How to Improve Your Marriage With the Five Love Languages

A couple holding hands and walking in a field.

Want to know how to make your relationship more satisfying and fulfilling? Once you know which love language your partner speaks, you have a cheat sheet to their heart. Yes, love is an actual language because not everyone shows it or accepts it in the same way. For example, your husband may feel the most loved when you cook dinner for him, while you couldn’t care less if he makes you a five-course meal. You may love taking walks on the beach sharing your heart, while your husband might feel like it’s just too much talking. Here’s a summary of the five different love languages, based on the book The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. The idea is to decide which language fits each of you best via a quiz in the book. If you’ve been with your partner long enough, you may be able to guess based on the descriptions below which one they are!

Quality Time

This love language is about devoting time to someone without being preoccupied with something else. Quality time means going for a walk and just talking about the day. Have a meal together without the TV on or phones present. Set a scheduled “date night” every week, even if it’s only to run errands or go to the gym together. It’s hard in today’s world with the kids’ schedules, work, and home life to carve out attention and free time, but you have to make it a point when you’re married to someone whose love language is quality time. When you’re distracted or don’t listen to them, they can feel unloved.

Acts of Service

A young married couple washing dishes together.

You’ve heard the saying that actions speak louder than words. The people whose love language is acts of service appreciate and show their love best with actions. This may mean mowing the lawn, airing up the car tires, changing the baby’s diaper, or bringing home groceries. These acts require you to think about what your spouse would love to see done for them. It’s all about being positive and going beyond just saying you love to clean the bathroom. Of course, you probably don’t enjoy scrubbing bathroom sinks—but when you do it out of love, both you and your spouse feel good.

Words of Affirmation

People who need words of affirmation to feel loved can appreciate even the most simple compliments or declarations of affection. They enjoy talking about feelings and find honesty in language. Something as simple as “You look pretty today” or “I love you so much” can go a long way toward making them feel satisfied in their relationship. On the other hand, negative speak will hurt them deeply. They take words to heart, so telling them, for example, that they didn’t clean the kitchen well can make them feel like a failure. Make it a daily habit to vocalize positive reinforcement and affection to your partner who needs words of affirmation.

Physical Touch

A young man and woman holding hands and laughing.

Physical touch doesn’t mean what you think it means. Those that speak this love language find comfort in the tiniest of physical connections, including holding hands, shoulder rubs, and a quick peck on the cheek. Physical touch is all about feeling loved and secure through the physical presence of another. This can be a difficult love language to master if you’re not someone who easily receives touch; some are certainly more comfortable with the physical body than others. However, even the most simple of actions like the touch of a hand on their arm as your husband or wife walks by can be all it takes.

Receiving Gifts

Those who speak the love language of receiving gifts feel loved the most when you extend to them a meaningful present. It isn’t about buying a new piece of jewelry every month to make them feel loved, but about making them feel appreciated even in the smallest of gestures. These people are usually those who are more visually-oriented. They like to see and physically feel a gift of love to be able to really feel the adoration. You don’t need to be the person who always has the most perfect gift at your husband’s birthday party or who shells out the most money to wow your wife during the holiday season. They just want your thoughts of them to come to life in physical form.

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