I think I’m super funny when I tell people that donuts are my Love Language. 😉 But really my top Love Languages are Words of Affirmation and Receiving Gifts. (Pretty sure donuts count as gifts though!) There have been times in our marriage when either my husband, Jordan, or I will feel like we could use a little more love. We like to call it our love tank… Sometimes it’s full and sometimes it’s running a little low. A lot of those times, when one person’s love tank is feeling empty, the other person feels confused because they can think of plenty of ways they’ve demonstrated love. Usually, this is because our intentions are to make the other person feel loved, but our efforts don’t speak the Love Languages of our spouse. Identifying the way you and your significant other give and receive love best is a great tool to help you love each other more effectively. We try to be really purposeful about this. Sometimes we need reminders, but being intentional about how we love each other makes a world of difference. This is basically a “how to” on working smarter at your relationship, not harder!
Here’s the 5:
- Acts of Service
- Quality Time
- Words of Affirmation
- Physical Touch
- Receiving Gifts
The concept of The Five Love Languages comes from a book called “The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts” by Gary Chapman. If you’ve never read it, I really encourage you to. Even better, read it with your husband, fiancé, or boyfriend. (This could also be a helpful thing to do as a family if you have children!) We all have ways of loving others that come more naturally to us and some things make us feel more loved than other things when we’re on the receiving end. This book gives great insight into these preferences and is really eye opening in terms of understanding ourselves. When you know what you need, you can communicate those needs. When you know what your spouse needs, you can save yourself a lot of guess work and frustration.
If you’re unsure what your Love Languages are, you can take the free assessment
Your top Love Languages will likely be different than your spouses top Love Languages. Jordan and I have opposite Love Languages. This doesn’t keep us from loving each other well, it just means we have to think about it a little harder sometimes. To me, one thoughtful gift or note is much more meaningful than a hundred loads of laundry while Jordan feels most loved by an Acts of Service, Physical Touch, and Quality Time. It can be easiest to show others love in the ways we most like to receive it. I LOVE giving Jordan presents and doing grand, tangible gestures. The truth is though, he’d probably be just as happy if I cooked him a meal he likes and offered for us to do something he enjoys together. Jordan is always helping around the house, doing dishes, and working on projects for us. I am so appreciative of those things and I know he does it out of love for our family, but I’d rather leave the sink full of dirty dishes to have a meaningful conversation. Theres a place for all efforts, but sometimes we can waste time and energy doing what we think the other person wants when really, they might not care all that much.
It’s important to continually be learning about each other and pursuing each other’s hearts. We’ve been working extra hard to do this in this new season of marriage and The 5 Love Languages tool has been so helpful. Here’s the concrete steps we took to be more mindful of our Love Languages as a couple:
- We each took the Love Language assessment (again). We were both surprised to learn that our Language preferences had shifted a bit over the last few years! So even if you’ve taken it before, take it again together!
- We talked about it. We noted things that had changed, things that surprised us and things that didn’t. It was also helpful to share examples of times the other person’s actions have really spoken our love language recently and to communicate about things that just aren’t as much of a priority for us.
- We posted our love languages in a place that we would see every day as a reminder to love each other well.
- Act on it! We can’t just talk about it and get used to seeing the reminder on the fridge. This is where we put what we learn about each other into action.
Here’s some act-on-it ideas for the husbands (boyfriends, etc.) with each Love Language:
Words of Affirmation – Send a text, write a note, or tell your husband before or after his work day, how much you appreciate him. Not just generically. Call out specifically what it is you appreciate about him. I find that sharing specific things you are praying for over your husband is also really encouraging and affirming.
Acts of Service – Pack his lunch in the morning or get his car washed. Maybe run an errand that he’s been talking about doing, but hasn’t got around to. This one can be more practical, but we have to remember that its about the intention behind the gesture that is so meaningful. So think of ways you can go the extra mile… Don’t just wash his laundry, fold it and put it away with a smile!
Receiving Gifts – Some guys can be hard to buy for, but thats not all the Love Language of gifts covers. It’s more about the thoughtful gesture. Surprise him in the middle of the day with lunch, buy them something you know they’d never splurge on for themselves, or pick out (or even make) something small that says you were thinking of them and just had to show it.
Quality Time – Put the phones away and do something! I’m not saying you can’t spend quality time at home watching Netflix, but from one Quality Time wife to another, a different level of connection happens when you turn off distractions and do an activity together that your husband enjoys. Go for a hike, play a board game…Interact!
Physical Touch – My Physical Touch score is like a “2” sooo I have to be really mindful of this one, but it can be so simple! Hold your husbands hand when you’re out at the store or at the movies. One way I try to practice Physical Touch better is to be intentional with my greeting when we see each other at the end of the day. I try to stop doing whatever I’m doing and physically connect with him by giving him a hug and showing interest in him and his day right away.
I highly recommend learning more about how you give and receive love. There’s such value in doing this as an individual. God made us with unique needs on purpose and the extra insight you might find into your heart could be powerful. For a single person, I think understanding the Love Languages can help you gain realization about past relationships and so beneficial to beginning a new one. It’s not just romantic relationships that this applies to either! It’s so fun to learn the Love Languages of other family members and friends. Learning what’s important to your loved ones gives more context for interactions and leads to deeper friendship. When you love people in a way that speaks to their heart and reflects their needs, it doesn’t just make them feel loved, it makes them feel known. And that’s what we’re all really longing for. To be fully known and fully loved. Only Jesus can fill that desire perfectly, but we have the ability to love greatly. Make The 5 Love Languages challenge your own and see if you can measure a difference in your relationships. Let’s get to know each other better so we can love each other better!
*You can find a printable resource to help you and your significant other utilize The Love Languages tool here!!
Just a few of our many donut pics because Jordan is
a little too fluent in my Love Languages 😉