We all show up differently in our relationships, whether it be romantic partnerships, friendships, family ties – or even in the relationship we have with ourselves. Part of the sweetness of building these human connections is learning about the “language” through which those in our circle express love and understand love, and then, finding special ways to communicate our love in ways that resonate. Naturally, as herbalists we’re always on the lookout to weave plant magic into the language of love.
The concept of Love Languages was developed by Gary Chapman, Ph.D. in 1992, when he identified five unique styles of communicating love, stemming from his experience in relationship counseling and linguistics. Since then, thousands of therapists and individuals have used his work to better understand their own emotional needs and those we share our life with.
The five emotional Love Languages include Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time and Physical Touch. We tend to speak our primary love language, and consequently become frustrated when our loved one does not understand what we are communicating. While we are expressing love, the message does not come through because we speak what, to them, is a different language.
Steps to Speaking the Language of Love
1. If you aren’t familiar with your love language, the first step is to discover it! While you’re at it, get to know the language of people in your life. Here’s a great quiz to explore: What’s my Love Language.
2. Next, apply it to your relationships! Whether on Valentine’s Day, a special occasion or after reading this article, think about how you can put what you know into action. Below are our suggestions to express the languages of love through the plant lover in you!
The 5 Plant-Inspired Love Languages
Words of Affirmation – This love language values verbal acknowledgments of affection, compliments, words of appreciation, and verbal encouragement, both in-person and in our virtual realities.
Plant-inspired ideas: Treat them, or yourself to positive-affirming teas such as Cup of Calm, Cup of Sunshine, and Stress Ease. Write a love letter or sweet note on homemade paper infused with flower petals or essential oil. Send texts or DMs with pictures of our tea tag quotes to the ones you love.
Acts of Service – This love language is for people who believe that actions speak louder than words. They like to be shown how they’re appreciated. When you give Acts of Service, you give up your time.
Plant-inspired ideas: Water their plants or herb garden. Make them a cup of tea. Cook them a healthy meal. Make them special herbal truffles. Go grocery shopping for your partner, and surprise them with their favorite teas and treats that bring joy. Help them relax with a simple Chamomile Lavender Honey Latte.
Receiving Gifts – This language is about expressing or feeling the visual symbols of love. It’s not about the monetary value but the symbolic thought behind the item.
Plant-inspired ideas: Gift them fresh flowers, or a homemade herbal bouquet imbued with hidden meaning. Buy them an herbal bath blend and have a little set up ready for them when they get home. Put together an herbal gift bundle with tea and other healthy trinkets depending on what your loved one needs most – herbs for the nervous system when stress is high, adaptogens for busy work weeks, and immune support when they feel maxed out.*
Quality Time – This love language is all about giving your undivided attention to that one person, without distraction. This language desires to actively spend time having meaningful conversations or sharing recreational activities.
Plant-inspired ideas: Learn about herbalism together. Make herbal DIYs together. Enjoy a cup of tea together each day. Plan a healthy date night with herbal cocktails, food, and herbs. Learn to make herbal mocktails. Spend time in nature together taking a walk, planting an herb or veggie garden, or having a picnic date in the woods or park. ID plants together and learn new herbs or trees.
Physical Touch – This language refers to expressing and receiving affection through touch, physical closeness, and other forms of a physical connection. Physical contact, specifically cuddling, releases oxytocin, serotonin, dopamine – a.k.a. the feel-good hormones.
Plant-inspired ideas: Plan an evening of massage with herb-infused oils and herbal foot soaks. Sneak in a five-minute aromatherapy neck and shoulder massage during their workday or evening. Do partner yoga or a workout together and make it unique with a smoothie or juice, and herbs for workout support. Plan an intimate date night with herbal aphrodisiac herbs, with herbal cocktails and music. Take a walk in nature and hold hands.
For more luscious ideas, visit our article on 4 Plant-Inspired Self Love Practices.