The ABCs of Love: A Guide to the Different Love Languages

You probably know there are different love languages, but how much do you know about each language? Click here for a complete guide on the ABCs of love.

About 50% of all American adults choose marriage and 88% of them cite love as the reason. But what is love for you?

Is it the feeling of butterflies in your stomach when the object of your affection draws near? If so, your marriage could be in trouble from the start! Those butterflies seldom last.

But don’t despair. Love is a choice you make every day and you can choose to stay in love. There are some time-tested methods that’ll help you. One of these methods is understanding the different love languages.

Keep reading for a complete guide to the different love languages.

Based on the Book

The different love languages come from author and marriage counselor Dr. Gary Chapman. He published his famous book, The Five Love Languages, in 1992.

The book has since sold over 12 million copies, so there must be something to it! Dr. Chapman realized that not everyone feels loved in the same way. He identified five specific ways people feel loved.

We’re all people and love is universal. Everyone feels love through one of the five love languages. Once you and your spouse identify your love languages, you’ll have some great tools for keeping your love alive.

Receiving Gifts

Most people like giving and receiving gifts at some point. But for some people, their primary love language is receiving gifts. What does that mean?

It doesn’t mean you have to buy your spouse a diamond every time you want her to feel loved! Gifts can be small and simple. It’s the act of giving that’s so important.

Pick up her favorite dessert next time you’re in the store or bring home a single rose. Ladies, if your guy is having a tough day at work, gift him with his favorite cookies after dinner.

If your spouse’s love language is receiving gifts, small but thoughtful gifts are all you need.

Quality Time

If your love language is quality time, you know how important it is for your spouse to give you his undivided attention. If your spouse’s love language is quality time, you need to put down the smartphone on a regular basis.

Someone whose love language is quality time gets frustrated if you’re not focused on her. No looking at the television or computer while you’re having a conversation. You need to focus on your partner only.

Be deliberate when scheduling time with your partner. If you have a sudden block of free time, that’s great. But your spouse may feel neglected if you don’t pre-plan time together.

You can do something simple like schedule a walk around the neighborhood together. It’s great if you can spend about 45 minutes of quality time together daily.

This isn’t always easy, especially if you have kids. But if your spouse is feeling unloved, it’s time for some quality time!

Words of Affirmation

If your partner’s love language is words of affirmation, learn how to compliment him! For this person, the words “I love you,” are even more important than for most people.

Build your partner up with loving words and compliments. Did he do something nice for you? Be sure and thank them.

You don’t need complicated words, a simple, “You know how to make me laugh, and I appreciate it,” will do. Try an I love you message and see how happy it makes her.

Remember that it goes the other way too. If you insult your partner or make negative comments, it’ll take a long time to heal the hurt.

Devotion and Acts of Service

Does your partner tell you “actions speak louder than words?” If so, his love language is acts of service. It might feel a little daunting if this is your partner’s love language.

Why? Because your partner responds best to things that often take time, effort, and thought. Some acts of service:

  • Cooking her favorite meal
  • Doing the laundry
  • Cleaning the floor
  • Picking up the dry cleaning
  • Mowing the lawn
  • Getting up with the baby in the middle of the night

These are all things that one or both partners usually do in the relationship. So sometimes it might feel like one partner has to go above and beyond the call of duty for her spouse to feel loved.

For instance, doing the dishes is an act of service. But if you do it every night after dinner, it feels like it’s one more chore.

Is acts of service your love language? Let your partner know how much you appreciate her doing that chore every single day. Communicate that you appreciate it, and don’t let your expectations cloud the act of service.

Physical Touch

Most people like the physical touch of their partner. But if physical touch is your spouse’s love language, understand that he won’t feel loved without physical contact.

You can tell your spouse you love him all day long. But if you don’t touch him, he won’t get it. Your spouse needs hugs, kisses, and lots of hand-holding.

Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean your spouse needs an inordinate amount of sex. Putting your hand on his shoulder or running your fingers through his hair is all physical touch.

Knowing your partner’s love language is so important. Words of affirmation won’t help your spouse after a bad day at work if his love language is physical touch. It’s not about what you’re doing, it’s about how he receives love.

Understanding the Different Love Languages

Understanding the different love languages helps you take your relationship to the next level. It can also help you communicate better and make love last.

Once you understand the five love languages, you won’t wonder why your spouse doesn’t get it when you’re saying all the right things. It’s not that your spouse doesn’t hear you, it’s that she doesn’t receive love from words of affirmation.

Communication goes a long way in creating a lasting relationship. Expressing your love in your partner’s love language makes for a lifelong partnership!

Looking for more great relationship advice? Find it on the blog!

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is a father, martial artist, budget-master, Disney-addict, musician, and recovering foodie having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Whole Foods Market. Click to learn more about me

Recent Posts