Alternative Love Languages: Caregiving

Caregiving is love.

May be an image of one or more people and text that says '"Anything for my Princess. Anything for my Daddy."'

Love isn’t always expressed in traditional languages. What are the traditional love languages? Brought to us from Gary Chapman, we have words of affirmation, acts of service, gift giving, quality time, and physical touch.

When words of affirmation are one of your love languages, words build you up. You thrive on the spoken word, praise, compliments and encouragement. Harsh words and words spoken out of anger bother you for a long time and can be very hard to forgive.

When you speak love in acts of service, anything you do for your partner to assist their day to day workload is a sign of love. You feel connected to your loved one by doing the dishes or making a surprise dinner. Laziness and broken promises make you feel unappreciated when this is one of your love languages.

Gift giving is when you feel connected to your partner by gifting them tokens of affection or providing them with presents. From the small item you saw at the store that made you think of them to a larger meaningful purchase, you feel connected to your partner when you see the delight in their eyes when they receive your gift. If gift giving is a language you speak, you can feel neglected with generic gifts or forgotten special days.

When you speak to your loved one with quality time, you feel important when they’ve given you undivided attention and when they’re present in the here and now. You enjoy spending time together, be it something small like sitting together watching television or reading a book to deep and meaningful conversations. You can feel unimportant when they don’t actively listen or go long periods without one-on-one time. 

Physical touch is the love language of those that need and crave physical affection. Hugs, kisses, holding hands or even just holding her thigh while you drive is how you express physical touch. Negative, aggressive touching or a lack of physical affection drives wedges between those who speak physical touch as a love language.

Caregiving can blend some, or even all, of the primary love languages together, but then takes it even further. When you speak caregiving as a love language, you speak love when you provide for your little. You show love by providing structure and giving support. You find enjoyment in taking care of their needs, whether they are mental or physical. You feel accomplished when you can meet those needs before they’re even expressed. You will feel neglected and unwanted when your care goes unappreciated after long periods of time.

Caregiving is not viewed as a traditional expression of love. It is an almost total investment of ourselves into our little, an emotionally charged gesture with their best interests in mind. We as Daddies or Mommies tend to view their well-being is often more important than of our own, but we must be mindful not to neglect ourselves in providing for our loved ones. Caregivers sometimes forget that we need to take care of ourselves too. We can become hollow and burnt out when we neglect ourselves, just as much as we can feel hollow and burnt out when appreciation for our tenderness isn’t returned.

There must be a fair reciprocation in caregiving within the realm of DDlg. The little has to show gratitude or eventually, the Daddy/Mommy Dom will feel unappreciated, unwanted and unloved. This means that each act of care provided from the caregiver must be returned by the little. These don’t have to be big grand gestures. A simple thank you, “I love you,” extra hugs or kisses go a long way in letting your Daddy or Mommy know that he or she is doing a good job and are appreciated. In understanding your caregiver’s love languages, you can fully communicate your appreciation for their devotion to your needs.

As previously discussed, an unappreciated caregiver will eventually reach burn out. A little must remember that their presence alone isn’t sufficient in reciprocating care and that all care provided from the caregiver is love. It is a love language that must be met in return with appreciation and gratitude. I’ve said before that DDlg is a purely symbiotic relationship. Daddies and Mommies need their little/middle/babygirl or boy just as much as you need them. Take time to thank your caregiver today.

4 thoughts on “Alternative Love Languages: Caregiving

  1. Pingback: Taken in Hand: A DDlg Approach to Old Ideas | The Wolf in the Night Sky

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