I’m obsessed with the Five Love Languages. If you hang out with me for long I guarantee I will ask you what your love languages are. I love knowing and talking about them, especially with couples. I love hearing about how they meet each other’s love needs and how easy or hard it is based on what each of their love languages are.
The premise of the Five Love Languages is that we all give and receive love through five basic ways. We all use all five, but we have one or two that are most dominant. The languages are Acts of Service, Quality Time, Gifts, Physical Touch, and Words of Affirmation.
Acts of Service means doing tangible things like cleaning the house, fixing something, filling up the car with gas, cooking meals, or watching the kids while the other person sleeps in. Quality Time means that the amount of time spent together is as or more important as what you’re actually doing. It’s about being together and doing things together. Gifts is giving something to show love from a flower that is hand picked to a large, significant item. It’s both the surprise and special occasion gifts that are meaningful. Physical touch is not just sexual. It is showing love by touching when you walk by each other in the hall, holding hands, hugging, and touching more often than not. Words of Affirmation means that you express how you feel in words. It can be through a heartfelt card, a quick text message, and saying I love you should be said, not just lived out. Words are important and, to these people, should be given freely.
An easy way to tell what your love language(s) are is by how you naturally show love. The gifts person is naturally good at choosing meaningful gifts. The words of affirmation person compliments the people around them without even thinking. The physical touch person can probably be found touching their significant other most of the time. The quality time person would rather do things together even if it’s not the most convenient and the acts of service person is the natural servant in a group and looking for things to do to show their partner love.
In a relationship the difficulty can be that we show love more naturally and easily by how we receive it and we may struggle or forget to show it in the way that our spouse needs or wants it. A words of affirmation person married to an acts of service person could be constantly writing notes and saying I love you and texting, but forgetting to intentionally serve their partner.
If you don’t already know, ask your partner what their top love languages are. Then, ask them for a few examples of how they would like you to show them love. The danger in this (or any discussion in a relationship) is that we can become preoccupied with how our partner is showing love- or more often, not showing it- and we forget about being intentional about what we are doing. We can only change ourselves. Continue to show love in a way that honors and serves your partner without any expectation.
Now, tell me, what are your top love languages? Do you know your spouses? If so, what are they? Both my husband and I have physical touch and words of affirmation, but he also has acts of service and I also have quality time.
The Five Love Languages is based on the book The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. If you’re interested in this topic I highly recommend the read!
(Our engagement photos by Taylor McCutchan Photography.)