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Discovering Neurodivergent Love Languages: A New Perspective

May 31, 2024

Ever felt like the traditional love languages just didn't fit? You're not alone. I stumbled upon neurodivergent love languages, and it was a revelation. Suddenly, the way I express affection made sense.

Gary Chapman's five love languages had me puzzled. Where did I fit in? Then came this new perspective that changed everything.

Folks who think differently have their special styles of expressing affection. From 'info dumping' to 'parallel play', these expressions are deeply personal yet universally misunderstood among us.

It's about more than words or gestures; it’s how we connect on our terms. Let’s explore what makes neurodivergent love so special and why understanding it can be a game-changer for relationships where neurotypical norms don’t always apply.

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Table of Contents

Understanding Neurodivergent Love Languages

The original love languages were created by Gary Chapman.

They are:

- physical touch (e.g. stroking their arm)

- words of affirmation (e.g. "I love you")

- acts of service (doing the dishes)

- quality time (going for a long walk and talk together)

- gifts (buying flowers)

Even after studying them in depth, I still couldn't fit the way I loved and wanted to be loved into any of these 'love languages'.

Decoding the Concept of Neurodivergent Love Languages

The neurodivergent love languages are as follows: infodumping, parallel play, support swapping, Please Crush My Soul Back Into My Body [deep pressure], and "I found this cool rock/button/leaf/etc and thought you would like it" [penguin pebbling].

In a tapestry of affection, neurodivergent hearts communicate through singular gestures that mirror their distinctive journeys and desires.

How Neurodivergent Love Languages Differ from Traditional Love Languages

You might be familiar with "love languages," or how a person likes to show affection. Many neurodivergent (ND) people enjoy some specific forms of affection that reflect their unique experiences.

While there are similarities to the traditional love languages, the neurodivergent love languages have key differences that cater to the distinct ways neurodivergent folks express and receive love.

Exploring Different Types of Neurodivergent Love Languages

Parallel Play: Quality Time Redefined

Traditional "quality time" seems to imply a lot of talking which can be overwhelming for many ND folks. However, we can redefine quality time as parallel play. It's about being in the same space, doing separate activities, but still enjoying each other's presence. No forced interaction required.

'Info Dumping': Words of Affirmation in a New Light

Info dumping is passionately sharing knowledge about a special interest. For a neurodivergent person, this is the ultimate love language. It means they trust you enough to openly share their passions.

'Support Swapping': Acts of Service with a Twist

Support swapping is about trading tasks based on each person's strengths. It's acts of service tailored to neurodivergent needs. You do the phone calls; they'll handle the online forms. Teamwork makes the dream work.

The Role of Physical Touch in Neurodivergent Love Languages

Physical touch is a powerful way to express love, but for neurodivergent individuals, it often takes on a unique form. While traditional love languages emphasize gentle touches and caresses, many neurodivergent people find deep pressure more comforting and grounding.

Deep Pressure Hugs: A Unique Expression of Love

For those who crave deep pressure, a tight hug can be an incredible expression of love. Feeling secure and cozy, something a mere brush of the fingers fails to deliver, is what you get from it.

Deep-pressure hugs are often described as "crushing the soul back into the body" - a vivid way to express the grounding, centering effect they have.

The Comforting Power of Weighted Blankets

Weighted blankets are another tool that can provide the deep pressure many neurodivergent individuals crave. Adding heft mimics the embrace's snugness, soothing our nerves and fostering a state of tranquility.

For those who struggle with physical touch from others, a weighted blanket can be a comforting alternative that still meets their need for deep pressure stimulation.

Navigating Relationships with Neurodiverse Individuals

Relationships are like gardens. They need care, attention, and understanding to bloom. This is especially true for neurodiverse relationships.

Just as a gardener carefully selects and plants seeds according to their personal taste and needs, everyone plants different seeds of love in relationships. By diversifying our expressions of love–our love languages–we create a rich foundation for strong and flourishing connections.

