learning the five love languages to better your relationships

We all have different ways of expressing and being loved. When we understand this both for ourselves and our partners, we can create space for genuine, authentic, and deep expression of love. To help us better understand this, Gary Chapman explores the five types of expression in his book, The 5 Love Languages.

 

According to Chapman, the five main languages used to give and receive love are:

 

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

 

If you’d like to explore the languages in more depth, a simple Google search can get you pointed in the right direction. The purpose of this blog post is to offer some unique ideas for expression from each category. Use these ideas to start practicing a language or borrow from an idea and create your own!

 

Love Language Ideas: Words of Affirmation

  1. Write a poem or note expressing your love
  2. Leave notes in unexpected places such as on your partner’s windshield, on the mirror, or under their pillow
  3. Write a different affirmation on each notecard in a deck, and gift your partner the entire stack, instructing them to read one a day
  4. Be deliberate in honoring your partner – Stop what you’re doing and really focus on the words you choose and saying them in a way your partner can receive the whole message
  5. Write a song for them
  6. Let your partner overhear you praising them in front of others

 

Love Language Ideas: Gifts

  1. Surprise your partner with flowers
  2. Take note of any collections your partner has and see if you can find that impossible-to-find item they’ve wanted to add to their collection
  3. If you travel solo, bring a little token of your travels to treat your partner when you arrive home
  4. Send a small, thoughtful gift to your partner at work
  5. Be intentional about gifting – determine what is meaningful to your partner and spend time selecting gifts
  6. Gifts don’t have to be expensive. Try creating something by hand – a cd with meaningful songs, a drawing, even a poem… anything that lets your partner know you were thinking about them.

 

Love Language Ideas: Acts of Service

  1. Help around the house without being asked
  2. Fill your partner’s vehicle with gas so they can enjoy a stress-free morning
  3. Have coffee ready for them when they wake up
  4. If you have children, plan a quiet activity on Saturday morning so your partner can sleep in
  5. Offer to stop at the grocery store on your way home
  6. Ask them what they need help with, then follow through

 

Love Language Ideas: Quality Time

  1. Plan a special date for your partner
  2. Set aside time before bed to talk and catch up on meaningful conversation with your partner
  3. Attend events that are important to them (sporting, work, fun, etc.)
  4. Invite your partner on a walk after dinner
  5. Plan a special evening at home doing your partner’s favorite activities (movie, reading, talking, snuggling, etc.)
  6. Find a fun recipe you can make together. If your partner doesn’t like to cook, pick an activity your partner does enjoy and find a way to do it together.

 

Love Language Ideas: Physical Touch

  1. Make contact with your partner when passing – a kiss, a touch, a hug, anything that lets your partner know you enjoy being in their physical presence
  2. Reach for your partner’s hand often
  3. Aim for long hugs – 20 seconds or more will get oxytocin, the feel-good hormone released by human touch, flowing for both of you
  4. Give your partner a massage
  5. Dance with your partner
  6. Sit with your partner and get cuddly during downtime

 

Of course, this list of ideas regarding the five love languages isn’t exhaustive, but you can use it as a starting point to practice your partner’s love language. Get creative – combine ideas or use this list to generate ideas of your own, but most importantly, speak your partner’s love language with intention. With practice, you’ll become fluent in expressing your love.

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