How to Know Your Spouse’s Love Language and Why It Matters

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Love is an essential part of marriage, so this Valentine's Day, why don't you and your partner take time to make it the priority it should be? When it comes to expressing love, every couple has different ways of sharing their feelings for one another. Understanding and practicing the five love languages by Gary Chapman can be a powerful tool for strengthening your marriage and improving communication in your relationship. 

We all want to feel loved and understood by our significant other, but how can we ensure this is the case? Knowing your partner's love language could be the key to lasting happiness in any relationship. Our primary love languages express how someone prefers to receive love, and understanding them can help us better understand and communicate with each other.

Let's explore these five critical love languages, which represent the different ways people feel most loved.

What are the five love languages?

The five main categories of love languages are words of affirmation, quality time, acts of service, physical touch, and receiving gifts. In marriage, understanding each partner's preferred way to give and receive love can make all the difference in maintaining that bond between two people. Having an open dialogue with your spouse about what makes them feel loved can be highly beneficial in creating a successful connection that withstands any challenges life throws at you.

1. Words of Affirmation

Verbal affirmations are essential in showing your spouse their worth and value. Expressing these sentiments through words rather than actions lets them know you care and strengthens the trust within the relationship.

Some practical ways to express words of affirmation: give genuine compliments, express gratitude, write letters or notes, and praise your spouse in public.

2. Acts of Service

For many couples, acts of service are among the most meaningful expressions of care. This means going out of your way to do something special for your spouse without being asked. Taking on a responsibility your spouse doesn't care for is a beautiful gesture of your love for them. With this particular love language, your actions speak louder than words.

Ways to show acts of service: run errands or take on a household task your spouse doesn't have time for. Or it can be doing something small like making coffee or bringing home flowers.

3. Physical Touch

Physical touch is often viewed as an unspoken language, conveying a deep emotion that can sometimes be difficult to describe with words. Having someone you care about physically close to you shows how much they mean to you and helps reassure the other person that they are loved and appreciated. It can also help reduce stress levels and create a sense of security within a relationship.

When it comes to physical touch, it isn't just about sexual intimacy but rather all forms of affectionate contact. Some examples are hugging your spouse, holding hands, cuddling while watching a moving, kisses, whether a quick peck or passionate smooch, or giving a relaxing massage.

4. Receiving Gifts

If your spouse's love language is receiving gifts, remember it's not always about the gift but how it was selected and from whom it came. A good quality gift is something special that shows you know and understand your partner and spent time thinking about them and what they would like.

Don't wait for that special occasion; surprise your spouse with an unexpected gift, like a small token of love, "just because." A personalized engraved memento or a shared experience like a concert is always a win. And don't forget sentimental gifts, such as a treasured photo, that hold a special memory; they're definitely one of a kind!

5. Quality Time

Quality time means spending time together. Not just in any old way, it needs to be uninterrupted and meaningful time, free from distractions and obligations. This type of purposeful attention strengthens the connection between partners and deeps the relationship satisfaction overall. If your spouse feels like you really listen and understand their needs, they will feel more loved and satisfied.

Some tangible ways to express quality time: schedule a weekly date, engage in activities you both enjoy, have deep conversations and listen attentively to what your spouse says, and provide undivided attention when talking to your spouse, meaning put your phone down, turn off the T.V., or close your laptop.

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Benefits of speaking your spouse's love language

The language of love is something we all possess, but do we use it enough? In order to better understand your husband's or wife's needs and show them the love they deserve, learning and speaking their language is essential. Knowing how to express your spouse's primary love language can bring a greater appreciation for one another and a more intimate connection. You'll be amazed at the positive impact it will have on your marriage.

Identifying your spouse's love language

Discovering your partner's love language is essential for strengthening your relationship. Here are some ways to find out:

  1. Ask them directly: The easiest way to find out is to ask your spouse. Have a conversation about what makes them feel loved and appreciated.
  2. Observe their behavior: Pay attention to how your spouse shows and expresses love toward you. Often we love our spouses the way we want to be loved. It just comes more naturally.
  3. Take a love language assessment: It will help you both identify your top one or two love languages. Take the quiz.
  4. Reflect on past experiences: Think back to times when you both felt loved and appreciated. What was said or done that made you feel that way? Share your information.
  5. Try speaking different love languages: Experiment with expressing love in different ways and observe how your spouse responds. Pay attention to what resonates with them and what makes them feel loved.

Remember, the key is communicating openly and honestly with your spouse about what makes you both feel loved and appreciated. With some effort and understanding, you'll be able to discover your spouse's love language and start speaking it fluently!

What if my partner and I have different love languages? 

Chances are you and your spouse will have different love languages, but that's okay. What is important is that you work to understand your partner's unique love style. Each of us expresses and interprets love differently — what one person may consider an act of love, another might not. If you and your partner have different love languages, you may find it difficult at first to express love in a language that doesn't come naturally to you, but it will become more natural as you practice loving your spouse in a way that is relatable to them.

Knowing their love language helps build trust by ensuring both partners feel valued and loved. Showing empathy will also show that you genuinely care about your partner's needs.

Take Action!

Now that you are aware of the five love languages and how they can help your marriage thrive, hopefully, it will inspire you to learn to speak their language. Communicating with your partner about what makes them feel loved shows them that you're invested in their emotional well-being and your marriage. I encourage you to start understanding their love language today! 

If you want to take a deeper dive into Love Languages, then I recommend reading the book 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman.