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What’s Your Love Language?

In his book The 5 Love Languages, Gary Chapman points out that many individual variations will exist, but these are the primary five love languages he has found over his long career.

Receiving Gifts

This is a classic love language. Courtship and marriage ceremonies throughout the world often have some form of gift giving to represent a couple’s love.

For those who speak this love language, gifts don’t need to be fancy or expensive. They feel touched by the loving intention of the person who gave it to them. Simply giving yourself and your time when a person needs it will often be more than enough.

Gifts also don’t need to be restricted to holidays and anniversaries. Any time is a good time to show that you love someone.

Tips on speaking this language:

  • Keep a notebook of gift ideas. If a family member says they would really like something, make sure it’s noted for a future gift.
  • Plant a tree or shrub as a gift to a loved one. They will be able to appreciate your gift year after year.
  • Make your partner gifts, such as pieces of art, baked goods, or larger projects like furniture.

Words of Affirmation

People who speak this love language are moved by sincere compliments, or words of appreciation or encouragement. Kind words make them feel loved and cared for.

This may be a tough one to understand for those of us who speak a love language that doesn’t involve words. If that’s you, then it’s important to remember how important words are when you try to speak your loved one’s language.

And they can sense a fake from a mile away, so always be honest and speak from the heart.

Tips on speaking this language:

  • Try to give your loved one a different compliment every day.
  • Look for words of affirmation that other people use on TV, in books, or through people’s conversations. Write these statements down and select ones you could use with your partner.
  • Remember to tell a family member how much you appreciate their strengths and everything they do. It’s even better to announce your praise in front of others.

Acts of Service

Do you love to do helpful things for others? Do you feel content when you see your husband mowing the lawn or washing the dishes? Then your love language is likely acts of service.

This language runs on actions, not words. A person sees another’s kind, helpful deeds as acts of love. If your spouse seems to nag you a lot about doing house chores, don’t take this at face value. They’re likely just looking for love.

Tips on speaking this language:

  • Keep track of the recent requests a loved one has made of you and choose one, or a few, each week to do as acts of love.
  • When your spouse is away, finish a bigger act of service and put up a sign nearby that reads, “To (spouse’s name) with love,” and sign your name. If you have children, they can help with this one too.
  • Schedule small acts of service into your day that you know your significant other would appreciate. And if you’re not sure what they would like, it’s alright to ask.
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Quality Time

The key to this love language is giving someone your undivided, focused attention. What you physically do together isn’t particularly important, as long as they feel your devoted presence.

An important part of quality time is often quality conversation. A brief rundown of the weather doesn’t count, it needs to be a meaningful time for sharing your thoughts and dreams. Don’t ever text or do something else while your loved one is speaking to you. Maintain eye contact and let them know you’re actively engaged in your time together.

Tips on speaking this language:

  • Schedule activities you know your significant other would like doing together. This can simply be to check in with them in a meaningful way once a day, or arrange a bigger event once a month.
  • Plan a weekend getaway with your spouse or entire family so you can spend some undistracted time together.
  • Ask your spouse when they would most enjoy spending an hour or more together. Make it a date or a weekly routine.

Physical Touch

Most of us appreciate physical touch, but touch goes much deeper for those who speak this love language. For instance, a tender hug will communicate love to any child, but it will speak volumes to a child with this primary love language and make them feel secure in your relationship.

The touch you share with another doesn’t have to be complicated. A simple hug or resting your hand on their shoulder as you go through the day is enough to let them know you care.

Tips on speaking this language:

  • Remain aware of your intimate partner’s physical presence and look for chances to add meaningful touch. If you’re walking together, reach out and hold their hand. When you sit next to each other, lean your knee against theirs.
  • Make sure to hug people in your life who speak this love language, but be more cautious with those who do not. Hugging can feel like an invasion of privacy for some people.
  • If you’re in a group with your significant other, remember to touch them and let them know you’re happy to physically be there with them.

Source:

The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts, by Gary Chapman

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