Learn the 5 Love Languages

The 5 Love Languages Book Cover

Rule 5 of our “10 Rules for Life” is to Experience Love and Be Loved.

Rule 5 encourages us all to remember that love is a verb. If we are ever feeling “less in love” with someone or something the simple solution is to “do something loving” for your partner or loved one.

Author Gary Chapman describes five different love languages in his bestseller The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts. He explains that the secret to keeping your relationship fresh and growing is to ensure your action is seen as loving by your partner. Each of us has a “love tank” – the goal is to do loving things in your partner’s love language that will keep their love tank full.

Learn more about the 5 love languages below and then discover your partner’s preferred language so your actions will strengthen the relationship.

Words of Affirmation

Some people prefer verbal acknowledgments of affection, including “I love you’s” and other positive reinforcement. For them, compliments and other kind words of encouragement are the best way to feel loved and “fill their love tank.”

If this is your partner’s love language it is important to mention any positives you see. You can do this verbally, in a text or email, or in a quick note. Complimenting your partner behind their back is another way to speak their language. Your partner will learn of your indirect feedback and give you feedback for the love!

Ideas for action:

  • Send an unexpected note, text, or card to your partner right now!
  • Set a goal to give your partner a different compliment each day for an entire month. You can remember to do this by setting up an effective anchor.
  • Compliment your partner in the presence of their parents or friends.
  • Tell your partner how much you appreciate one of their strengths. Be specific!

Quality Time

Partners who prefer quality time want focused attention and quality conversation for love. They value a dinner out, weekend vacation, or a walk on the beach together. Here are a few practical tips for giving your partner quality time when this is their love language.

Ideas for action:

  • Maintain eye contact when in conversation with your partner. Don’t listen to your partner and do something else at the same time. Give your undivided attention.
  • Listen for feelings, and feel free to ask your partner to clarify their feelings. Observe body langauge. What is it telling you?
  • Seek first to understand. Many partners need to connect in conversation. They DO NOT want you to give your input or advice, they just want you to listen!
  • Take a walk with your partner or begin to plan a weekend getaway together.

Receiving Gifts

This love language prioritizes “visual symbols of love” given by your partner. The symbolic thought behind the gift is more important than the monetary value.

People with this style also value the gift-giving process: the careful reflection, the choosing of the object to represent the relationship, and the emotional benefits from receiving the present.

Ideas for action:

  • Plan to give your partner a gift in the next 24 hours. Make it something they like or enjoy (flowers, chocolate, their favorite drink, etc.) If you have no clue what gift to give, ask a friend or family member who knows your partner well for help.
  • Express gratiute when you receive a gift from your partner.
  • Keep a “gift idea” notebook. Every time your partner says, “I would really like that!” write it down in your notebook (or the note on your phone).

Acts of Service

Partners who have acts of service as their primary love language value when their partner goes out of the way to make life easier. A few examples of acts of service include making the bed, making breakfast or coffee in the morning, completing a chore, paying a bill, or walking the dog.

Ideas for action:

  • Ask your partner to make a list of things he or she would like you to do. Complete these items on your “honey-do” list over the next month.
  • Run interference for your partner during a time when they are otherwise occupied (with a TV show, sporting event, night out, etc.) Take care of the kids, pets, house, emergencies, etc. so your partner can have fun!

Physical Touch

The final love language emphasizes physical touch as a way of communicating emotional love. Babies who are held, stroked, and kissed develop a healthier emotional life. Touch with a partner or spouse can include holding hands, hugging, massaging, kissing, and sexual intercourse.

Ideas for action:

  • Offer to give your partner a back rub or massage.
  • When out in public together, touch or hug your partner while you are near one another.
  • Don’t always wait for your partner to initiate physical touch; prioritize loving your partner every few days. This small investment of time will be worth it!

Learn your Love Langauge

Complete these actions tonight:

  1. Go to this link and complete the short quiz to learn your love language.
  2. Have a partner or loved one complete the same quiz.
  3. Share your results with one another. Are there any surprises?
  4. Do something loving in your partner’s preferred language.

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