What Is Your Love Language?

June 2nd, 2011

The biggest challenge my husband and I had when we first got married (and even now) was understanding how to make the other feel loved. That might seem like something that should be obvious for couples to understand, but it can be a lot more complicated than you think!

Dr. Gary Chapman, marriage counselor and author, wrote the book “The 5 Languages of Love.” In his book, he explains how partners can each express love in five different ways: words of affirmation, acts of service, quality time, receiving gifts, and physical touch. It is important to remember that everyone won’t fit each love language exactly. But it will be a good starting point to find out what helps your partner feel the most love from you.Words of affirmation are unsolicited compliments and verbal appreciation. Telling your partner why you love and appreciate them would go a long way!

Acts of service are ways you can help ease burdens. Just by doing the dishes after a meal could help your partner relax and grow closer to you.

Quality time is giving your partner your full attention and developing greater emotional intimacy. Nothing says “I love you” more to someone who’s love language is quality time than by participating in thoughtful discussions together.

Receiving gifts is not to be mistaken for materialism. It is more about the thought behind the gift than the gift itself. By giving someone a visual symbol of your love will be something they would cherish forever.

And lastly, physical touch. This doesn’t just mean sex. It is more about the gentle touches throughout the day: a touch of the arm during a conversation, hugs, and hand holding. When you show someone physical affection, it has a deeper emotional meaning for them and they feel more loved than by words alone.

My love languages are words of affirmation and quality time where my husband’s are acts of service and physical touch. I love when my husband comes home and talks to me and tells me how much he appreciates me. My husband, on the other hand, responds better when I come over to hold his hand or give him a hug. To him, that shows him I love him more than if I just said it.

Since we both have different love languages, it can sometimes become a struggle. We both tend to express our love or appreciation in the love language that we personally respond better too. This can leave the other feeling overwhelmed or frustrated.

Communication becomes a huge factor to discovering our different love languages. I remember the first time we realized we both had different ways to express love and to feel loved. It was after a disagreement which resulted in a very long conversation. We then came to the conclusion that although we were both trying to make the other feel loved and appreciated, our efforts were unsuccessful because we weren’t communicating in the right “love language” for the other. And even now it takes a lot of time and effort to remember that we each have different needs when it comes to expressions of love. But realizing the differences is the first step. And then lots and lots of practice!

What are your love languages? Find out by taking the quiz here.
You can also learn more about Dr. Chapman’s work by visiting his website www.5lovelanguages.com.