The book, The 5 Love Languages: the Secret to Love that Lasts, gives great insight into the different ways we communicate love to others. According to the author, Dr. Gary Chapman, the five love languages are: quality time, words of affirmation, gifts, acts of service, and physical touch.
Even though the book is geared towards married couples, these are insights that anyone can use to strengthen the bond between family and friends.
Certain ways of expressing love are quite individual. That doesn't mean that some are important and the rest irrelevant. Take a look at the following ways of expressing love. Which ones are most important to you? Do you like to receive the same language of love that you give to others?
Here are examples of how we GIVE love:
- Quality Time: providing someone with undivided attention and being interested in the details of their lives.
- Words of Affirmation: speaking words that support and nurture the other person.
- Gifts: expressing love for others by giving gifts, to show they are in our thoughts.
- Acts of Service: being helpful and not minding doing favors for others.
- Physical Touch: interacting with our body, whether it's touching someone’s arm or a random embrace.
And here are some examples of how we RECEIVE love:
- Quality Time: spending one-on-one time with someone who loves us.
- Words of Affirmation: sentimental things like cards and letters are appreciated and cherished.
- Gifts: receiving gifts that are personal and thoughtful, just because someone was thinking of you.
- Acts of Service: we appreciate when people take the time to do things for us. Actions speak louder than words.
- Physical Touch: hugging and being physically close to someone who cares for you.
Some love languages come more naturally than others and you don't necessarily have to be fluent in all five! Simply knowing what they are can help you to communicate more easily.
You can figure out your primary love languages by taking the quiz here: