Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Five Love Languages

Learn how to Speak Love to Your Partner



I am convinced that no single area affects a relationship as much as meeting the individual emotional need for love. We must learn to speak our partner’s love language if we want them to feel loved. Here’s how to tune in.
 

Words of Affirmation

Mark Twain once said, “I can live for two months on a good compliment.” Verbal appreciation speaks powerfully to persons whose primary love language is words of affirmation. Simple statements of approval and encouragement are sometimes all a person needs to hear to feel loved.
 

Quality Time

Quality time is more than proximity. It’s focusing all our energy on our partner. Quality conversation—sharing experiences, thoughts, feelings and desires in a friendly, uninterrupted context—is crucial to a healthy relationship. A good partner listens, offers advice and responds. Most people don’t expect us to solve their problems; they simply need a sympathetic listener.

Quality activities are equally essential. Spending time together enjoying shared interests brings a couple closer and fills a memory bank for future mutual reminiscences.
 

Receiving Gifts

Some people respond well to visual symbols of love, treasuring any gift as an expression of affection. Fortunately, this love language is one of the easiest to learn.

Natural spenders have no trouble buying gifts for their partner. However, a partner accustomed to investing and saving may have a tough time spending money as an expression of love. It helps to understand that the true investment is not in the gifts, but in deepening the relationship. Gifts need not come every day or week or cost a lot. If a partner relates to the language of gifts, any visible sign of love will leave them feeling happy and secure.

Sometimes all a partner desires is a loved one’s presence, navigating the same trials and experiencing the same things. The gift of self can become a powerful physical symbol of love.
 

Acts of Service

Performing simple chores around the house is another undeniable expression of love. Even simple tasks require planning, time and effort.

Often, both partners render acts of service. The key is to understand which acts a partner most appreciates; otherwise, it’s like communicating in two different dialects. Effective service sometimes means humbly stepping out of gender stereotypes.

It is important to act out of love and not obligation. A partner whose help is motivated by guilt or fear will inevitably speak a language of resentment, not love. Heartfelt acts come from a place of kindness and help ensure happiness.
 

Physical Touch

Many mates feel most loved when they receive physical contact from their partner. For a mate who speaks this love language loudly, physical touch can make or break the relationship.

Sexual intercourse can engender feelings of security and love in a marriage, but it is only one dialect of physical touch. Many parts of the body are extremely sensitive to stimulation. Discovering how our partner responds to these touches, physically and psychologically, can help us become fluent in this love language, which is different for everyone.

We need to learn the touches our mate likes. They may be big acts—such as back massages or lovemaking—or smaller gestures—like a hand on the cheek or shoulder. By learning each other’s dialects, we can communicate most lovingly through our hugging, kissing and other physical contacts.


Dr. Gary Chapman is the author of numerous books, including The Five Love Languages series, written for couples, singles and children. A relationship counselor, he speaks to thousands of couples nationwide through his weekend marriage conferences and syndicated radio program, A Growing Marriage. Visit www.FiveLoveLanguages.com.

Welcome to Natural Awakenings Online

September Issue

 Joint Health &
Yoga for Flexibility

Edit ModuleShow Tags

See More »Features

Natural Awakenings Yoga Glossary

Natural Awakenings Yoga Glossary

From Ashtanga to Kundalini, we break down the differences between the various schools or styles of yoga.
Zero Waste Lifestyle

Zero Waste Lifestyle

Ways to Make Far Less Trash
Light-years beyond the idea of basic decluttering is the concept of zero waste, which means adopting everyday strategies like halting junk mail and adopting gently used, pre-loved items in order to live lightly on the planet.
Chef Rick Moonen on Why Buying Sustainable Seafood Matters

Chef Rick Moonen on Why Buying Sustainable Seafood Matters

“The Godfather of Seafood Sustainability” urges us to eat fish in a way that allows wild species to rebound; it can include eating healthily farmed and canned seafood.
Yoga Meets Life’s Essential Questions

Yoga Meets Life’s Essential Questions

Tapping into Our True Nature
The greatest gift of yoga is that it can help us transcend the limitations of a personal mind and discover our essential self.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Editor's Picks

Spring’s In Full Swing at  Hilltop Hanover Farm

Spring’s In Full Swing at Hilltop Hanover Farm

Learn how to grown your own food or reserve an organic CSA.
Natural Fertility

Natural Fertility

Whole-Body Wellness with an Integrative Approach
Stay Healthy This Winter:  Tips from Local Wellness Experts

Stay Healthy This Winter: Tips from Local Wellness Experts

Integrative Medicine, Homeopathy and Ayurveda wisdom from Westchester, NY professionals
Four Ways to Light(en) Up Your Life

Four Ways to Light(en) Up Your Life

In an increasingly unpredictable world where anxiety and insecurity abound, where can we turn to find peace and happiness?
Edit ModuleShow Tags

See More »Global Briefs

Sunny Success

New Solar Capacity Outpaced Other Fuel Sources

Hopeful Sign

Animals Gain Some Protection in New Budget

Flower Power

Farms Test Low-Tech Pesticide Alternative

Pipeline Slowdown

Animal Safety Measures Delay Tree Cutting

After Plastic

New Eco-Packaging Options Underway

Action Alert

Migratory Birds Threatened by Rule Change
Edit ModuleShow Tags

See More »Health Briefs

Dirt Houses Cancer-Protective Microbe

Dirt Houses Cancer-Protective Microbe

Soil Contains Bacteria That Kills Melanoma
Doctors Underestimate Opioid Prescriptions

Doctors Underestimate Opioid Prescriptions

Survey Enlightens Physicians
Asthma Less Likely to Afflict Breastfed Kids

Asthma Less Likely to Afflict Breastfed Kids

Reduces Risk of Attacks
Spanking Linked to Mental Health Problems

Spanking Linked to Mental Health Problems

Impacts Children Later in Life
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Spotlight

Dirt Houses Cancer-Protective Microbe

Dirt Houses Cancer-Protective Microbe

Soil Contains Bacteria That Kills Melanoma
Soil contains bacteria that kills melanoma cancer cells, say Oregon State University researchers.
Local Natural Awakenings Magazines
Natural Health Magazine Franchise

Marketplace

Advertisement