The Five Love Languages
Learn about the different languages of receiving and expressing love.
The Five Love Languages
Each of us receives and expresses love differently. According to Dr. Gary Chapman, individuals receive love primarily through one of these five ways (or “languages”):
- Individuals with this love language need their spouse to speak words that are encouraging and uplifting to them.
- On the other hand, insults are not easily forgotten and can cause deep hurt.
- Examples of how you can express love through words of affirmation to your spouse include:
- Complimenting your spouse (e.g. “you look lovely today” or “you are good at fixing things”).
- Expressing your praise, appreciation, or love (e.g. “I love you”, “thank you”) without being asked.
- Individuals in this group feel loved when their spouse performs acts of service for them.
- On the other hand, they are likely to feel hurt when they perceive their spouse to be uninvolved or uncommitted in helping out at home. Their hurt deepens if their spouse creates more work for them. They are likely to feel that they are doing all the work and over time, may feel resentful towards their spouse.
- Examples of how you can express love through acts of service to your spouse include:
- Helping your partner without them asking.
- Doing tasks that your partner normally does (e.g. running an errand or doing the dishes) so that they can rest.
- Individuals in this group feel most loved when they receive gifts from their spouse.
- A meaningful gift does not always have to be expensive. It could be something you make or put together. The thought and effort behind the gift matters most.
- An inappropriate gift or a missed birthday or anniversary can cause deep hurt.
- Examples of how you can express love through giving of gifts to your spouse include:
- Express your love through gestures or gifts that show that you think and care about your partner.
- Individuals with this love language feel loved when they receive full and undivided attention from their spouse.
- They can be deeply hurt when their partner is distracted or frequently postpones time that they have scheduled to spend together.
- Examples of how you can express love through spending quality time with your spouse include:
- Giving your partner your fullest attention when spending time with them. This can be achieved by putting other tasks on standby or not checking your phone when with them.
- Planning time for quality conversations and activities regularly.
- Individuals in this group receive love best through appropriate touch, such as hugs, pats on the back, holding hands and thoughtful touches on the arm from their spouse.
- Inappropriate touches or abuse will cause deep hurt.
- Examples of how you can express love through physical touch with your spouse include:
- Building a sense of security and belonging in your relationship through meaningful touches.
- Being physically present and available when around them.
As a couple, it is important to discover and understand how both of you receive love. Learning to express love in the best way that your spouse understands it may not come naturally at first. But with communication and deeper mutual understanding, acknowledging and embracing each other’s love languages can help to bring the both of you closer together. Find out your love language here: https://www.5lovelanguages.com/quizzes/couples-quiz/
Pause and Reflect
Do you still have some feelings of love for your spouse?
What are some qualities of your spouse that you appreciate?
What has gone wrong in your marriage? How can you and your spouse make things right together again?
What matters most to you? (e.g. happiness, stability, children)
 The Five Love Languages – Moody Publishers: Chapman, G. (2015). The 5 love languages: The secret to love that lasts. Moody Publishers.