Lost in Translation: Love Languages

Did you know that there are 5 universal love languages? The idea of love languages was introduced by Gary Chapman in his New York Times Bestseller, The Five Love Languages. This concept is widely used by couples therapists.


Words of Affirmation

Expressing your love and commitment verbally. Typically, these words will build your partners self confidence.  A simple, “you look great!” can send them to the moon.

Quality Time

Expressing your love and commitment by spending time together. For some, (including my hubby), simply being in the same room together while one is watching t.v. (he’s a sports guy), while the other partner is reading (yes, I’m the nerdy book worm) is an expression of affection and love.


Expressing your love and commitment by giving gifts. It’s not about the monetary value of the gifts, but the act of giving the gift that counts here. If this is your partners love language and you forget a birthday or anniversary, look out.

Acts of Service

Expressing your love and commitment by doing tasks for them. For example: filling up their gas tank, making their favourite meal, vacuuming. The key here is that you do these tasks joyfully, not reluctantly.

Physical Touch

Expressing your love and commitment through touch, hugs and kisses. For some, being sexually intimate is a very important expression of love, so go ahead, get a little closer.

Excuse me, do you speak….?

Determine your love language(s) by asking yourself the following questions:

How do I express love to others?

What do I most long for from others?

What do I complain about the most?


So if we have clarity around love languages, why is it so difficult to connect with our partners? Simple: instead of expressing our partners love language, we express our love language, hoping they will reciprocate. For example, one of my love languages is Physical Touch. This is NOT my partner’s love language. To put it simply, he’s not exactly a touchy-feely kinda guy. So instead of smothering (his word, not mine) him with hugs and kisses, I need to speak his language (Acts of Service) in order to show him how much I adore him.


How do you get more of the love you long for?

  1. Identify your partners love language
  2. Express yourself using her/his love language
  3. Help your partner identify and express your love language



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