It’s a hard thing for people to grasp, especially if Words of Affirmation isn’t their primary love language, but being told something kind isn’t just one and done.
Instead, it feels good to be told loving words over and over again. It’s even more impactful if you can be creative about it. Not say exactly the same thing but something else like it, that reinforces the point you made. (Here’s a post where I offer some easy ways to be better at Words of Affirmation if your partner thrives with that, and it’s not natural to you.)
People who despise Words of Affirmation as a love language usually scowl right about now when and if I’m explaining this. “But I just told them that. Why should I have to repeat myself?”
And I get it. You can get to feeling like a broken record. Or, if you’re looking for a kind synonym versus repeating the same affirmations, you can feel like an exhausted thesaurus.
But here’s the thing: Words of Affirmation isn’t really any different than other love languages this way.
My partner isn’t big on Words of Affirmation (which is inconvenient for me since I’m naturally good at that, but I’ve adapted). Instead, I’m usually demonstrating love towards them via Acts of Service (doing chores, helping them with tasks, etc.) and Physical Touch.
And it occurred to me the other day there’s a ton of repetition with this as well. Because chores are on constant repeat. There are times when I’ve just done a load of laundry and it’s time for another. Or I’ve done the dishes and they need to be done again (because perhaps I’ve cooked a meal, something else I’ve just done).
And I cannot tell you how many times I’ve hugged them this past week. I hug them over and over again.
It can be more jarring sometimes to have to repeatedly say kind things. I get that. Especially if you’re someone who hates to repeat yourself.
But Words of Affirmation isn’t unique in this respect. It’s just like the other Love Languages that it isn’t one and done. The memory of a clean house once upon a time doesn’t exactly hit the same as someone continuing to pitch in when things need done.