Do you or your significant other sometimes feel like you are not communicating your love well? Do you feel like what you do for each other is not reaching them the way you wish? It might be because you are not speaking to their primary love language and they are not speaking to yours.
Everybody feels loved and accepted in different ways. In his book “The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts”, Gary Chapman describes five love languages or ways in which we feel loved. The 5 love languages are physical touch, acts of service, words of affirmation, quality time and receiving gifts. These love languages keep our love tanks full. When our love tanks are full we are able to love ourselves and others better; we are able to overcome challenges and cope with life much easier. An empty tank prevents us from seeing our full potential and becoming the best version of ourselves. The goal of exploring our love languages and our partner’s is to learn how we can best love them and teach them to love us. You can experience significant changes about how you feel about each other if you attend to each other’s love needs.
Here is a short description of each love language and how it might be displayed. Keep an eye out for the ones that really resonate with you or your loved one.
Physical touch refers to feeling loved when your significant other touches you. This might look like a good morning kiss, holding hands, hugging, or simply just laying a hand on their arm. Individuals with this as their primary love language feel reassured and safe by their partner’s touch.
Acts of Service
Acts of service is doing something special for your significant other. It is running an errand for them or helping them out complete a task. Individual’s whose love language is acts of service will be truly thankful and feel loved when their partner helps with a service.
Words of Affirmation
Words of affirmation are words that provide warmth, security and love. If words of affirmation is your love language, you will feel highly loved with affirmative words or phrases said by your partner to you. This can be from a simple, “I appreciate you” to “thank you for being here with me” and “I love you”.
Quality time is spending intentional time with your significant other. It means no distractions from cellphones, TV or any electronics. Quality time is different for everybody. It can be an uninterrupted or children-free dinner, playing games together or just laying in the couch and talking. There is no time limited to the time you spend together. One partner’s definition can be very different from the other’s.
Gifts can be a sign of affection. They do not have to have a monetary value but they represent that your significant other thought of you during their day and decided to give you something that might be meaningful to them or you.
Keep in mind that every person has as different definition of how their primary love language is displayed. You and your significant other might have the same ones, but do not forget to ask them what it means to them and share what it means to you. Once you have figured out your love language, talk to your partner and commit to being more attentive and intentional about filling each other’s love tanks.
If you are still unsure of which love language best fits you, click on the link below to take the test. It might be helpful to have your significant other take it too.
Written by: Daniela Huerta Lira, Clinical Mental Health Counseling practicum student
Supervised by Matthew Whalen, M.Ed., LPC-S
Sources: “The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts” by Gary Chapman