The 5 Love Languages

Talks to Have Before Getting Married: Love Style

What is your partners's love style? Have you ever been with your partner and you feel like you are expressing a lot of love but your s/he does not seem to be getting it?  Perhaps you are not aware of his or her love style.  Many times in relationships, people are not always aware of the way they both give and receive love.  Do you know your love style?  Do you know your partners?

Picture this, you and your partner spend the day together.  You are side by side most of the day, but he seems to withdraw from you at the end of the day.  He says, "I feel distant from you".  You reply in dismay, "we spend all day together!"  You may be showing him love by giving him your quality time, but he may have a different way he receives love.  Do not assume you love your partner the way they need to be loved.  Perhaps in the above scenerio, the male parter needs to be spoken to with words  of love to feel loved!

A great tool for recognizing yours and your partner's  love style is the book, The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman.  In the book, Chapman identifies modes of showing love like the following:

  • Words of Affirmation (saying I love you, you are important)
  • Quality Time (spending time together with little or no distractions)
  • Physical Touch (holding hands, high fives, sensual touch)
  • Gifts (buying trinkets, flowers)
  • Acts of Service (doing a chore for your partner

Love styles are constantly changing and evolving and needs to be adapted accordingly.  At one point in your marriage, you may need spontaneous acts of physical touch, while later you may need help with the housework to feel loved and appreciated.  Make a commitment to constantly reevaluate your love styles and communicate them to each other in a non threatening, non shaming way.

Please continue to check in with Natalie and Joleen all week for more questions to ask before you get married.  As always, thanks for reading.

*Resources: Saving Your Marriage Before it Starts by Dr. Les Parrott & Dr. Leslie Parrott & The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman

Written by Alexa Griffith, LMHC, LCAC, NCC, RPT

Alexa Griffith, LMHC, LCAC, NCC, RPT  is a licensed therapist and Registered Play Therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Alexa enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Alexa also does play therapyfamily counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield


Gifts that say "I Get You!"- Physical Touch/Acts of Service

This week we are reviewing different Valentine's Day gift ideas for your significant other, based on the 5 Love Languages.  Do you know your significant other's Primary Love Language?  It could make a big difference this Valentine's Day in your S.O. feeling appreciated and validated!  Today we will review the last two Love Languages and gift ideas for each: Physical Touch- A great gift idea for the spouse/significant other whose love language is physical touch is a gift certificate for a massage... by you!  Give your significant other a gift "coupon" for a spa day, where you pamper him/her with different forms of touch:  a foot massage, back rub, pedicure/manicure with hand massage, facial, scalp massage.  Another idea would be a "back rub a week for a month" certificate, redeemable at your significant others request.  On Valentine's Day, wake your significant other up to a soothing back rub followed by a kiss on the cheek, and follow that by gestures of physical touch (hugs, kisses, holding hands) throughout the day (that are outside of the norm for your relationship).  Show your spouse you are going the extra mile because you understand this is how he/she feels loved!  Remember that the Love Language of physical touch doesn't just include sexual touch-- it's much more than that!

Acts of Service- If your spouse's love language is Acts of Service, write a list of "Honey Do" projects he/she has been asking you to do for months, and dedicate one whole day to accomplishing everything on that list!  Give your significant other notecard "coupons" for a "day off" around the house:  this would be a day where all they do is lounge around, while YOU take care of EVERYTHING around the house... from start to finish!  The idea of a day off for your spouse would mean that they don't lift a finger the entire day! This might include making breakfast for the family and cleaning up the kitchen, doing all of the household chores for the day/week (especially the ones your spouse really dislikes doing the most!), taking care of the kids, etc..  The idea of this love language is to communicate to your spouse that this is THEIR day to relax and to ease any form of burden or responsibility from their mind. 

These are just a few gift ideas for the 5 Love Languages (based on the best selling book "The 5 Love Languages" by Gary Chapman).  We hope you found some of this week's ideas helpful!  We also hope you find joy in celebrating Valentine's Day this year with your loved ones and family.  Until next week, thank you for joining us!

Joleen Watson, MS, NCC, is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. She enjoys doing marriage counseling, relationship counseling, couples counseling, and individual counseling.  Imagine Hope also specializes in family, child and adolescent counseling and serves Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield, and Fishers.