For me, tea has always been synonymous with love. In my family, putting the kettle on and making a big pot of loose leaf tea was a tangible way that we showed caring and gave comfort. It didn't matter if it was a good thing or a bad thing that had happened, tea was always part of it. Maybe this wasn't what you experienced in your family. As we know, everyone is different, and we all express and receive love in different ways.
Then I came across 'The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts', by Gary Chapman, Ph.D. And it all made such sense to me. From his experience in marriage counselling, Chapman described five unique styles that we use to express and receive love.
Although we may be able to relate to all five of the languages. we usually have one that really speaks to us.
- Words of affirmation. If you feel appreciated and valued when they hear 'I love you', and other words of encouragement and affection, then this is your love language. And it doesn't matter if the words can be spoken or written, as long as they are said.
- Quality time. For quality time people, being in the moment is the priority. This love language is about giving your undivided attention to your special person, engaging in a meaningful conversation or carrying out a shared activity. Of course, active listening and eye contact are a must.
- Act of service. If you love doing things that make life easier for your partner, then this is probably your love language. For you, actions certainly do speak louder than words, and you love it when you are shown by others how much you are valued and appreciated.
- Gifts. Do you love receiving gifts that are tangible and meaningful? Then these visual symbols may be the way that you feel loved and appreciated.
- Physical touch. People with this love language feel loved when they are cuddled and kissed. If this is you, then you will value the warmth, comfort and connection that comes with holding hands and physical intimacy.
And you can use tea to express all five love languages -
- Words of affirmation: Say '"lets make a date to catch up and share a cup of tea". Or show your love by making your special person a cuppa, or tell how lovely their cup of tea is, them how wonderful you feel when they make a cuppa for you.
- Quality time: Make a big pot of tea and spend the time sipping and sharing with that special someone. Or give yourself the gift of quality time, by pausing and reconnecting in your day. This may be in the form of stopping for a few minutes in your busy work day, or luxuriating in a big pot of tea on a Sunday morning.
- Acts of service: My favourite thing to do, by making someone a lovely cup of tea. It is a small thing that you can do every day that shows how much you appreciate the person in your life. It is of little wonder that hosting tea tastings is one of the joys of my life.
- Gifting: Give the gift of tea, teaware or a quirky cosy. Find a beautiful teacup, or delicious blend to spoil that special someone, or yourself! The time taken to find the 'right one' will be very much appreciated.
Physical touch: Tea is like a 'hug in a cup'. Just putting your hands around a newly made cup provides physical warmth. And when I sit and sip, I feel like the tea is reaching up and putting its arms around me.
It gives me comfort, warmth and peace.
As I said in my previous blog 'Share the LOVE! , I truly believe that any opportunity to share a bit of love in this world should not be wasted. And if you are doing this by sipping on your favourite tea blend, then that is perfection. ❤️
Thank you to: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/the-5-love-languages-explained