted or distracted by others. If you prefer physical touch, you can look up a yoga routine, stretch, or go out and get a massage. If you tend to lean toward words of affirmation, write a kind letter to yourself reflecting on the things you like about yourself. You also could write encouraging post-it notes and stick them to your mirror, say some positive affirmations when you first wake up, or think of 10 compliments for yourself. 

Maybe your love language is acts of service! If this is your preference, something you may like is assisting your future self and setting them up for success. As an example, try to make a habit of deep cleaning your house before leaving for a trip so that you can come back to tidiness. Additionally, you could begin homework assignments early to avoid future procrastination or stress, clear out your overflowing email inbox, or meal prep for the upcoming week. Finally, the last love language is gift giving. However, treating yourself to a shopping spree isn’t the only way you can express this (though that never hurts!). Some other ideas could be investing in a new DIY project, getting your nails done, or buying yourself a big bouquet of flowers. 

Valentine’s Day is a beautiful holiday dedicated to showing the one you love just how much you care for them. Though it’s typically celebrated in relationships, showing yourself love and appreciation is a great way to build closeness with yourself! Self-love can help grow confidence, self-esteem, and even improve outward relationships. So, whether you’re in a relationship or not this February, try to incorporate these tips into your life to grow the most important bond you can have.

Jade R

Alabama '23