What’s Your Love Language?

Have you ever tried to express your affection for someone, only to have them misunderstand or turn away? Itís likely you were speaking the wrong love language.

Gary Chapman has been a marriage counselor and pastor for over 35 years. Drawn from his personal experience and expertise, he has identified what he calls the five love languages. These are symbolic and emotional ways you subconsciously give and receive love.

Knowing your love language helps to better understand yourself, but itís just as important to know the love language of other people in your life so you can make sure youíre speaking their language.

The languages are fairly intuitive, and you can take the quiz on Gary Chapmanís website to find out yours.

In his book The 5 Love Languages, Gary Chapman points out that many individual variations will exist, but these are the primary five love languages he has found over his long career.

Receiving Gifts

This is a classic love language. Courtship and marriage ceremonies throughout the world often have some form of gift giving to represent a coupleís love.

For those who speak this love language, gifts donít need to be fancy or expensive. They feel touched by the loving intention of the person who gave it to them. Simply giving yourself and your time when a person needs it will often be more than enough.

Gifts also donít need to be restricted to holidays and anniversaries. Any time is a good time to show that you love someone.

Tips on speaking this language:

  • Keep a notebook of gift ideas. If a family member says they would really like something, make sure itís noted for a future gift.
  • Plant a tree or shrub as a gift to a loved one. They will be able to appreciate your gift year after year.
  • Make your partner gifts, such as pieces of art, baked goods, or larger projects like furniture.

Words of Affirmation

People who speak this love language are moved by sincere compliments, or words of appreciation or encouragement. Kind words make them feel loved and cared for.

This may be a tough one to understand for those of us who speak a love language that doesnít involve words. If thatís you, then itís important to remember how important words are when you try to speak your loved oneís language.

And they can sense a fake from a mile away, so always be honest and speak from the heart.

Tips on speaking this language:

  • Try to give your loved one a different compliment every day.
  • Look for words of affirmation that other people use on TV, in books, or through peopleís conversations. Write these statements down and select ones you could use with your partner.
  • Remember to tell a family member how much you appreciate their strengths and everything they do. Itís even better to announce your praise in front of others.

Acts of Service

Do you love to do helpful things for others? Do you feel content when you see your husband mowing the lawn or washing the dishes? Then your love language is likely acts of service.

This language runs on actions, not words. A person sees anotherís kind, helpful deeds as acts of love. If your spouse seems to nag you a lot about doing house chores, donít take this at face value. Theyíre likely just looking for love.

Tips on speaking this language:

  • Keep track of the recent requests a loved one has made of you and choose one, or a few, each week to do as acts of love.
  • When your spouse is away, finish a bigger act of service and put up a sign nearby that reads, ďTo (spouseís name) with love,Ē and sign your name. If you have children, they can help with this one too.
  • Schedule small acts of service into your day that you know your significant other would appreciate. And if youíre not sure what they would like, itís alright to ask.

Quality Time

The key to this love language is giving someone your undivided, focused attention. What you physically do together isnít particularly important, as long as they feel your devoted presence.

An important part of quality time is often quality conversation. A brief rundown of the weather doesnít count, it needs to be a meaningful time for sharing your thoughts and dreams. Donít ever text or do something else while your loved one is speaking to you. Maintain eye contact and let them know youíre actively engaged in your time together.

Tips on speaking this language:

  • Schedule activities you know your significant other would like doing together. This can simply be to check in with them in a meaningful way once a day, or arrange a bigger event once a month.
  • Plan a weekend getaway with your spouse or entire family so you can spend some undistracted time together.
  • Ask your spouse when they would most enjoy spending an hour or more together. Make it a date or a weekly routine.

Physical Touch

Most of us appreciate physical touch, but touch goes much deeper for those who speak this love language. For instance, a tender hug will communicate love to any child, but it will speak volumes to a child with this primary love language and make them feel secure in your relationship.

The touch you share with another doesnít have to be complicated. A simple hug or resting your hand on their shoulder as you go through the day is enough to let them know you care.

Tips on speaking this language:

  • Remain aware of your intimate partnerís physical presence and look for chances to add meaningful touch. If youíre walking together, reach out and hold their hand. When you sit next to each other, lean your knee against theirs.
  • Make sure to hug people in your life who speak this love language, but be more cautious with those who do not. Hugging can feel like an invasion of privacy for some people.
  • If youíre in a group with your significant other, remember to touch them and let them know youíre happy to physically be there with them.

Sources

The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts, by Gary Chapman

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90 comments

One Heart i
One Heart inc7 months ago

Thanks!!!

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Lucy S
Lucy S7 months ago

These are great points that we might overlook from time to time. Thanks for posting it!

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Sonia M

Thanks for sharing

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Jay W.
Jay W1 years ago

this is so cute! thank you for posting, i'll probably using this as a reference in the near future

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Elena Poensgen
Elena Poensgen2 years ago

Thank you

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tanzy t.
tanzy t2 years ago

love it.

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Elizabeth Brawn
Elizabeth Brawn2 years ago

i think my one is words of affirmation.......not 100% sure

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Rose Becke
Rose B2 years ago

Hugs

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Deborah W.
Deborah W2 years ago

PHILA NOT EROS. Love, defined differently by people, who then assume they're all speaking about the same thing; yet because they define it differently they show it differently, have different expectations of what it should feel and look like ... thereby creating many unexpected problems. That's just the way it is.

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