The 5 Love Languages and tips on how to speak each one
Communication is the foundation of any healthy relationship. We talk about our plans, our feelings, our goals, and how much we love one another. But what about your body language? Or how your actions say I love you? Do those things reflect the love you verbally affirm? By now, most people have heard of the five love languages - and if you haven’t, I recommend you check out the book today. Learning yours and your partner’s love languages is the most effective and simple ways to strengthen your relationship. If you treat your partner better, take time to learn their love language and truly appreciate them, they will treat you better, and your relationship overall will thrive.
Here's some quick info on the five love languages and how to speak them.
1. Words of affirmation
This language uses words to affirm your partner. If your partner speaks this love language you may find that your words actually do speak louder than actions. Unsolicited compliments, being verbally appreciated, and hearing the words “I love you” are incredibly important for people with this love language. Show your partner who speaks this love language that you love them by trying these suggestions:
Thank your partner for taking out the garbage or doing the dishes.
When your partner takes the time to dress up, hype them up! Tell them you have always loved the way they look in that suit/dress.
Tell them the little things you appreciate about them. Try saying something like “I love the way you laugh.”
Take responsibility when you have done something wrong and apologize with genuine humility.
2. Acts of service
Unlike the previous love language, with Acts of Service actions speak louder than words. Anything you are able to do that lessens the responsibilities on your partner’s to-do list will speak volumes. Breaking your word, creating more work for your partner, or being lazy around a partner who speaks this love language communicates that their feelings don’t matter.
- Do something for your partner that they don’t enjoy doing. I hate doing the dishes, so my partner will often do them for me.
- Plan a date night. Take the initiative to surprise your partner with something you took the time to plan.
- When you get up to refill your drink at home, ask your partner if they need anything from the fridge.
- Pick something off your partner’s to-do list and do it for them without complaining or hesitation.
3. Receiving gifts
“It’s the thought that counts” strongly applies to this love language. It isn’t all about materialism, but rather the thought and effort behind the gift. Presenting your partner who speaks this love language with a gift shows that they are cared for and prized above whatever means were used to obtain the gift.
- Give your partner something that reminds both of you of your first date. If you went and saw a movie, buy them a DVD copy.
- Find something that reminds you of your partner (a sunflower because they’re always happy, snickers because they make you laugh, etc) and give it to them.
- Buy your partner something that will make their life easier. If they do yard work, buy them a new pair of gardening gloves, if they are always meaning to “write that down” get them a planner or notebook.
- Pick up your partner’s favorite candy bar while you are getting gas on the way home from work.
4. Quality time
To those who speak this love language, nothing says I love you more than your undivided, full attention. Taking time out of your day to spend time with your partner makes them feel special and loved. If there are distractions, such as TV, phone, or tasks, about while you are trying to spend time with a partner who speaks this language may feel hurt and unimportant.
- Plan a special night together. Spending planned time with your partner will feel more deliberate and special than just spending time with them when you have time.
- Put aside your phone, turn off the TV, and make eye contact. Being mentally present is just as important as being physically there.
- Be affectionate with your partner during your time together. Touch them, tell them you love them.
- Go stargazing, or plan your next vacation together. Doing something at the moment with your partner and enjoying yourself is what is most important.
5. Physical touch
It is easy to assume that this love language is focused on intimacy in the bedroom, but that would be a huge mistake. People who speak the love language of physical touch love being held, holding hands, and in general being touched. Being able to touch and feel your partner who speaks the love language of physical touch is crucial to them feeling loved.
- Watch a movie together while you cuddle on the couch.
- Go for a walk and hold hands or hold each other around the waist.
- Play wrestle and tickle one another.
- Lightly trace your fingers on your partners back while they relax.
You and your partner may have the same love language but speak different dialects. Be sure to talk to your partner to figure out what “quality time” means to them. They may prefer watching movies together and you may find a movie isn’t the quality time you’re seeking. As with anything in relationship building, communication is key to figuring out how to best use your partner's love language to show them just how much you love them.