The 5 Love Languages

Gary Chapman is the author of the infamous book The Five Love Languages. He explains that each individual has a primary language that deeply speaks love to the heart. These include quality time, physical touch, acts of service, words of affirmation and gifts. “Discovering each other’s language and speaking it regularly is the best way to keep love alive in a marriage (or any relationship” Gary explains.

Have you ever traveled to a different country where the primary language spoken was not your primary language? When I traveled to Peru in college I could only ask “Where is the bathroom?” in Spanish. I was not fluent in their primary language. My words were mispronounced, my gestures were misunderstood and my messages were misinterpreted. Because I wasn’t speaking their native language I wasn’t able to communicate clearly and effectively. The same is true with the emotional love languages of the heart.

The idea behind this concept is that different people with different personalities express love in different ways. Usually how you receive love is the same way you show love. That’s great…except that your significant other may not speak the same language of love.

Knowing how we give and receive love is necessary for any relationship to thrive.

Quality Time

It’s about spending time together and giving your undivided attention. I recommend limiting screen time so you can focus your attention on your sweetheart.

  • Plan a date night
  • Play a game
  • Go for a hike
  • Have a picnic

Gifts

This does not require loads of money but lots of thoughtfulness.

  • Pick up their favorite snack when you go grocery shopping
  • Buy a little gift “just because”
  • Transfer $20 to their VenMo so they can treat themselves
  • Give them a gift card to their favorite restaurant (Bonus: Go together and also fill their quality time bucket)
  • Buy them a book (check out my Helpful Resources for a great starting list)

Physical Touch

No this is not just referring to sex!

  • Give their shoulder a squeeze when you walk by
  • Hold their hand while driving
  • Lots and lots of kisses
  • Give a gentle back massage

Acts of Service

Is about doing something for your significant other that you know they would like.

  • Help clean the house
  • Cook their favorite meal
  • Wash the dishes
  • Fold the laundry
  • Take the car to get a car wash and top of the gas tank (I hate stopping to fill up my car’s gas tank- a weird pet peeve I know but it’s just so dang inconvenient)

Words of Affirmation

Use words to build up and encourage the other person

  • Send a sweet text telling them the ways in which you appreciate them
  • Share a compliment of what you adore about them
  • Leave them a note in their car, lunchbox or briefcase
  • Write a love note on a Hallmark card (they actually do still make cards)

You can take The Five Love Languages Quiz online. Share in the comments what your partner’s love language is and the ways you show love through speaking their language.

P.S. Please share this with a friend or family member if you found it helpful, insightful or encouraging.

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