It’s essential to know your partner’s and your own love language so you can connect with each other on a deeper level and express affection and love to them in a way that they can appreciate and deeply connect to.
My language is ‘Acts of Service.’
If I come home and someone has emptied the dishwasher without me asking them to do it, my heart bursts with love! It makes me feel I am thought of when I am not there, and I feel truly loved.
Now my husband couldn’t care less if I empty the dishwasher for him or not; it’s not even on his radar, except knowing if he does it for me, it makes me happy. He does care about his love language – ‘Quality Time’. It makes him so happy to have me spend time with him doing something he loves, typically playing one of his many board games or going for a hike giving him my undivided attention.
So you don’t have to be a match on what love language you speak, but it does help to understand how to connect with your partner by speaking their language. You can do the smallest thing, but its effects will be amplified if it speaks directly to their heart.
Doing things that speak directly to their love language will increase your emotional bank account credits.
Which is your love language?
So, what love language speaks to you? One of our two? Or perhaps receiving compliments feeds your soul, and your love language is ‘Words of Affirmation’.
As Mark Twain said ‘I can live for two months on a good compliment. That one speaks to me, too, as a close second.
Maybe you like ‘Receiving Gifts’ as a reminder you are loved, that physical reminder that you were being thought of when you were apart.
Or perhaps a tender hug and the message of love through ‘Physical Touch’ is what you are about?
Of course, we can be a mixture of all of these, but generally, there is a primary language that will be much more powerful if used to communicate your love than any other.
Overview of the five love languages
Here is an overview of the five love languages from Gary Chapman’s book, The Five Love Languages – The Secret to Love that Lasts, for a deeper understanding of each language.
Words of Affirmation – Love language #1
Complements such as “You are a great Mom/Dad” and simple statements like, “You are so funny,” “You look stunning tonight,” or “Your green eyes are gorgeous” are the way to connect with those who appreciate words of affirmation. On the flip side, negative comments will hit home very hard and be detrimental to your relationship.
Quality Time – Love language #2
When you are with this person who considers quality time to be their love language, they will cherish you giving them your 100% attention. So put away your phone, schedule some time or a date night if it’s difficult to be spontaneous, and give them your undivided attention. Listen deeply with no distractions. Do something with them that you know they enjoy, and decide to be fully committed to your time together.
Receiving Gifts – Love language #3
If this is your language, you appreciate receiving a token of love in the form of gifts; these don’t have to be expensive or elaborate, just thoughtful.
The key here is that you were thinking of the person when you weren’t with them enough to bring them a token when you are back together. Celebrating birthdays and anniversaries is also important to them, so mark your calendar and don’t forget!
Acts of Service – Love language #4
Actions speak louder than words for these people. Doing things for them without them having to ask you will help them feel appreciated and cared for. Vacuum the carpet, Make dinner as a surprise after they have had a long day, and beat them to put out the trash. Simple but effective!
Physical Touch – Love language # 5
This person thrives on feeling the closeness of another person’s appropriate touch. A hug, a hand on their arm, holding hands, it’s not just about sex. Small gestures of affection throughout the day will do wonders for your relationship and make them feel secure and loved. Small but effective credits in their emotional bank account, perfect!
Do love languages apply to other relationships?
Knowing the love language of your other close relationships is helpful too. Gary Chapman mainly talks about romantic relationships, but applying the same principles and working out what your kids, extended family, and friends love languages would touch their hearts and connect you deeply.