Once you identify and learn to speak your spouse’s primary love language, I believe that you will have discovered the key to a long-lasting, loving marriage. Love need not evaporate after the wedding, but in order to keep it alive most of us will have to put forth the effort to learn a secondary love language. We cannot rely on our native tongue if our spouse does not understand it. If we want him/her to feel the love we are trying to communicate, we must express it in his or her primary love language.
- Gary Chapman in The Five Love Languages

Five for Five

After my last post, I was challenged to move past the concept of the love languages and offer some practical tips. So, here goes…

Five tips for each of the
Five Love Languages

Words of Affirmation

  1. Be specific. Instead of “You look great” try “I really like your hair like that” or “Those jeans make your butt look good.”
  2. Send a text, just because.
  3. When you buy a gift, WRITE something personal in the card.
  4. Compliment your spouse to your friends.
  5. Compliment your spouse to your kids.

Quality Time

  1. Turn off your mobile device (laptop, iPad, smart phone) during dinner or on a date. Better yet – leave it in another room.
  2. Ask about their day and don’t be distracted while they answer.
  3. Ask them on a date and plan it out – babysitter, restaurant, a walk in the city.
  4. Block out time on your calendar, even without specific plans, just to be together. Don’t let your time get gobbled up by plans with other people.
  5. Take a walk in your own neighborhood after dinner, removing yourselves from the usual busyness and chores of being home.

Receiving Gifts

  1. Get them something they can enjoy, not just something they need.
  2. Remember their favorite candy and pick it up as you leave the grocery store.
  3. Wrap a small gift – even when it’s not their birthday or holiday.
  4. DO NOT forgo a gift on a birthday or holiday.
  5. Build a collection – make a tradition of a certain type of gift over time.

Acts of Service

  1. Take care of a chore that’s typically on their list.
  2. Wash and clean out the car they usually drive.
  3. Finish that home improvement task that’s been lingering.
  4. Open the door for her – rush to get there before her!
  5. Warm up the car and scrape the windshield in the winter.

Physical Touch

  1. Run your fingers through her hair, or scratch her head.
  2. Sit close on the couch when you’re watching your favorite show.
  3. Squeeze tighter and longer than usual when you hug.
  4. Hold hands when you’re in the car together.
  5. Initiate sex and focus on serving your spouse when you’re in bed.

Tony and I came up with these just by bouncing ideas back and forth one afternoon. The reality is, your spouse will be the best person to share with you what you can do to express love to them. Ask them about this list. Ask them if any of these ideas appeal to them. We’d love to hear some of your tips, too! Feel free to share your tips, ideas, and experiences below in the Comments section. We’re learning these love languages because we want to show love in a way our spouse can appreciate so that we can #staymarried.

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6 responses

  • Here’s one for the guys. Let him buy the wedding gift and don’t give him a hard time if he buys flashlights… for the GROOM (nobody ever buys for that poor sucker!) Instead, give him some Affirmation.. He’s trying!

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  • My question is this: my husbands love language is acts of service, for a year hes been at home while I work… how am I supposed to find the time and energy to do his chores for him when I kind of look at that as his job.

    • Hi Heather,
      Great question. I’d love to address a couple of things. First, I have been home with our girls for the last two years while Tony has worked out of the home (mostly). I get that means that the majority of the household stuff falls on me, but Tony never makes me feel that way. We work through the chores and responsibilities as a team. He has never said to me, “Well, that’s your job” and I think it’s because he knows that attitude doesn’t benefit him or our family. We all work together to do what needs to be done and I always… ok, almost always… express gratitude when he does the dishes or folds a basket of laundry.

      Additionally, to your question of “how am I supposed to find the time and energy…” I know that I would be devastated if my husband made me feel like showing me love and affection was a chore he simply didn’t have the time or energy for. We make time for the things that are important to us and we find ways to show love, even little ways…

      Tony’s love language is Acts of Service and a new way I’ve found to show him love is just by making the bed. He notices and he feels loved when he comes into our bedroom and it looks just a teeny bit less messy.

      So, if it’s important to you that your husband feels loved, you’ll find a way. No need to split hairs on who’s job or turn it is to take care of something. Just do what you can to love him.

      Here’s another post that you might find helpful: http://staymarriedblog.com/receiving-gifts-acts-of-service-and-physical-touch/