Secrets to a Lasting Love: The Five Languages of Love

Discover how to communicate and receive love via Gary Chapman's Love Languages

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What is Your Love Language?

In his book, The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts, author Gary Chapman finds that there are five emotional love languages that are each described below.

Generally whatever you have most requested is probably in keeping with your primary love language. It is highly likely that your requests were interpreted by your partner as nagging, but they really were just your efforts to secure emotional love from your spouse. As you read the descriptions below, identify the language that most speaks to you and try to determine the language that most speaks to your partner.

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Take the 5 Love Languages Quiz

You can take the test at or look back over your marriage and ask, “What have I most often requested of my spouse?”

1. Words of Affirmation

Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important – hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten. Kind, encouraging, and positive words are truly life giving.

2. Quality Time

In the vernacular of Quality Time, nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there – with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby – makes your significant other feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful. Quality time also means sharing quality conversation and quality activities.

3. Receiving Gifts

Don’t mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you. A missed birthday, anniversary, or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous – so would the absence of everyday gestures. Gifts are visual representations of love and are treasured greatly.

4. Acts of Service

Can vacuuming the floors really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes. The words he or she most wants to hear: “Let me do that for you.” Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language that their feelings don’t matter. Finding ways to serve speaks volumes to the recipient of these acts.

5. Physical Touch

This language isn’t all about the bedroom. A person whose primary language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face – they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive. Physical touch fosters a sense of security and belonging in any relationship.

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