5 Ways To Love Your Partner In Their Love Language (Not Your Own)
Most of us want to be loved, treasured and appreciated. Most of us wish to express these same feelings toward our partners. To successfully communicate our love we need to express it in the way our partners will understand and feel it. It is as though you need to learn the language to know how to love your partner. When you learn your partner’s love language you will have the key to successfully communicating your love.
What Are The 5 Love Languages?
Dr. Gary Chapman noticed a recurring theme when counseling couples. One partner would say they didn’t feel loved and the other partner would respond that they were trying their best to express the love they felt. Dr Chapman recognized a pattern in the way people expressed and received love. He developed the concept of The 5 Love Languages.
The 5 different types of love languages are:
- Words of Affirmation
- Physical Touch
- Acts of Service
- Receiving Gifts
- Quality Time
Love Your Partner In Their Love Language
Words of Affirmation are more than just compliments. They are verbal and written statements affirming your partner. Your partner feels valued with encouraging and kind words.
If your partner’s love language is words of affirmation, you can be creative in the use of positive and loving words. For example, consider putting post-it notes in their lunch or on their pillow to inspire, uplift or encourage them.
Love language example for words of affirmation are:
- You are a giving and compassionate partner.
- I love being with you.
- I really see how hard you are working on that project.
- I love you.
- You are so patient.
- I really appreciate how much you help me.
- Your smile brightens my day.
- You inspire me with your caring and concern for our children.
- Your determination at work is an example of your dedication to your work ethic.
- I’m confident that you will accomplish that task.
These are just a few ways to express words of affirmation. Think about your partner’s day and events in their day that you can find an aspect to admire.
How to love your partner if their love language is words of affirmation
You need to know your partner and understand their “owners manual”. You need to know what’s important and meaningful for them to hear you say and express it to them.
The benefit and reason to express affirmations to your partner is it shows that you care about them and understand that they need to hear positive things about them. When you express words of affirmations your partner will feel valued and appreciated and it will increase thier self-esteem and self worth.
Your partner will feel closer to you if you express kind and thoughtful words and they will want to spend more time with you, be more affectionate and kind in return. You are creating a loving and nurturing environment which strengthens their connection with you.
Partner’s whose love language are words of affirmations have an emotional need to hear and read positive, affirming and loving words that express worth, importance and value.
Physical Touch is a fundamental need that expresses love to most people. Our bodies are sensitive to touch and your partner may enjoy touch. Not all touch needs to be sexual in nature. If your partner enjoys physical touch you can discover what they enjoy through questions or observation. For example, some people really enjoy having their feet rubbed and massaged and others cringe at the idea. Perhaps your partner enjoys a gentle caress that causes chills while others prefer a firmer back rub.
Love language examples for physical touch are:
- Holding hands
- Arm around shoulder
- Consensual sexual touch
If physical touch is important to them, think about the ways that they enjoy you touching them.
How to love your partner if their love language is physical touch
You don’t need to wait for the bedroom to share physical touch. For example, as you walk by your partner can you give them a hug, a peck on the check or stroke their hair. When you reach out to them it will be so meaningful because they know you are thinking about them and what matters to them. It provides a sense of security and caring that goes well beyond the touch.
Partner’s whose love language is physical touch have an emotional need that is fulfilled when contact is made, leaving them feeling safe and secure.
Acts of Service is when you show your partner you love them by helping, doing and providing some action that they appreciate. If this is your partner’s love language, it benefits you both to be alert for ways to make their life easier.
Love language example for acts of service are:
- Household chores,
- Running errands,
- Taking care of children,
- Putting gas in the car or other car maintenance
- Making or picking up dinner
- Outside the home chores, such as mowing, raking or gardening
- Making phone calls to the bank, children’s school, home maintenance
- Walking the dog
- Plan a trip or outing
- Or anything your partner doesn’t feel like doing
How to love your partner if their love language is acts of service
Acts of service to your partner demonstrates genuine care and understanding of their needs and wants. When you perform an act of service, they will feel seen and heard because they might have asked you several times to help them with this task or other similar tasks. If you help them with some of these activities, they will probably have more time to spend with you or be less exhausted when spending time with you.
Partner’s whose love language are acts of service have an emotional need for thoughtfulness, sensitivity and consideration.
Receiving Gifts is as simple as buying your partner something they might like, need or enjoy. Even if you don’t think they need one more gift, thinking about them will go a long way. The gift should be meaningful to your partner, and not what you think they want or need. You can listen carefully and be alert to what your partner has dropped hints about, such as “That necklace is so pretty, I’d love one just like that.” or “I wish I had a pair of golf clubs like my friend has”. Some people like surprise gifts. Usually the cost of the item is less of a criterion than if you paid attention to what the partner has indicated they like and bought it for them.
Love language example for receiving gifts:
Since partners are usually very specific about what gifts they would like, you need to find out what they’d like or make an educated guess on what they might like. Sometimes gifts are for just for no reason, a surprise or expected (a birthday or anniversary). Consider your budget and buy something within your means. Sometimes you might need to start saving in advance if it’s a large purchase. Flowers/plant, gift card, game, chocolates or a dessert may be enjoyed by many partners.
How to love your partner if their love language is receiving gifts
Receiving gifts can be seen as actively listening to your partner’s needs and wants and taking action to purchase it. By giving a gift which was thought through, it shows a deep appreciation for your partner’s likes and dislikes and creates a deep emotional connection. Sometimes partners have a tendency not to spend money on themselves and really value you if you take care of them in this thoughtful manner.
Partner’s whose love language is receiving gifts have emotional needs met through a symbolic nature and a visual and tangible expression of connection.
Quality Time is designated time spent with your partner doing what they like and enjoy. A couple who spend quality time together focus on each other rather than allowing distractions, such as work or cell phone use, to come between them. If you are unsure what quality time means to your partner, you can ask your partner questions such as, “How would you like to spend time together?”, or “What activities are most meaningful to you?”
Love language example for quality time are performing the following activities together :
- Going on a trip or vacation
- Trying a new restaurant (or an old favorite)
- Watching reruns or binge watching a episode or season of your partner’s favorite movie
- Putting down your phones and talking
- Going on a walk
- Having a picnic at the park
- Spending a romantic evening together,
- Volunteering activity
- Game night
How to love your partner if their love language is quality time
Spending quality time together can create a fun, safe, creative, warm and loving space to connect. This love language provides connection through prioritizing time which conveys that my partner is such an important part of my life that I’m taking time in my day to leave everything behind to focus on something my partner enjoys and do it with them.
Partner’s whose love language is quality time have an emotional need to engage in meaningful time spent together in conversation and activities to provide a deep emotional connection.
Why Knowing Your Love Language And Your Partner’s Love Language Is So Powerful For Your Relationship
Your love language is the key to your heart, connection and love.
By identifying and acknowledging your partner’s love language it will help you speak your partner’s “language” and encourage your partner to reciprocate in a way that speaks your “language”. Otherwise, if you are unaware of your partner’s love language you might lead to feelings of being misunderstood and a lack connection.
Your relationship will blossom when you know how to care for it properly. Like a garden, too much or too little water or sun will not allow anything to grow or flourish.
Each love language fulfills a different emotional need, so by knowing their love language and your partner knowing your love language gives you both insights into each other’s needs and wants. You are creating emotional closeness and strengthening bonds of love and support.
Can You Have More Than One Love Language?
If you completed the love language quiz then you may find that you score highest in two categories and low scores in the others. Some people find that only one category is high. There’s no right or wrong when it comes to which area(s) you rank the highest. It’s more important that you realize that you feel more loved when your partner expresses love in that area. Since you want to love your partner, the knowledge of their preferred love language(s) can help you better understand how to express your love in a way that your partner feels it. If your partner has two top love languages, you have more options on ways to demonstrate your care.
Do Love Languages Change?
Love languages do not change over time, but they may change as circumstances change. For example, if your partner’s love language is quality time, after giving birth, your love language might change to acts of service. Another example of a change in circumstances is when someone loses a job. Their love language may change to words of affirmation instead of the love language that might have been preferred before diminished income.
No matter what your partner needs, look for opportunities to love your partner in the way they need at that particular moment. Avoid becoming rigid about the highest ranking love language.
The priority is how you can help your partner feel cared for in the present circumstances.
The 5 ways to love your partner and express your caring can help you be more attentive to your partner. Discover if your partner’s love language is words of affirmation, physical touch, acts of service, receiving gifts, and/or quality time. You will feel closer and more connected by knowing and understanding your partner’s love language. Understanding your partner’s love languages is a beautiful way to demonstrate you care and foster a deeper level of connection.