The Five Love Languages

by Dr Gary Chapman PhD

In his book, The Five Love Languages (2009), Dr. Gary Chapman describes five ways in which people communicate love. According to Dr. Chapman, people in intimate relationships usually have different love languages. Most people have one primary love language and one secondary love language.

Learning about one’s own and one’s partner’s love language can help couples do things that fill each partner’s “love tank,” which can create a closer, more harmonious relationship.

(For more information or to take the Love Language quiz, see:

The Five Love Languages are as follows:

1) WORDS of Affirmation

2) Quality TIME

3) Receiving GIFTS

4) ACTS of Service

5) Physical TOUCH

1) WORDS of Affirmation

If your love language is words of affirmation, you feel valued and loved when your partner gives you unsolicited compliments, says “I love you,” tells you specific things he or she loves about you, or says other nice things, such as “Thank you for making such a great meal.” “This language uses words to affirm other people.”

What shows love most effectively: Compliments, praise, kind words, cards,

acknowledgment of success, encouragement, loving expressions.

What hurts the most: mean words, insults, lack of praise.

2) Quality TIME

“Spending time together and receiving your partner’s full, undivided attention makes you feel loved. You feel cared about when your partner focuses only on you—no phone, computer, or TV. Taking a walk together, going out to dinner just the two of you, or just sitting and talking over a cup of tea or coffee are all activities that will fill the “love tank” for a person whose love language is quality time.

What shows love most effectively: spending one on one time, demonstrating

attention by listening, sharing quality conversation and activities, making time for the other person.

What hurts the most: distractions, postponed dates, not being prioritized with

time, not being given full attention, failure to listen.

3) Receiving GIFTS

“For some people, what makes them feel most loved is to receive a gift.”

(*Note: this language is related to thoughtfulness not monetary value of gifts)

What shows love most effectively. They enjoy receiving thoughtful gifts, both on special occasions and, especially, for no particular reason. The gift doesn’t need to be extravagant or expensive. It is the thought and effort behind the gift that makes you feel loved. Gifts could be handmade presents, tokens of appreciation or remembrance. They are visual representations of love – showing person is known and cared for.

What hurts the most: holidays/birthdays being forgotten, hasty/thoughtless gifts.

4) ACTS of Service

“For these people, actions speak louder than words.” A person with this love language feels loved when their partner does things to help. It could be doing the dishes, folding the laundry, watching the kids for an hour or two, washing your car, or any other task that eases their responsibilities. What shows love most effectively: doing favors, showing love with time and effort, doing tasks that are not required, easing one’s burdens.

What hurts the most: laziness, broken commitments, lop-sided chores, perceived selfishness with time/effort.

5) Physical TOUCH

“To this person, nothing speaks more deeply than appropriate touch.”

(*Note: this language is not necessarily related to sexual touch and can apply to non-romantic relationships)

Expression of this language includes affectionate pats, holding hands, kissing and hugging, cuddling, showing concern through touch, pat on the back are all gestures that make you feel loved.

This may include sexual touch, but giving affectionate, non-sexual touches on a regular basis are an important way to show love and concern to the person whose love language is physical touch.

What hurts the most: being ignored, not being physically present or accessible.

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