Understand Your Love Language

Everyone communicates love in different ways, so understanding each other’s specific love language may be beneficial to your relationship. According to Gary Chapman, Ph.D., author of “The Five Love Languages,” once you and your partner have identified with one of the five languages, you both will feel most loved when that language is expressed and gain the satisfaction of making each other happy.

Before continuing into the descriptions of each love language, we recommend that you take the free online test to determine which love language you are.

Click here to take the test now, or scroll to the bottom of this article for a shorter 60-second quiz.

Words of Affirmation

Words speak louder than actions if you receive love through words of affirmation. You feel most loved when your partner verbally expresses the reasons behind his or her love for you and unsolicited compliments replay in your head all day. Conversely, negative words or insults can damage your spirit and they are not easily forgotten.

To communicate this love language, do not let days go by without saying, “I love you” and verbally acknowledge anything that makes you happy to be with your partner.

If your partner’s love language is Words of Affirmation you could:

1. Set a goal to give your partner a different compliment each day for a month.
“You did a great job on this meal.”
“You really look nice in that outfit.”
“I really appreciate your washing the car.”

2. Write a love letter, a love paragraph, or a love sentence to your partner, and give it quietly or without fanfare.

3. Compliment your partner in the presence of his parents or friends. You will get double credit. Your spouse will feel loved and the parents will feel lucky to have such a great son-in-law or daughter-in-law.

4. Look for your partner’s strengths and tell how much you appreciate those strengths. Chances are she will work hard to live up to her reputation.

5. Tell your children how great their mother or father is. Do this both behind your partner’s back and in their presence.

6. Choose a card that expresses how you feel. Underline special words and add a few of your own at the end.


Quality Time

Full and undivided attention makes you feel most loved if quality time is your love language. Spending time with your partner can mean staying in and watching movies or having good conversations over a gourmet dinner. When your partner makes time for you, he or she is communicating that you are more important than any other activity.

To communicate this language, do not cancel plans or postpone dates as these actions are hurtful and may cause your partner to question your love.

If your partner’s love language is Quality Time you could:

1. Ask your partner for a list of five activities that he would enjoy doing with you. Make plans to do one of them each month for the next five months.

2. Make time every day to share with each other some of the events of the day.

3. Plan a weekend getaway just for the two of you sometime within the next few months. Focus on relaxing together doing what one or both of you enjoy.

4. Take a walk together through the old neighborhood where one of you grew up. Ask questions about your partner’s childhood.

5. Think of an activity your partner enjoys, but which brings little pleasure to you: football, symphony etc. Tell your partner that you are trying to broaden your horizons and would like join her in this activity sometime this month. Set a date and give it your best effort. Ask questions about the activity at break times.

6. Camp out by the fireplace. Spread your blankets and pillows on the floor. Pretend the TV is broken and talk like you used to when you were dating.


Receiving Gifts

This love language is more about thoughtfulness and the remembrance of important dates than it is about materialism. The entire process behind buying the gift makes you feel loved. The fact that your partner took time to drive to the store, pondered the perfect purchase and spent money to make you happy are things that make you feel most loved. Gifts also can come in the form of gestures such as love notes or phone calls to simply say, “How was your day?”

To communicate this language, give a thoughtful gift on each anniversary, holiday and birthday.

If your partner’s love language is Receiving Gifts you could:

1. Give your partner a gift every day for one week. It need not be a special week, just any week. It will become “The Week That Was!”

2. Discover the value of “handmade originals.”

3. Keep a “Gift Idea Notebook”. Every time you hear your partner say “I really like that,” write it down. Listen carefully and you will get quite a list.

4. If you really don’t have a clue as to how to select a gift for your partner, ask a friend or family member who knows them well.

5. Give a living gift. Purchase and plant a tree or flowering shrub in honor of your partner.


Acts of Service

Vacuuming, washing the dishes or performing maintenance on your vehicle are all romantic gestures if your love language is acts of service. You feel most loved when your partner recognizes your stress and helps to lighten your load. To communicate this language, pitch in without being condescending or dominant and take initiative to help when your see that your partner is stressed. Laziness or adding to the workload expresses your lack of concern and may be destructive to your relationship.

If your partner’s love language is Acts of Service you could:

1. Make a list of all the requests your partner has made of you over the last few weeks. Select one of these each week and do it as an expression of love.

2. Cut out some heart-shaped note cards and print the following:
“Today I will show my love for you by …”
Complete the sentence with one of the following: mowing the lawn, vacuuming the floor, washing dishes, taking the dog for a walk etc.

3. If you have more money than time, hire someone to do the acts of service that you know your partner would like for you to do. If you take the responsibility for getting it done, you will be speaking love even when you are away.

