What is your Love Language?

According to author Gary Chapman, there are five love languages (or ways in which we give and receive love): words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. Each individual has an intrinsic need to give and receive love. It is important to understand how we receive love, but it is also just as important to understand how to more fully and effectively love your partners and spouses.

In my work with couples, the topic of love languages tends to come up in sessions organically as each person seems to identify with at least one of the “languages”. To give you a frame of reference, here is a brief description of each language:

Words of Affirmation: Verbal or written words of encouragement, complement, and/or appreciation.

Quality Time: Time spent with your loved one that requires undivided attention. I had someone tell me that couples need daily “knee-to-knee” time. That is, conversations in which both parties are practicing active listening skills as they discuss their day, interests, feelings, etc.

Gifts: The act of giving gifts. It does not need to be expensive gifts, rather gestures that show you are thinking of your partner (i.e. picking up their favorite snack at the store without them asking, making a wildflower bouquet, etc.).

Acts of Service: Performing a kind act of service for your loved one (i.e. cleaning the kitchen, mowing the yard, etc.)

Physical Touch: Physical intimacy (i.e. massages, holding hands, kissing, etc.)

Our natural tendency is to give love in the same way we feel loved. For example, if my love language is words of affirmation, I may express love to my husband through compliments and encouraging words. However, if his love language is quality time, these words may not resonate with him as much as a dinner date or a quality conversation. If you want your partner to feel the love you are sending, it needs to be in their “language”. Chapman refers to using these languages as keeping your partner’s “love tank full”. He suggests that marriages and relationships are healthier and happier when both partners are working on “full love tanks”.

How do you feel most loved? What is your partner’s love language? How can you offer love to your partner in a way they will feel it fully? If you would like more information or help in creating a healthy and happy relationship with your partner or spouse, please call Life Enhancement Counseling Services today at 407-443-8862 to make an appointment with a mental health counselor.


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