When my husband does the dishes (my chore since he cooks) or folds my laundry, I feel loved. To return the favor, I would often help him with his chores and remember feeling frustrated that it went pretty unacknowledged, especially because I expressed explicit gratitude when he helped me out.
After introducing this minor frustration, I realized we had differences in our love languages, or how we give and receive love. While he appreciated me helping him out, it didn’t necessarily make him feel loved. It meant much more to him if I carved out a few hours of my day to spend time together, for example.
Gary Chapman coined five love languages that are often discussed in romantic relationships and parent-child relationships: words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch.
Here Are Gary Chapman’s Five Love Languages
Words of affirmation. People with this love language communicate by encouraging, empathizing, and actively listening. They might enjoy an unexpected note or text saying “thinking of you” or “I appreciate that you let the dog out this morning so I could sleep.”
Acts of Service. As mentioned above, this is definitely my top love language. People with this as a dominant love language appreciate when their partners go out of their ways to alleviate their daily workload.
Gifts. This isn’t what it sounds like. Having gifts as your dominant love language doesn’t mean you expect fancy presents on a daily basis (not that you’d mind..). Instead, it’s about thoughtful gifts and gestures. For example, my best friend came to visit me last week and brought me chocolate that she picked up at the grocery store. It could also be leaving notes around the house or picking a flower from a garden. People with gifts as a dominant language also typically appreciate when their partners receive gifts with enthusiasm.
Quality Time. When we were both in graduate school, my husband and I would work for hours on end in the same room. While we were in each other’s presence, it wasn’t quality time. Quality Time refers to uninterrupted and focused conversations. Doing small things with each other like taking walks or enjoying a meal without being distracted by phones or television can foster the Quality Time language.
Physical Touch. As it sounds, physical touch refers to non-verbal language and touch to emphasize love. This can be hugging, kissing, holding hands, and making intimacy a priority. This can be a difficult love language to have when in a long-distance relationship.
After reading through these, you may identify with some or all of these, although a few might be more pronounced than others.
Take The Quiz!
Chapman created a quick and fun quiz that you can complete by yourself or with a partner. You can find it here… https://www.5lovelanguages.com.
The quiz is a fun way to discuss how you give and receive love and may be worth exploring if you and your partner feel on different pages.
If you feel like your love language needs a tune-up, maybe couples counseling will help? Please go ahead and give us a call! 716.308.6683