Over the last several weeks we’ve been taking an in-depth look at The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. We’ve learned a little more about each language, what it means, and how to show your partner love using their love language.
This week, let’s take an abbreviated look at each language and the highlights you need to know about.
If you haven’t yet taken the test yourself or learned your partner’s love language, be sure to do so. It will help you understand the best way to communicate with each other. You can find the test here.
Knowing both of your love languages can help improve the quality of your relationship and create a stronger bond between you. With most couples, it’s common for you both to have different languages so the way you need to be shown love may be completely different from how your partner needs it. That’s why it’s important to understand your languages and how to show love in a way that it can be received.
The 5 Love Languages Reviewed
Words of Affirmation
What it means – Words of affirmation are about showing appreciation and positive reinforcement with your words. Your partner needs your reassurance, compliments, and gratitude and they need it from the words you speak to them. Sharing words of affirmation should become a daily habit, shared several times throughout the day to make your sweetheart feel loved.
How to show love – Your partner wants to know more than just that you love them, they want to know why you love them. Share with them what you love most about them and how they’ve had a positive influence on your life. This should be more than just their looks, it should be about their personality, their spirit, and all the wonderful things they do. Pay them a compliment, both to their face and to others; brag about them. And when they’re feeling down or discouraged, lift them up with a pep talk to show your support and encouragement.
What to avoid – Avoid putting them down or being hurtful with your words, that will be a dagger to their heart. If you’re angry and need to express it, keep it to the subject matter and don’t make it personal. Your words will hurt more than you know and your partner will never be able to forget the hurtful things you said about them when you were angry.
Acts of Service
What it means – Acts of service simply means that your partner wants a helping hand from you. If they speak this love language, they’re probably the first to offer help when they see someone who needs it. They want the same from you. The help can be big, something that involves a large time investment, or something small like emptying the dishwasher. Your helping hand will show them just how much you care about them and appreciate all they do for you and others.
How to show love – In addition to helping out around the house, you can show love through other actions, like pampering your sweetie. Pick them up at the door when it’s raining instead of making them walk across the parking lot, run a hot bath for them at the end of a long day, pick up dinner on the way home so they don’t have to cook. Balancing out their weaknesses with your strengths will also show love. Help them reach items from the top shelf, fix their computer (if you know how!), or make a meal they like yet feel like you make it best.
What to avoid – This love language is all about “showing” your love so be sure to do something every day to help your partner in some way. Make it a habit. Avoid going for days at a time without helping out. And even though they like to help, don’t ask them to do something for you that you can do yourself. Instead, ask what you can do for them. And be sure to show your appreciation for what they do with a simple “thank you,” it will go a long way to letting them know they’re appreciated.
What it means – A partner who enjoys receiving gifts wants to feel spoiled by you. This doesn’t mean you have to go into bankruptcy or take out a loan to give them gifts, small presents are all they need to know you’re thinking about them. The most important thing to remember though is that the gift should be thoughtful and speak to them. If you’re sweetheart suffers from pollen allergies, flowers may not always be the best gift. If you know their favorite color is green, don’t buy them a gift that is red. Get to know their likes and dislikes so that you can always surprise them with something special.
How to show love – The best way to show love is with a small gift on a regular basis. Make a habit of giving your love a rose every Friday when you come home from work. Or stock up on cards, if they like receiving them, and give them a love note every Saturday morning in bed to celebrate the weekend together. If you’re away on a trip, bring home a small gift to let them know you missed them and thought of them while you were gone. Go the extra mile for special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries with a gift that will really “wow” them.
What to avoid – It’s important to avoid giving a gift that your partner will not like or appreciate; this will make them feel like you don’t know them or listen to them. Never miss a special occasion; they’ll be planning a nice gift for you so be sure to reciprocate. Most importantly, avoid going too long without giving them a gift. They’ll start to wonder what’s wrong.
What it means – If your partner speaks the quality time love language, the most important thing you can ever give them is your undivided, focused attention. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing together, enjoying a morning cup of coffee or going for a long walk, just that you’re together and you’re in the moment with them. Your focus is the most important factor. They’d rather sit on the couch and have a nice long chat with you than sit on the couch watching a movie.
How to show love – Be sure to disconnect from technology and the world around you and simply focus your full attention on your partner. Sign up to take a class together, go on a road trip, take a walk, pack a picnic and head to the park, or enjoy a date night. You don’t need to make extravagant plans, you only need to spend time with your love. One of the best ways you can do this is to put the phone down at the end of the day, look directly at your partner, and ask how their day was. Then be prepared to actively listen, ask questions, and respond to what they’re saying.
What to avoid – Avoid multi-tasking and distractions when you’re with your partner as much as possible. Your unfocused attention will leave them feeling lonely and unloved. Don’t interrupt when they’re talking unless it’s to ask a clarifying question. Avoid going too long without quality time; find a few minutes in every day.
What it means – If you’re partner speaks the language of physical touch, your gentle touch not only reassures them when they’re feeling anxious, upset, or nervous, it also builds a stronger level of trust. Your touch speaks the honest truth about how you feel. You can fake being nice or happy, yet your touch will give you away every time. Touch allows you to connect with your partner in a way that no other love language allows for. It’s important to note that “physical touch” is not about sex, it is about the little moments in everyday life when you’re together.
How to show love – Forms of touch that your partner will be open to receiving are the gentle moments like holding hands, a supportive hand on their back, a hug, a kiss, an arm around their shoulder or waste. It can even be in the playful moments with a tickle or poke.
You can show love in the every day moments. You can also show love in special ways on date night or quality time together. When going out to dinner, chose a restaurant where you can sit next to each other and hold hands. Select a seat at the movie theater where the arm rest can be moved so that you can sit side-by-side holding hands or with your arms interlocked.
What to avoid – There are two important things to avoid when it comes to physical touch, being disrespectful and touching angrily. When it comes to respect, be aware of how much or how little your partner likes to be touched in public. If they’re uncomfortable with kissing, don’t force them into a public kiss. Determine if they’re okay with holding hands, or what their comfort level is. The other thing to avoid with a physical touch partner is an angry touch. Don’t pull, push, or grab your partner during an argument. The same goes for pulling away when they’re trying to touch you while they’re talking. Touch is a form of love for them so never use it to hurt them.
Now that you understand the 5 Love Languages, it’s time to take the test yourself and get your partner to do the same so that you can each learn to show love in a way that it can be easily received. You’ll be so grateful you did. If you still feel stuck and think some help from the horses and I would help call for a FREE consultation 970-682-4405. Until then listen to the whispers…
Also you can download this helpful ‘At a Glance’ cheat sheet- The 5 Love Languages At-A-Glance 2018