Understanding Your Partner's Unique Love Language

You can figure out your partner's love language in two ways:

1. Talk about it (share this blog post with them)

2. Observe what they spontaneously offer you - chances are they are giving you bear hugs because they like that themselves

Communicating Effectively in a Neurodiverse Relationship

Communication is the sunlight that helps love grow. Navigating a relationship with neurodiversity at its core demands that dialogue be transparent and unfettered.

Take time to understand how your partner processes information and expresses themselves. Be patient, listen actively, and create a safe space for sharing.

Remember, with care and understanding, your unique love can flourish like a vibrant, diverse garden. Celebrate the uniqueness between you two and observe as your bond blossoms.

The Impact of Neurodivergence on Mental Health

Folks with neurodivergence navigate through distinct mental wellness hurdles. The world isn't built for us, and that can lead to feelings of inadequacy and anxiety.

We often struggle to be accepted for who we are. Navigating this maze often leads to miscommunications and strained bonds.

Mental Health Challenges Faced by Neurodivergent Individuals

Individuals grappling with ADHD, autism, and various spectrum ailments frequently encounter heightened mental health struggles. We're often trying to fit into a neurotypical world, and it's exhausting.

Studies show that the shift towards a neurodiversity-based paradigm acknowledges that differences in neurological functioning are more common and complex than previously thought.

Supporting Mental Health in Neurodiverse Relationships

Caring for a neurodivergent loved one means diving into their distinct worldviews and embracing the intricacies of their experiences. Reframe neurodivergence not as a disorder, but a difference.

Accommodate their needs, whether that's parallel play instead of constant interaction, or deep pressure hugs instead of light touch. Communicate openly to understand each other's languages of love.

Above all, accept and celebrate your neurodivergent loved ones for exactly who they are. That's the foundation for supporting their mental health in a neurotypical world.

FAQs in Relation to Neurodivergent Love Languages

What is a neurodivergent love language?

A neurodivergent love language tailors to the unique ways individuals on the spectrum express and receive affection, diverging from conventional norms.

What is the most common love language for people with ADHD?

For many with ADHD, 'Parallel Play' stands out, favoring engaged interactions that capture their dynamic attention span.

What is neurodivergent affirming language?

This embraces communication styles that validate and respect a person's neurological differences, fostering understanding and connection.

What is the love language of an autistic person?

Their love languages often lean towards directness in speech or actions. Parallel play might be more significant than verbal declarations of affection.


So, we've taken a journey through the world of neurodivergent love languages, and it's clear this isn't your average love story. Hollywood might not be rushing to tell these tales, but maybe they should.

Delving into this subject, we break away from the conventional ways of showcasing love, illuminating a path less trodden yet profoundly significant. It reveals that showing love goes beyond words or actions—it’s about connecting in ways that resonate deeply with each individual. Neurodivergent love languages don't just exist; they thrive in the spaces where understanding meets acceptance.

We talked 'parallel play', dove into 'info dumping', and unwrapped 'support swapping'. Each one, a testament to how diverse expressions of care can be. And let's not forget those deep pressure hugs or the comfort found in weighted blankets—proof that sometimes, physical touch speaks volumes without saying a word.

In our quest for connection, we learned something vital: Love is vast and varied. For those walking life's path with neurodivergence as their companion, it’s essential to honor their unique way of expressing affection.

To sum up? Embracing neurodivergent love languages doesn’t just open doors; it builds bridges between worlds. In relationships touched by neurodiversity, taking time to understand and appreciate these distinct forms of expression is more than kind—it's transformative.

I'm leaving you with this thought: In every info dump shared enthusiastically among loved ones or quiet moments spent together yet apart—the magic happens there too—a powerful reminder that when we make space for all kinds of communication in our hearts, it opens up a world where understanding and connection flourish. So let's cherish these moments and the diverse ways we share them.

May 31, 2024

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