What's Your Love Language?

Each person has a different primary love language. Often, we do not know what ours is, or even what our partner's is. Therefore, we unknowingly act in contrast with our partner's love language, and are unsuccessful in showing him/her love in the way that he/she wants to receive it. This can thus lead to problems in a relationship, sometimes leading to feelings of confusion, resentment, or feeling unloved and unappreciated. When I have clients coming in for couples counseling or to work on relationship issues, I often ask them to take the love language assessment. I have found it is important to understand what both yours and your partner's is. You may have some love languages close in rank, but it is still helpful to know what they are. The five love languages are: acts of service, words of affirmation, quality time, physical touch, and receiving gifts. Let's take a look at them below!

Acts of Service

  • The things you do to ease the responsibilities and burdens of your partner. It means a lot for someone to go out of their way to do something for someone else, such as making a sacrifice or compromise. Actions speak louder than words!

  • Examples:

  • Doing the dishes or laundry

  • Washing their car

  • Running errands for them

  • Fixing things around the house

  • Helping out with a project or task

  • Doing things without being ask

  • Sacrificing what you want in order to do for them

  • Actions to avoid:

  • Laziness

  • Broken commitments

  • Making more work for them

Receiving Gifts

  • Gifts and gestures show that you are acknowledged, loved and cared for. They thrive on the thoughtfulness and effort behind the visual and material representation of love.

  • Examples:

  • Engagement ring

  • Flowers

  • Memento from a meaningful date

  • Bringing home their favorite food, dessert, dinner, etc.

  • A trip to a place that they've always wanted to go

  • An item that they have talked about wanting

  • The gift of yourself

  • Actions to avoid:

  • Missing a birthday or anniversary

  • Thoughtless gifts

Words of Affirmation

  • Expressing your love in sincere words and explaining the reasons why (i.e., saying "I love you" and sharing the reason behind why)

  • Examples:

  • Telling them the reasons you love them

  • Tell others how great your partner is in front of them

  • Notes of appreciation and love

  • Sending loving text messages

  • Compliments

  • Acknowledge their efforts or what they do something you like

  • Actions to avoid:

  • Insults

  • Criticism

Physical Touch

  • Importance of physical presence and accessibility. They love to receive hugs, holding of hands and to be close to one another.

  • Examples:

  • Cuddling

  • Holding hands

  • Kissing

  • Sexual intimacy

  • Touch as you walk by

  • Playing with their hair

  • Rubbing their feet, massage, etc.

  • Sitting close to one another

  • Reassuring touch

  • Actions to avoid:

  • Neglect

  • Abuse of any kind

Quality Time

  • Spending time together -- being present and giving them your undivided attention.

  • Examples:

  • Going for a walk and talking about your day

  • Meeting for lunch

  • Taking a weekend trip away just the two of you

  • Spending time with your children as a family

  • Preplanned thoughtful date

  • Family vacation

  • Quality conversation

  • Working out together

  • Cooking together

  • Actions to avoid:

  • Distractions

  • Postponed dates

  • Not listening

Click here to take your love language assessment! Have your partner take it too. You may purchase Gary Chapman's book 5 Love Languages on my book list page. I highly recommend reading it to to help improve your partnership and gain more understanding of yourself and your loved one.

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