We do relationship and family work at Cultivating Courage Psychological Services. One of the tools we use to help increase connection is love languages. Dr. Gary Chapman identified five primary love languages: quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service, physical touch and gifts.* People typically like to primarily receive and show love in one or two of these broad categories. Showing love through one’s primary love language can help to increase connection for the loved one receiving it. Knowing these languages can also help you have the language to ask for what you need.
Do you know your primary love language?
Do you know your loved one’s primary love language?
Here is a brief overview of each one and ideas of what they would look like for someone.
This love language is expressed and felt through giving your undivided attention.
- Go out to eat a meal
- Play a game
- Go for or a walk together
- Watch a movie
- Take a class together
- Sit and talk to each other
A key to this love language is giving your undivided attention, so put away your phones and other distractions and be fully present with your loved one!
Acts of Service
This love language is expressed and felt through actions.
- Doing the dishes without being asked
- Giving support during a hard task
- Letting your loved one get some extra sleep
- Taking something off their to do list
A key to this love language is not doing it because of guilt or because you are expecting immediate gratitude, let your actions speak for themselves!
Words of Affirmation
This love language is expressed and felt through words.
- Telling your loved one what you appreciate about them
- Write a note telling your loved one what you admire about them
- Send your loved one an encouraging text on a hard day
- Saying “I love you”
A key to this love language is being meaningful in your expression of love, respect and admiration.
This love language is expressed through physical connection.
- Giving a massage
- Physical Intimacy
A key to this love language is to take time to make sure your loved one feels comfortable when it comes to physical touch and asking for consent.
This love language is expressed through tangible items.
- Picking up their favorite snack at the store
- Presenting a bouquet of flowers from the yard
- Giving a gift certificate to their favorite restaurant
- An art project given to a parent from their child or giving a thoughtful gift on a holiday or just because
A key to this love language is not about the amount of money spent but the thoughtfulness put into it.
If you need help identifying you or your loved ones love language, take the quiz at https://5lovelanguages.com/quizzes/love-language
Make time to show love through your loved ones’ top love languages. And if you are looking for more connection, let your loved one know by asking for your love language (for example: I would love to spend more quality time together, can we make plans for Thursday night?)
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* Chapman, G. D. (2010). The five love languages. Walker Large Print.