The 5 Love Languages – Do you and your mate speak the same ‘language’?


If you sometimes feel that although you ‘know’ your partner loves you, they don’t seem to show it, then perhaps you are not listening to them in the right ‘language’. Or, if it’s the other way around and you feel you show your partner love, but they say they don’t feel as if you do.. perhaps you aren’t speaking their ‘language’!

All gibberish to you? Read on! According to Gary Chapman, in his book “The 5 Love Languages” there are many different ways in which we ‘feel’ loved or show love. Below is a short summary of these different ‘languages of love’. I have added on a 6th that I have discovered.

It is worth pointing out that we all use ALL of these love languages, and there is no such thing as having only one. However, usually there are one or two that are your *primary* love language.

Let’s look at what they are:

 The five love languages becomes six

1. The Love Language of Words / Verbal compliments / Words of affirmation


“ I Hear that I am loved” (receiving)

“I tell you that I love you” (giving)

Also the written word. Cards, any compliments, encouragement, positive affirmation.

Mark Twain once said “I could live for two months on a good compliment!”

For this person even vaguely negative words will do the exact opposite and do far more harm than you would believe.

This is the person who is externally reference, and need to see or hear that something has gone well, or that they have achieved results. They do not use words that they don’t mean, and take words very seriously. For most of the other types, words mean very little and they will often say “anybody could just say that…. show me that you love me!”  When this person feels bad about themselves, they will not believe any words you say, but they will still appreciate them, and could be persuaded!

What they will say to justify that they do love you, or when they don’t feel loved:

The word person says “of course I love you, I tell you all the time!”

or “You never say nice things!” “You don’t tell me that you love me!”


2. The Love Language  of Acts of Service / effort


“Your effort shows you love me” (receiving)

“I serve you / do things for you to show I care” (giving)

This is the husband who comes home from work and does the ironing, or the mother who feels she ‘doesn’t care’ if she doesn’t do everything possible in terms of service for her children! One lady I was counselling broke down and said “he never brings me tea in the mornings anymore!” She felt unloved, when he placed no importance on the act of serving at all, so didn’t realise how it affected her when he just stopped doing it.

When this type of person feels bad about themselves they don’t allow anybody to do things for them, feeling they are unworthy.

What they will say to justify that they do love you, or when they don’t feel loved:

When challenged about their love, they say “I DO everything for you!”

Or “If you loved me you would do…..”


3. The Love Language of Physical touch / hugs


“I FEEL you love me” (receiving)

“I need to convey my love by touch” (giving)

This is not about sex – it is about showing affection through hugs, loving touches or being ‘close’ physically. It is the first primary love language as babies. A hug will go a long way with this person, and they will feel terribly rejected if others don’t like a hug or to be touched. It is hard for them to understand.

What they will say to justify that they do love you, or when they don’t feel loved:

They will justify their feelings by saying  something like “I sit right next to you! I am always touching you, of course I love you!”

If they feel unloved they will say “You never hug me. I am always touching you, but you hardly ever ….”


4. The Love Language of Quality Time

Attention / Time

“You love me because you listen to me / are here with me” (receiving)

“I spend time with you because I like you” (giving)

It also involves doing things together. The point here is that in any of these scenarios, there is undivided attention – quality time. This person, if they are extraverted, will want to talk to you all the time – don’t go playing a game on your mobile phone, or checking your emails! If they are introverted  they will feel good just spending time with you (could even be ‘being there’ people, see 6.)  They are likely to feel loved when you want to spend time with them, and will show their love by spending time with you.

What they will say to justify that they do love you, or when they don’t feel loved:

They will say “of course I love you, I spend all my time with you! We do everything together!”

and when they feel unloved they will put pressure on you to spend more time with them. “Why do you come home and clean the gutters, why don’t you sit and talk to me?”


5. The Love Language of Gifts


“I see you love me” (receiving)

“I want you to see I love you” (giving)

A gift is something you can hold in your hand and say “look, they remembered me.”  “They were thinking of me.”  We always hear the old reminder that it is the ‘thought that counts’ and this is absolutely true! This is not only about gifts that are bought – it could be simply a flower picked from the garden, or even shown in the visual way of dressing to please them, decorating in a way they like, keeping the place clean for them etc. (different from ‘service’ as it is about ‘showing’ them love in a visual way).

This is the person who will love flowers, but they will feel loved by any token that they can see as a physical sign of love.

What they will say to justify that they do love you, or when they don’t feel loved:

They are likely to say “I give you everything you want!” and whinge about never getting flowers, or a special dinner made for them, or bought for them.


6. “Being There”

This one isn’t included in the book by Gary Chapman, but is one I have discovered and added to the list. It may be simply a version of ‘Quality Time’, but I have put it separately because it is often difficult for partners of this type of person to figure out what their love language is. It may be the introverted version of ‘quality time’.

“You are here, therefore you love/like me” (receiving)

“I am here, therefore I love/like you” (giving)

Similar to ‘attention’, however where people are out of touch with their emotions, or are ‘low-emotives’ they may not show their love in many ways. Usually, they would rather be alone than in the company of somebody that they do not like! These people are highly internally referenced, and do not need others to make them feel good, although they do, of course, still like to belong and have a special person around.

What they will say to justify that they do love you, or when they don’t feel loved:

If you challenge them to show their love they are likely to say something like “Of course I love you, I married you didn’t I?” rather than the more obvious Quality Time person who will say “I spend time with you!”

They will rarely whinge about not feeling loved – if you don’t spend time with them they are likely to just make their own assumption that you don’t want to, and that’s okay.



The mind is a wonderful slave, but a terrible master! In order to be the master of our lives and destinies, we must first become master of our own minds!