Food for thought: The 5 love languages.

October 9, 2015


love languages

Yesterday a friend went out of her way to drive over, drop off a meal, and spend an hour with me catching up on life. Boy does a good meal do wonders for a mother of 4. I often joke about food and coffee being my love language, but really there is some truth to it, because behind the gift of food is service. Have you read the book about The 5 love languages? I highly recommend it for understanding those in your family, your friends, and even your children. I would say it is a pretty cool way to start making big changes to the way you love others too. You can download it on audible as well. To briefly sum it up, there are 5 main love languages:

Gift Giving
Quality time
Acts of service
Physical touch
Words of affirmation

It’s often the case that the way you choose to show love is different than the way you wish to receive it. I find it all fascinating. Growing up with 7 sisters and 3 brothers you can imagine all the different personality types in one household. It taught me so much about being attentive to differences and learning to love in different ways. 

For instance, my sister Maria is not a hugger. We tease her about her distant back pat she calls a hug. However, she will open her home to you and feed you all you need and never expect anything in return. Quality time and acts of service.

My sister Angela loves to affirm. She will build you up with her words and back them up with lots of hugs as well. Basically, if you are feeling pretty crummy you can just show up on her doorstep, and she will change your day around. Words of affirmation and physical touch.

My brother Joe will drive 9 hours just to spend the day with you and drive 9 hours back right after. Quality time.

My husband Gabe will rearrange his schedule to help someone in a bind, and show up even after you have told him not to worry about it if he suspects you need assistance.  I’ve seen him literally use the shirt off his back to help a friend. Acts of service.

My sister Tricia is more reserved with her words, but she shows her love in other strong ways. She  never misses a birthday. You can expect a thoughtful hand written note and gift in your mailbox every year without fail. Gift giving.

It can be challenging to give to others what doesn’t come naturally to your personality, but it certainly yields a more life giving relationship as a result. It is worth the effort for that reason. What about you? Is the way you show love different than the way you hope to receive it? 

Leave a Comment

  • What a sweet friend! Time truly is the best gift.

    I have heard of this book, and I definitely want to look into now. Happy weekend!

  • Christine

    My husband read this on our honeymoon, which was a hilarious sight on the beach. His analytical mind wanted all the information he could get going into our marriage!:) And honestly, it was a help! And I have often said coffee is my (and my family’s) love language – maybe we should petition the author to add it!

  • This is such a lovely article, thank you for sharing it!

  • The best piece of advice I got when my husband I were dating was to take the love languages together. That way we could see each others love languages. My husband and I both make it a point to do something each other to target each others love languages at least once a week, or more. My husband is quality time and mine is acts of service. Yeah I’m sure it hasn’t saved every argument from happening, BUT, it has aliveated quite a few because we know each others languages. As you can tell I’m an avid believer in love languages. 🙂

    • I wish they would include this book in marriage prep because I agree it can do a wonder in a marriage. It is so easy for us to limit our perspective and it just takes a little good literature and a gentle nudge to widen our understanding of love;)

  • What a wonderful topic! It reminds me of a book I just read called The Gratitude Diaries. It’s all about how being thankful and doing things for others really makes you more content and happier. It truly makes us happier to give rather than to receive. I love the idea of keeping these 5 love languages in mind. I might just write them up and stick them to our refrigerator as a reminder to do these things regularly 🙂

  • I haven’t read the book but 10 years ago I was told about these “love languages” by a couple who had been through a couples program before they got married (some churches do require you to do these programs before marriage). I remember thinking it was interesting and very true. I am not one for gifts (probably because I practice sustainability) but I do enjoy quality time. My partner doesn’t care for gifts either but he is definitely one for affection and acts of service. I am mindful of my “language” and I am also conscious to speak in my partners “language” too. I think we do a pretty good job of it.. I wouldn’t have said yes to his proposal otherwise!

    Jennifer Nini

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