4. Ask your partner to tell you the daily acts of service that would really speak love to him or her. These might include such things as putting your dirty clothes in the hamper, hanging up your clothes at night, preparing a meal, and washing the dishes. “Little things” really do mean a lot.

5. Periodically ask your partner, “If I could do one special act of service this week, what would you request?” If possible, do it and watch your partner’s love tank fill up!

Physical Touch

Physical touch does not always have to be communicated through sex. Holding hands, thoughtful touches on the arm and hugs are all ways to communicate love to your partner. Touching is a nonverbal communication style that can express love, concern, adoration and care. To communicate through touch, discover how your partner likes to be touched and act on it. Avoid neglect or physical abuse as these actions are often unforgivable.

If your partner’s love language is Physical Touch you could:

1. Hold hands as you walk.

2. While eating together, let your knee or foot drift over and touch your partner.

3. While your partner is seated, walk up behind them and initiate a shoulder massage.

4. When family or friends are visiting, touch your partner in their presence. A hug, running your hand along his or her arm, or simply placing a hand on their shoulder can earn double emotional points. It says, “Even with all these people in our home, I still see you.”

5. Walk up to your partner and say, “Have I told you lately that I love you?” Take her in your arms and hug her while you rub her back and continue. “You are the greatest!” (Resist the temptation to rush to the bedroom.) Untangle yourself and move on to the next thing.

The 60-Second Quiz

For each pair of following statements, circle the one that fits you best within your relationship. If you are not currently in a relationship, try to imagine how you would like to be treated if you were. Or think about how you like to be treated by family members and close friends.

1. I like to receive encouraging or affirming notes A
I like to be hugged E

2. I like to spend one-to-one time with close friends B
I feel loved when someone gives me practical help D

3. I like it when people give me gifts C
I like leisurely visits with friends and loved ones B

4. I feel loved when people do things to help me D
I feel loved when people give me a reassuring hand shake or hug E

5. I feel loved when someone I love or admire puts their arm around me E
I feel loved when I receive a gift from someone I admire or love C

6. I like to go places with friends or loved ones B
I like to high-five or slap around with friends who are special to me E

7. Visible symbols of love (such as gifts) are important to me C
I feel loved when people affirm me A

8. I like to sit close to people I enjoy being around E
I like it when people tell me I’m attractive/handsome A

9. I like to spend time with friends and loved ones B
I like to receive little gifts from friends and loved ones C

10. Words of acceptance are important to me A
I know someone loves me when he or she helps me D

11. I like being together and doing things with friends & loved ones B
I like it when kind words are spoken to me A

12. What someone does affects me far more than what they say D
Hugs make me feel connected and valued E

13. I value praise and try to avoid criticism A
Several small gifts mean more to me than one large gift C

14. I feel close to someone when we are talking or doing something together B
I feel closer to friends & loved ones when we wrestle, hug or shake hands E

15. I like for people to complement my achievements A
I know people love me when they do things for me they don‟t enjoy doing D

16. I like for people to cross the street to shake hands or hug when they see me E
I like when people listen to me & show genuine interest in what I‟m saying B

17. I feel loved when friends and loved ones help me with jobs or projects D
I really enjoy receiving gifts from friends and loved ones C

18. I like for people to complement my appearance A
I feel loved when people take time to understand my feelings B

19. I feel secure when a special person is physically close to me E
Acts of service make me feel loved D

20. I appreciate the many things that special people do for me D
I like to receive gifts that special people make for me C

21. I really enjoy the feeling I get when someone gives me undivided attention B
I really enjoy the feeling I get when someone does some act to serve me D

22. I feel loved when a person celebrates my birthday with a gift C
I feel loved when a person celebrates my birthday with meaningful words A

23. I know a person is thinking of me when they give me a gift C
I feel loved when a person helps me with my chores or tasks D

24. I appreciate it when someone listens patiently and doesn’t interrupt me B
I appreciate it when someone remembers special days with a gift C

25. I like knowing loved ones are concern enough to help with my daily tasks D
I enjoy extended trips with someone who is special to me B

26. I don’t mind the “kiss-hello‟ with friends I am close to E
Receiving a gift given for no special reason excites me C

27. I like to be told that I am appreciated A
I like for a person to look at me when they are talking B

28. Gifts from a friend or loved one are always special to me C
I feel good when a friend or loved one hugs or touches me E

29. I feel loved when a person enthusiastically does some task I have requested D
I feel loved when I am told how much I am appreciated A

30. I need physical contact with people everyday E
I need words of encouragement and affirmation everyday A

Now go through your quiz again and count how many “A, B, C, D and Es” you circled and place the number in below.


A: ________ B: ________ C: ________ D: ________ E: ________

Which letter has your highest score? That is your primary love language:

•A = Words of Affirmation

•B = Quality Time

•C = Receiving Gifts

•D = Acts of Service

•E = Physical Touch

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