Gary Chapman, the author of The Five Love Languages, stated that people express love in
different ways. Not only are there different ways of expression, but also different ways of
receivement. How we express our love to others is how we show them how we feel about them,
whereas how we receive love is how we feel appreciated by others. According to Chapman, the
five love languages are: words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, physical touch, and acts of
service. Time and time again relationships fail out of an inability to understand the way a
significant other wishes to receive love. This is not unique to romantic relationships only, but
even in platonic and familial ties.
Thriving in a relationship means being dedicated to expressing love the way your loved ones
want to receive it, and to communicate how you wish to receive it. To do that, you must first
understand what your love language is, and to communicate it to your loved ones. You must
also think about the love languages you tend to use to express love, and then reflect on whether
it matches the love languages of the people around you.
It’s important to note that everyone has all five languages, but to varying degrees. Some love
languages can matter to some people more than others. It’s important to recognize which ones
stand at the top of your list, so you can communicate your needs to your loved ones.
Words of Affirmation
People with words of affirmation as a love language feel loved when they are given verbal
compliments or kind and encouraging remarks. They feel appreciated when love is expressed to
them directly. It does not have to be verbal, it can also be written, like in notebooks or little
Tip: If your partner’s love language is quality time then list their good qualities and make sure to
let them know how much you appreciate these characteristics. If you catch them doing
something good, make sure to let them know how you felt about it.
People with quality time as a love language feel loved when they feel like they have their
partner’s full and undivided attention. Being with each other but skimming through work emails
is not considered quality time. With technology being a huge distraction, it can be rather hard to
display this kind of affection. Not just with technology, but life can be demanding especially
when there’s a job and a growing family to cater for. To truly commit to this love language, is to
commit to a distraction free environment. It’s setting aside time for them maintaining eye
contact, and practicing active listening.
Tip: If your partner’s love language is quality time, then think about the activities that they enjoy
and try tagging along.
People with gifts as a love language feel appreciated the most when they receive a gift from
someone because it makes them feel remembered. Gifts don’t have to be extravagant, they can
be homemade or more sentimental. A gift is a visual expression of love and a reminder that they
were thought of.
If your partner’s love language is gifts, then pay attention when they say things like “I would like
to have one of these” or “I’ve always wanted this” and write these items down.
People with physical touch as a love language feel appreciated the most when they are held or
touched by their significant other. It can be as simple as sharing a couch space and being in
If your partner’s love language is physical touch, you can initiate by reaching for their hand or
putting your arm around their shoulders.
Acts of Service
People with acts of service as a love language feel appreciated when things are done for them.
Actions like doing a chore on their behalf is an expression of love, like folding their laundry,
cooking a meal, or taking out the trash.
If your partner’s love language is acts of service, find out what their to-do list is and ask them if
there is any way that you can help them.
Studying someone else’s love language and applying it can be difficult, especially when you
weren’t raised in an environment that practiced that love language. It takes a certain level of
awareness and hard work, but it leads to happier and healthier relationships once mastered. To
reach that point, you must take the time to reflect on your love language and to ask your friends
and family about theirs as well.
● When do I feel most loved? By what and who?
● How do I express love and appreciation to others?
● Do I tend to use my own love languages with others?
● Which love language is hardest for me to do and why?