Gestures, in love, are incomparably more attractive, effective and valuable than words.-Francois Rabelais
We've all heard similar sayings to the above-essentially-actions speak louder than words...but is that necessarily true or does it depend on the recipient? I think it depends on our 'Love Language'.
Gary Chapman describes Five Love Languages as such:
Words of Affirmation: These people appreciate hearing 'I Love You', unsolicited compliments, words of appreciation, humble and kind words. Insults are not easily forgiven or forgotten and can be detrimental to the relationship.
Quality Time: These people want your full, undivided attention. They want you to be there, fully, listening to them. They want eye contact, no distractions, no interupting and self-revelation of your own.
Gifts: These people are not materialistic. They value the thoughtfulness and effort behind the gift. To them, the gift means that they are cared for and loved. It doesn't have to be expensive, cost doesn't matter. These people just appreciate visible symbols of love, believing they speak the loudest.
Acts of Service: These people appreciate it when things are done for them. They appreciate a spouse who vacuums or cleans-anything to ease their own burden of responsibility. Broken commitments or making more work for these people tell them that their feelings do not matter.
Physical Touch: These people appreciate hugs, holding hands, a pat on the back. They love to sit close together in a group setting and making sure to give a kiss upon leaving or returning. Neglect or abuse hurts them more than anything else.
In writing romance (and in my own life) I try to keep these Love Languages in mind. When creating my characters and how they will show their affection, I usually lean toward one of these more than combining...though overlapping obviously occurs. I don't think many people are one way only.
I am definitely a Words of Affirmation type in both how I show my love and how I like to receive it-I love hearing it. My husband however is the Acts of Service type in how he shows his love and he is a Physical Touch in how he likes to receive it. Therefore, knowing this about one another-we make an effort to make sure we are showing our love in the other's Love Language so they feel appreciated.
What is your Love Language? Can you see these traits in your characters?