I’ve been thinking a lot about this recently.  In today’s messed up, sticky, chaotic world, we need to find better ways to relate to each other.  And we need to learn how to ask for love from those around us.

Your mental health is more impacted by the way you are loved than you might realize.

Are you someone who craves kind words to feel happy, but have a partner that gives silent backrubs instead?

Maybe you need a hug at the end of a long day, but your partner shows love by taking out the trash.

In this post, I’m going to talk about what the 5 love languages are, why they matter so much, and how you can put them into practice.  This is also a helpful tool for someone who needs a better understanding of how to show love to a depressed partner.

Do you know what your love language is?

Summary of the 5 love languages

I’m going to list the 5 love languages in the order of importance in my own personal life, and give a little insight into how you might apply them.  Let us know which ones resonate with you!

Words of Affirmation

For me, this is my most important love language.  I completely thrive on compliments and being told that I did a great job.  Here are some examples of things that might spark joy if you are a Words of Affirmation person:

  • “Great job!”
  • “You’re such a good mom.”
  • “I love you.”
  • “You’re the best wife.”
  • “You really matter to me.”

If just reading that made you feel warm and fuzzy, then this might be one of your love languages!

Acts of Service

My next most prominent love language is Acts of Service.  After 15 years of partnership with my husband, nothing says love like him emptying the litter box without complaint, or putting the kids to bed.  This is nearly tied with Words of Affirmation for me.  

Not sure if you are an Acts of Service person? Here are some clues: 

  • You love coming home to dinner cooked for you or a clean house
  • It’s so nice to have someone watch the kids so you can take a couple hours off
  • When your partner tackles the weekend to-do list early you get giddy.

You get the idea.  If you love people doing favors as acts of love, this might be your love language.

Receiving Gifts

Not gonna lie.  I love when people give me gifts.  Especially if it’s not like a random thing, and it’s something that shows they really put thought into it.  It just feels good to be thought about.

Do you love getting letters in the mail? Or someone paying for your coffee in line at Starbucks? Are Christmas and your birthday the best days of the year?  You might be a Receiving Gifts kind of person.

Quality Time

It’s funny because my two lowest love languages are my husband’s highest!  This is why it’s so important to discuss these things with your partner regularly.

This one’s not too hard to explain.  My husband loves chatting after the kids go to bed and watching TV together.  That makes him feel loved.

How about you? Does Quality Time resonate with you?

Physical Touch

This is my husband’s highest love language and my lowest.  We have both spent time recently working on loving each other not just how we want to be loved, but how the other person wants to be loved.  This has been a game changer!

When he’s stressed, he loves a genuine hug or snuggle to boost his mood.

Why do they matter?

So, why does all this even matter?  A lot of times, like I mentioned above, we tend to love others the way we want to be loved rather than taking their needs into account.

To be honest, I’ve spent too much time in that trap, and I am finally learning how to break out of it.

Think about it from your partner’s perspective.  If you are a big compliment giver because that’s what love looks like to you, and your partner thrives on you helping them with things, you can see how easy it is to run into conflict.

Make an effort each day to do the following exercise:

Before you do something loving for your partner, ask yourself- 

Am I keeping their love language(s) in mind?

It doesn’t take very long to do this.  Instead of quickly offering a compliment to a burned out Acts of Service husband, ask them how you can help them work through their to-do list.

Small things like this make a world of difference.

Find out your love languages (Free Quiz)

Want a clear answer on what yours is? Take this free love language quiz.  After you find out, let us know in the comments!

Download this free 5 Love Languages PDF

You can download this guide to keep handy here

How to love someone who is a… 

Here are the best ways to love your partner who is a (Insert their love language)  Keep reading for some simple tips you can implement on a daily basis.

Loving a Words of Affirmation person

  • Tell them you miss them
  • Say, “Good job today!”
  • Compliment their parenting
  • Admire the clean house in front of them
  • Brag about them to friends

Loving an Acts of Service person

  • Do the dishes after they cook dinner.
  • Take out the garbage when their back hurts.
  • Do their least favorite chore for them.
  • Ask them what they need help with.
  • Take the kids so they can go to bed early.

Loving a Receiving Gifts person

  • Add something secret to your next Amazon order to cheer them up.
  • Bring them flowers when they get a promotion.
  • Add a gift card to their favorite store in your next birthday card.
  • Have the kids make them something special for Father’s or Mother’s Day.
  • Write them regular love letters and “mail them” to them.

Loving a Quality Time person

  • Hire a sitter so you guys can get a night away together,
  • Put on their favorite show and hang out on the couch with some popcorn.
  • Take a long drive and spend the time talking and singing along to the radio.
  • Make an at home date night, complete with a picnic in your bedroom.
  • Watch the kids so they can spend time with their friends.

Loving a Physical Touch person

  • Make sure to hug them daily.
  • Snuggle in bed with a show you both like.
  • Hold hands when you take a walk.
  • Give them a back rub after a stressful day.
  • Run a bath for them and rub their feet while they relax.

Love languages for kids

It’s also worth mentioning that kids have love languages too!  For instance, my little one (who’s 3)  is a major Physical Touch person like Daddy.  She loves to snuggle on the couch and fall asleep with Mommy.

Our oldest (who is 5) is a combo of Words of Affirmation and Receiving Gifts.  She loves being reassured when she’s anxious, and getting new books and toys.

Take some time after you read this to identify your child’s love language(s) to help deepen your bond with them.  You will be amazed at how much happier they are!

These days love is more necessary than ever.

The world needs love.  Desperately.  While we might not all be capable of starting a revolution that changes the world, but remember: Change often starts at home.

Love the ones in your life a little better, and teach your kids the best way to show love to others.  Teach that that love is a medicine that can heal so many wounds if we just try.  Show them how to love by letting them watch you love your partner correctly.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments, and don’t forget to share the post if you found it helpful.

Take the love language quiz, and make sure you communicate it to your partner.  And make sure you act on theirs!

About the Author

Jen (the writer behind the blog, Diffusing the Tension) lives in Northwest Indiana with her husband and two children (ages 4.5 and 3). She has bipolar disorder and frequently writes about her experiences with that. In her spare time, she is OBSESSED with true crime. She is also a bookworm, TV junkie, and fitness nut. 

You can follow her on:

Twitter- @jvan3610

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Her blog- www.diffusingthetension.com