How Knowing Your Love Language Strengthens Your Relationship

Have you ever noticed how people show their affection and appreciation in different ways? For example, one person may show their love with compliments or hugs, while another person gives gifts as their sign of affection.

Author and counselor Dr. Gary Chapman outlines five “love languages” that describe the different ways people express and experience love. According to Dr. Chapman, each person has one primary and one secondary love language. These “languages” come into play in all of our interpersonal relationships—with our partner, children, friends and colleagues.

Because social relationships are an integral part of our overall health and well-being, and effective communication is the foundation that nurtures these connections, it’s worth noting the ways you tend to communicate your respect, care and appreciation for others—and the ways you look to receive this.

Particularly with your spouse or partner, it’s important to understand each other’s love languages so you can “speak the same language” by expressing and receiving love in those ways.

The 5 Love Languages

Words of Affirmation

Encouraging, affirming words and compliments. For example: “I love you,” “That shirt looks great on you,” or “Thank you for doing the dishes.”

Quality Time

Full, undivided attention for meaningful conversation and shared activities. This could be date night, going on a trip together, conversation without the distraction of cell phones, or joining your partner in their favorite hobby.

Receiving Gifts

Thoughtful gifts or gestures that show effort, appreciation and care. In this language, gifts, no matter the size, show “He/she was thinking about me.”

Acts of Service

Assistance with tasks to ease burden or stress. For example, cooking a meal, doing the laundry or running an errand shows special care and consideration.

Physical Touch

Connection through physical presence and accessibility. This can include displays of affection like holding hands, kissing, or hugging, as well as simple physical proximity, such as sitting close to each other on the couch.


Do you know your love language?

If you haven’t already, take the Learn Your Love Language quiz to find your type.

If you’re in a relationship, ask your partner to explore their love language as well. Once you know the specific ways you each show (and want to be shown!) love, you’ll be better able to speak each other’s languages.

Read more in Dr. Chapman’s book, The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts.


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