The Many Different Love Languages

Heart made ​​with words

About the Five Ways People Show Love

Do you know the five love languages? We’re not talking about the romance languages like Italian and French. Author and relationship expert Gary Chapman developed the five love languages, which represent the different methods a person can express their love.

In Chapman’s book, The 5 Love Languages, he explains how everyone has a dominant need in a relationship. These needs can be encouraging words, thoughtful actions, the presentation of gifts, spending uninterrupted quality time with each other and physically touching each other.

In a relationship, each person feels the love of his or her partner primarily through one of these methods:

Words of Affirmation

Words of affirmation include, “I appreciate you,” “thank you for going out of your way to do this for me,” and “I’m proud of you.”  People who need to hear nice things said aloud need to know what their partner is thinking, especially during an argument. As a partner to someone who understands love through words, it is critical to share your thoughts and frequently verbalize how much your partner means to you.

Learn more about how to express yourself with words of affirmation.

Acts of Service

Sometimes, actions speak louder than words. Vacuuming the house unprompted, offering to run the errands, and washing the dishes are all ways to show your love through action. Although it may not seem significant, for a person who needs love communicated through action, the doing is the only part that matters. Yes, vacuuming can absolutely be a sign of love. “Finding ways to serve speaks volumes to the recipient of these acts,” says Chapman.

Review recommendations for showing love to someone through acts of kindness.

Receiving Gifts

Some people feel the most loved when they receive a gift. If this is true for you, it doesn’t mean you are materialistic. The gift doesn’t matter as much as the time and effort your partner went into preparing it. Gifts are visual representations of love. Chapman advises that for the receiver of gifts “a missed birthday, anniversary, or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous and so would the absence of everyday gestures.”

Quality Time

Being with someone who values quality time means giving him or her your undivided attention. This means turning your phone and television off and focusing on the task at hand with your partner. It can also mean engaging in thoughtful conversation. The time together makes your partner feel loved and more important than the things you disconnected from to spend time with him or her.

Learn about how to love your “quality time” partner.

Physical Touch

Chapman explains that physical touch fosters a sense of security and belonging in any relationship.  The need to have love expressed physically doesn’t mean sex all the time. Those who identify with physical touch as their love language may prefer to hold hands in public, hug frequently, kiss often and cuddle regularly.

Read more about loving someone through physical touch.

Determine & Sharing Your Love Language

You can determine your love language by taking the quizzes on Chapman’s website:

Once you know your love language, ask your partner to take the quiz as well. After you have both identified how you prefer to be shown love, spend some time brainstorming how to incorporate the results into your relationship.

Additional Resources





  • Audio Book, by Gary Chapman, available on iTunes for free
Print Friendly, PDF & Email