How to Use The 5 Love Languages to Improve Relationships

Last Updated on February 20, 2021 by Michele Tripple

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Understanding love languages is a great way to strengthen any relationship! Find everything you need to know about love languages and how they can improve your family right here!

What Are The Love Languages?

As a mom to littles and teens, it’s not uncommon that I’ll do something that just doesn’t seem to be as meaningful to my kids or husband as it does to me.

I hate that feeling!

But when I heard about the 5 Love Languages, everything finally started to make sense!

The love languages are 5 basic categories describing the different ways people give and receive love. They are words of affirmation, physical touch, quality time, gifts, and acts of service. The theory is that each of us prefers one of these categories more than the others in the way we want to love and be loved!

This idea started with a book by Gary Chapman called The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts.

Love languages are so fun and interesting to learn about! And their central message that we all love differently can have so much power in all our relationships and especially our families. 

Why You Need to Know About Love Languages

Understanding love languages has really opened my eyes to how I can improve family, marriage, and friendships!

I mean, I’ll admit that I’ve gotten annoyed when my husband wasn’t being as “lovey” as I was. But recognizing that in reality, he was showing me love, but just in different ways than I often do, was a huge realization. 

I didn’t notice these sweet loving things he was doing because I was looking for love through my love language instead of his! 

Understanding Love Languages

There’s a couple of lessons I’ve learned from these situations about why understanding the love languages in my family members can really improve our relationships.  

  1. If I am wanting to receive love in a certain way, I need to express that to the other person.
  2. I need to be willing to offer love in a way that is meaningful to the other person, even if it’s not my natural love language. 

And though you’ve likely heard about love languages for couples, the lessons are just as important about identifying love languages for kids, as well as your teenager’s love language, and even friends! 

Once you determine how each person in your family prefers to show and receive love, having happy loving relationships becomes so much easier!

How to Find Your Love Language

Finding out what your love language is is actually pretty simple! There are many quizzes out there that you can take, but just by learning about each of the languages, you’ll probably be able to tell!

Something important to note is that you might not fit perfectly into one category! You may find that two or even three love languages really resonate with you.

It’s also possible that the way you like to give love may be one love language and the way you like to receive love may be another. For example, you could love giving gifts to others, but prefer to have words of affirmation from other people!

Check out each of the love language types below to see where you fit!

Can I Have More Than One Love Language?

You may be thinking… I love all of these things! And you aren’t alone!

Love languages are dynamic. Just because you align more with quality time doesn’t mean you don’t enjoy words of affirmation, gifts, service, or physical touch! 

Although you may find that you relate to many of them, you probably still have 1-2 love languages that fit you best. 

You might also find that the way that you like to show love is different than the way you like to receive it! 

But it’s not as complex as it sounds! Once you learn your love language it’ll be easier to tell the people in your life what you need as well as give them what they need.

Love Language Types

So what do all these love languages really mean? Here’s a basic guide to the 5 different love language types! Can you tell what your love language is by reading this list? Let us know yours in the comments!

Words of Affirmation 

Words of affirmation are words, written or spoken, that express caring emotions to another person. 

If you prefer words of affirmation, the way you feel loved and appreciated is likely when other people tell you how they’re feeling! This could be in conversation, or even in notes, texts, etc.

Words of affirmation are supposed to affirm, so things like emotionally revealing conversations, compliments, kind words, loving messages, and similar words are really effective.  

Just be yourself and speak up and you’ll make someone who prefers words of affirmation feel very loved!

Words of Affirmation Examples

  • Saying “I love you”
  • Writing a note
  • Giving a compliment
  • Saying “please”, “thank you”, etc. 
  • Posting a nice comment on their social media
  • Talking about your feelings

Physical Touch

If your love language is physical touch, then your preferred way to express love is with physical affection!

Instead of talking about your feelings, physical touch is showing your feelings with nonverbal gestures. For your spouse and kids, this may be more intimate gestures like hugging and kissing. So bring on the snuggles!

But physical touch in friendships is possible too. You might like to give high fives, handshakes, and other friendly touches when sharing your love with a friend!

Physical Touch Examples

  • Giving a hug
  • Kissing
  • Sitting together while watching TV
  • Holding hands
  • Patting their back
  • Giving a massage
  • Cuddling 

Gifts

If you love the gift-exchanging festivities of birthdays and other holidays, Giving and receiving gifts is probably your love language.

The ‘gifts’ love language is just what it sounds like. It’s giving a tangible item to someone you love! 

But giving wrapped presents isn’t the only way you can share love through gift-giving. It can also be more casual surprises to remind someone that you love them! I feel just as much love when my husband buys me a Christmas present as I do when one of my kids hands me a flower they’ve found at the park.

However casual or ornate, the most important part of gift-giving is showing someone that they were on your mind!

Gift Giving and Receiving Examples

  • Giving a wrapped present
  • Dropping off flowers
  • Making their favorite treat like our rainbow poke cake for kids who love color!
  • Making a handmade card
  • Sharing your favorite toy or game
  • Surprising them 
  • Adding a joke in their lunch box

Quality Time

If your love language is quality time, then you value spending time together with your loved ones more than anything else.

And remember, this love language is called quality time, not quantity time. 

If someone you know prefers quality time, they likely want to spend real time with you where they have your full attention. Even if it’s just a few minutes of your day, it can be really meaningful.

So if you love someone that has a quality time love language, put your phones and other distractions away, focus on them for a bit, and remind them that their time is valuable to you! Try these ideas to connect with your teenagers through quality time as well!

Quality Time Examples

  • Playing a game together. One of our favorite games is of course Sorry and Wackee Six!
  • Having a conversation, try these awesome family conversation cards! We use these all the time to start any conversation.
  • Going on a date
  • Taking your child to lunch alone
  • Pillow talk before bed
  • Meeting for lunch
  • Bedtime stories

Acts of Service

Last but not least is acts of service. If your love language is acts of service, then you probably think actions speak louder than words!

Serving people you love is always a good idea, but the sacrifice of your time or energy is going to be extra impressive for someone who relates to the acts of service love language. 

This love language encompasses a huge variety of things from tiny favors to large service projects. There are so many things that you can do to show someone you love them through service! 

Acts of Service Examples

  • Ironing their clothes
  • Giving a foot rub
  • Cleaning up after dinner
  • Giving them first choice on a game or movie
  • Packing lunches
  • Letting them sleep in while you watch the kids
  • Washing the car

What is your love language? Share in the comments below!

10 thoughts on “How to Use The 5 Love Languages to Improve Relationships”

  1. i need to read this book soon; while i do a bit of everything, i think words of affirmation and acts of service are my love languages

    Reply
  2. I love diving into love languages. It completely changed me and my husbands relationship for the better once we understood them completely.

    Reply
  3. My husband and I read the book together several years ago and learned A LOT about each other. It was really helpful for our marriage and our relationship!

    Reply

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