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February 10, 2024

Decoding Love with the 5 Love Languages with Christina Keller, MS, LMFT

by Christina Keller, MS, LMFT

Do you ever feel that you and your romantic partner are just not on the same page? You put the dishes away, but they didn’t seem to notice. You sent them a thoughtful text letting them know you were thinking about them, but they took ages to reply. Love is complicated. It is hard to continue loving someone when you don’t feel they love you back.

Dr. Gary Chapman developed an approach to understanding love as something that not everyone expresses and receives in the same way. He coined the term the 5 Love Languages to represent five of the ways that he found love is expressed.

What are the 5 Love Languages?

Acts of Service

  • Displays of affection through actions.
  • Examples: doing the dishes on your own or helping them with dinner.

Receiving Gifts

  • Displays of affection through physical and meaningful tokens.
  • Examples: buying a candy bar they like or making a handmade gift for them.

Quality Time

  • Displays of affection through undivided attention.
  • Examples: eating dinner or going for a walk together where the sole focus is on each other.

Words of Affirmation

  • Displays of affection through written or spoken words.
  • Examples: sending a random “I love you” text or giving them a compliment.

Physical Touch

  • Displays of affection through consensual physical contact.
  • Examples: sitting next to them or giving them a back rub.

How this Information Can Help You?

Understanding how you feel loved will help you identify what you need from your romantic relationship. I find people favor some Love Languages over others. I tend to refer to these as your default Love Languages. We often do our default Love Languages more often as those come more naturally to us. We like how they feel, and we want our partner to feel that love too.

However, knowing which Love Languages you lean more towards is only half the battle. Knowing and adjusting your expressions of love to mirror your partner’s default Love Languages is the other part. We only have so much energy in a day. If we can be intentional in how we spend our energy communicating our love for our partner, it helps everyone feel loved and appreciated.

Want to Learn More? Dr. Gary Chapman’s website is a great resource to learn more about the 5 Love Languages. They have a free questionnaire to help you identify which Love Languages you might favor.

If you would like support with identifying and adjusting the ways you express and receive love, check out Avance Care’s Behavioral Health program and our therapists.

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