If this is your partner: When was the last time you told your significant other how much they mean to you? Or why you love them? Words of affirmation are encouraging, kind, and supportive. What does your partner do well?
Nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there — turning the TV off, phones off, and putting all chores and tasks on standby — makes your significant other feel loved. Time is a strong communicator of love for this person.
If this is your partner’s love language: Ask your partner for a list of five activities that he’d enjoy doing with you. Make plans to do one of them during the next month.
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. Physical presence in the time of crisis is the most powerful gift you can give. Your body becomes the symbol of your love.
If this is your partner’s love language: Every time you hear your spouse say, “I really like that,” write it down. Select gifts you feel comfortable purchasing, making or finding, and don’t wait for a special occasion.
Acts of Service
Is washing dishes really 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 want to hear: “Let me do that for you.” Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t matter.
If this is your partner’s love language: What one act of service has your spouse nagged you about consistently? Why not decide to see the nag as a tag? Your spouse is tagging this particular task as a really important thing to him or her.
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. Holding hands, kissing, and hugging — all of these are lifelines for the person for whom physical touch is the primary love language. With it, they feel secure in their partner’s love. “Love touches” don’t take much time, but they do require a little thought, especially if this isn’t your primary love language or you didn’t grow up in a “touching” family. Sitting close to each other as you watch TV requires no additional time, but communicates your love loudly. Touching each other when you leave the house and when you return may involve only a brief kiss, but speaks volumes.
If this is your partner’s love language: While eating together let your knee or foot drift over and touch your partner.
Even quality time has different meanings. For someone who works long shifts and away from home a lot, they may see quality time as being at home. Someone who is at home may see quality as any time away from home.
Dr. Chapman says, “We’re not talking comfort. We’re talking love. Love is something we do for someone else. So often couples love one another but they aren’t connecting. They are sincere, but sincerity isn’t enough.”
You can take the Love Languages Personal Profile quiz by going to http://5lovelangauges.com.
With a high divorce rate among emergency workers, it is important to learn our significant other’s love language. Once we learn their love language, then we will be ready for whenever duty calls.