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“Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.”

~Albert Einstein

Do You Speak My Love Language?

What do you think of when you hear the word “love”? According to Dr. Gary Chapman, the author of The Five Love Languages, everyone experiences being loved differently. What seems loving to you might not mean much to me, and vice versa. In fact, each person has a unique love language which they use to communicate love. We learn our love language in early childhood. This love language becomes unique to each person, and cannot be easily changed.

In this fascinating book, we learn that the five love languages people speak include:

  1. Words of Affirmation;
  2. Quality Time;
  3. Gifts;
  4. Acts of Service; and
  5. Physical Touch.

Why Do I Need to Know Your Love Language?

In relationships, you might be speaking different love languages with your partner. Even though you love each other, you might not recognize or appreciate the way your partner is expressing affection.

If you know the primary love language of your partner:

  • you can use it to communicate your love and care;
  • your understanding of your partner will inevitably improve, simply because you can interpret each other’s actions more accurately;
  • it can change any relationship for the better. For example, if I know that my friend tends to receive love primarily through gifts, I can make sure that I don’t forget to sign her a card on her birthday.

What Do Five Love Languages Mean?

So what does each love language mean?

  1. Words of Affirmation. This love language includes statements like, “You are so kind,” “You look amazing tonight,” or “You are the best driver.” Regular words of affirmation mean a lot for the person with this primary love language. It doesn’t take much to acknowledge the qualities you like in your partner. Especially, if you know it will make their day!
  2. Quality Time. This means that spending time together is very important for the person. Watching a movie together, spending holidays together, or going for a walk with their partner means a lot for them.
  3. Receiving Gifts. This love language is self-explanatory. Just pick up a box of chocolate or a bunch of flowers on your way to a date. Your partner will appreciate your thoughtfulness.
  4. Acts of Service. For a person with this love language, doing the things they would want you to do is important for them. Ask them what they need, and try to help them in whatever way you can. They will feel super loved and supported.
  5. Physical Touch. Hugging, kissing, and physical intimacy is the most important love language for these people. To communicate love to them, use random touches throughout the day, like holding their hand.  And don’t forget to give them a big hug before leaving. They will probably initiate it before you do though, if this is not your primary love language.
Two people and a dog are having a good time. Picture for the post about love languages

In a blog post on Her Campus, Shelby Buno perfectly illustrates the five love languages using a simple infographic. She also describes how discovering her own love language changed her love life. Shelby writes, “…when someone I had given my heart to wouldn’t do as much as hold my hand in public. He thought it was okay, I took it as an immediate rejection and shut off.” She continues to say, “Knowing how your partner, friend, parent, loved one of any sort gives and receives love is absolutely crucial. You might be trying to hug them and rub their back to soothe them when what they’re feeling down, when what they really need is some of the load to be taken off, or maybe they need to hear that they’re doing okay and that things will work themselves out.”

Further Action Steps:

    1. Are you curious what your predominant love language is? Then, print out and fill out this questionnaire from The Five Love Languages book. It’s a fun activity to do either with your partner or with your friends.
      Are you curious what your predominant love language is? Find out here http://bit.ly/LoveLanguagesPrint #love #communication Click To Tweet
    2. Order the book The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts and learn more about each type.
    3. Watch the interview with Dr. Gary Chapman on Oprah.

  1. Read Shelby Buno’s story on “How Learning My Love Language Saved My Love Life” here.
  2. Practice recognizing the primary love languages of your closest people. Pay attention to how you like receiving love and how you show it to others. Experiment with it and have fun!