The 5 Love Languages: How They Affect Your Relationship

The 5 Love Languages.

We have all heard about them. Maybe you know all of them in detail, maybe you’re a master at them, or maybe you don’t know them at all.

If you don’t know what they are or how they came to be, here is a little background.

Dr. Gary Chapman is a pastor and counselor, and has been for many years. He is the author of the book “The 5 Love Languages”. He figured out that people have a certain way they want to be showed love and generally that’s how they show love to others as well.

So, what are the 5 Love Languages?

  • Words of Affirmation.
  • Acts of Service
  • Receiving Gifts
  • Physical Touch
  • Quality Time

Dr. Gary Chapman has a website where you can take a quiz to figure out which one you are. If you don’t already know, maybe take it to help you understand a little more about it!

He even has quizzes for how your language works when you apologize and when you are angry. Those are new to me and I will take them and let you know!

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Before we dive into what the specifics of the love languages are and how to use them I want to talk about something first.

Generally, when we do something for someone else we may expect something in return. Maybe not right away, and maybe as a favor sort of thing, but it is a general thought.

Now, I realize not all of the time do people expect something in return if they do something really nice for someone. There are people whose personalities are just givers or helpers and could do that all day long.

When you are in a relationship, and really a marriage more specifically, it is REALLY hard to give your spouse something and not expect the same sort of service/love/appreciation in return.

That’s when selflessness comes into play.

You may feel like you give and give and give to that person and love them the way you want to be loved but feel like you aren’t getting anything back. Well, if you feel that way I have two things for you.

  1. Being married is about being selfless. Putting the other persons needs before your own. It is a hard act of love, I know.
  2. Most likely, your spouse has a different love language than you. And you are showing them how you love them with your love language and not with their love language.

When you feel loved and appreciated your “love tank” is full, you want to give other people love, am I right? So, if you know your spouses love language, or your friends, parents, siblings, etc., wouldn’t it be nice to “love” them in the way they want to be shown?

I think it would. 🙂

So, if you are thinking about what yours is right now or what that special someones is, let’s dive into some things you can do to show them some love!

Words of Affirmation

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Words of affirmation are just as it sounds. You want people to tell you with words or maybe a note how they feel about you or what they like about you.

I call these “Verbal Reminders”

This is my Husband’s love language and I stink at it. Its funny because Our love languages are totally opposite of each other. We both have to work at it.

Ways you can love your spouse with words..

  1. Tell them something that they did that you really appreciated. Even if it was as small as starting the dishwasher when they realized it was full ( If you’re like me this is oddly hard for me).
  2. Write them a note and leave it in their car or purse before they go to work.
  3. Verbally tell them you love them, every day, and what they mean to you.

Acts of Service

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Acts of service are something physical that you can do for your loved one. Things like, mow the yard, pick up the groceries for dinner, walk the dog, go clean their car, anything they can do that you can do for them! And it is important if you do something specific for them that they didn’t ask you to do!

As I have gotten older I so much appreciate when my Husband does things for me when I don’t ask him too.

Ways you can love your spouse with Acts of Service

  1. Walk the dog after dinner.
  2. Take the kids to the park so mom/dad can have an afternoon free.
  3. Do a cleaning task for them that they don’t like.
  4. Clean their car or get the oil changed when its needed.

Receiving Gifts

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If you are a person who really, really loves unwrapping gifts, getting candy bars or Starbucks, or getting flowers sent to your door, then this might be your love language!

Now, gifts doesn’t necessarily have to be something they buy for you. It could be something they made, or a thoughtful note with a picture with it, or even food! It is the thought that counts for this one.

Ways you can love your spouse with Receiving Gifts

  1. Buy their favorite beverage (wine, beer, pop, la croix, or starbucks) on the way home from work and give it to them.
  2. Surprise them with an item they have been wanting for awhile. Maybe its a watch, or a sweater, or some cool gadget they saw in a window.
  3. Send flowers to her place of work, and if its for the males in your life, maybe drop by with some food and a cold one and say “enjoy!”

Physical Touch

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I feel like this one is the easiest of the 5 love languages. Well, at least for me because its #2 on my list so its easy for me to show affection.

If you really enjoy when your spouse comes home and before they do anything else they come over and give you a hug and kiss, or they hold your hand in public, or they come and sit and put their arm around you on the couch, then this might be the language for you.

And it doesn’t necessarily have to do with sexual intimacy, even though that is important in a marriage. It has to do with how that person likes to be physically shown that they want or show love.

Ways you can show love to your souse with Physical touch

  1. Hold their hand in public! Or if you are waiting in line somewhere, put your arm around their should or waist.
  2. Sit on the couch and cuddle with them while they are watching TV.
  3. Make a habit of giving them a hug/kiss in at a certain time of the day. In the morning when you wake up, after work, or when dinner is served.
  4. Heck, surprise them with a make-out session!

Quality Time

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Ahh, Quality Time. This is not about just sitting down with your partner while they work, watch TV, or eat. This is about undivided, uninterrupted, full attention to the other person. No distractions, cell phones, other people around, anything.

Meaningful conversations about almost anything, spending real time with that person, and also showing interest in your spouses hobby, work, or passion is apart of it too. That is what Quality Time is all about.

This is my love language 🙂 I feel VERY loved whenever we are together and I have undivided attention from my husband and we are talking.

Ways you can show love to your spouse with Quality time

  1. Set aside 2-3 specific time frames each week where you come up to your spouse and give them your full attention.
  2. Go for a walk with your spouse, without phones or music, and see where the night takes you.
  3. Talk about where you both have been in the past, where you want to go, and reminisce about good times together.
  4. Bonus, maybe go for a weekend away together. Or if your spouse likes camping, go camping with them!

The 5 Love Languages

There you have it. All explained and broke down into different ways you can show love to your spouse.

These all seem fairly simple, and they are, but the hard part is putting the work in. Especially when your spouses love language is not your love language.

I hope these words encouraged you today. And I hope you can show love to your partner, friend, mom, or sibling this week in a way they appreciate!

Thanks for reading,

~Erin, The Short Wife

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