The 5 Love Languages


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Understanding is one of the greatest gifts of love. However, even though many of us have heard of Gary Chapman’s The 5 Love Languages, in truth people often express love the way they’d like to receive it. But magic happens when we understand our partners’ love language and tailor a special dose of love especially for them, as Mental Health Counselor Marion Rodrigue from Groundwork Counselling reveals.

What Are The 5 Love Languages?

A “love language” is the preferred way we express and receive love.  The 5 love languages are: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service and Physical Touch.


Words of Affirmation

Words of Affirmation are words of affection, praise, or compliments. For example, “I’m so lucky I married you” or “You look beautiful tonight”.

Quality Time

Quality Time means spending time together and giving your partner your undivided, uninterrupted attention.  Quality time consists of talking together and being together without being distracted by cell phones, the TV and so on.

Receiving Gifts

Receiving Gifts means giving your partner tokens of your love via little (or big) meaningful presents.  This could be a sentimental card, flowers or buying your partner something you’ve heard him or her say was nice.

READ MORE: 7 Ways To Make Love Last

Acts of Service

Acts of Service means doing things for your partner that you know he or she would appreciate:  emptying the dishwasher, doing a load of laundry, cooking a favorite meal.

Physical Touch

Physical Touch means holding, stroking, kissing, hugging, sitting closely, having sex and generally being physically affectionate with your partner to show your love.

Why Are The 5 love Languages Important?

Love languages are important because we don’t all express love in the same way.  What is a deep meaningful way of showing love for one person, may have very little effect on his or her partner, because their love language is different.

In my opinion, the best relationships are made up of two people who understand each other’s language of love and make an effort to express love in their partner’s love language.


How Does Our Love Language Affect Our Relationship?

Our love language affects our relationship a great deal. Disappointment often sets in when your way of receiving love is different from your partners.  We tend to give love the way we would like to receive it, which often leads to feeling like our needs aren’t being met.

READ MORE: 8 Ways To Increase Intimacy With Your Partner

Why Do We Often Give Love The Way That We Like To Receive It?

We often give love the way we would like to receive it, which can lead to feelings of frustration and frequent misunderstandings.   For instance, if my love language is Quality Time, but my partner’s love language is Receiving Gifts, he may shower me with presents, but spend very little time doing things with me, like having coffee together, going on little trips, and so on.

The gifts he gives me are intended to be thoughtful tokens of love, but to me that gesture would probably have very little impact.  Because my partner doesn’t spend time with me, I might even think that he doesn’t really love me.

What’s The Best Way To Understand Your Partner’s Love Language?

Finding out your partner’s love language is important and understanding your partner’s love language may take a little experimenting.

It’s important to pay close attention to how your partner expresses love toward you.  Does she hold your hand and hug you often?  Does he do little kind things for you like making you dinner? Does she compliment you a lot?  Because people tend to give love the way they would like to receive it, your partner’s love language is more than likely the way he or she expresses love toward you.

What Are The Benefits To Understanding The 5 Love Languages And Expressing Love The Way Your Partner Likes To Receive It?

Expressing love the way your partner likes to receive it makes your partner feel valued, understood and loved.  Making the effort to show love in your partner’s love language is an act of love in itself.

It is very important to communicate to your partner how you want to be loved. Because your love language can be very different from your partner’s love language, we tend to expect different ways of loving from one another.  Often, difficulties in the relationship arise because you and your partner simply don’t understand or speak the same love language.

READ MORE: 8 Things You Should Never Say To Your Partner

About the Author

At GroundWork Counseling, I specialize in working with adults who are suffering from OCD and anxiety disorders (e.g. panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety, health anxiety, and phobias).

My treatment approach is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) with an emphasis on Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) as well as Acceptance-Based Strategies.

I became certified in CBT and REBT after completing extensive training at The Albert Ellis Institute in New York City and I have received specific training for the treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder from Massachusetts General Hospital Psychiatry Academy and I am a graduate of the International Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Foundation’s Behavioral Therapy Training Institute (BTTI) in Houston, Texas. Less than 1% of mental health professionals in the country have received this level of specialized training for the treatment of OCD. I am also a Diplomate of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy through the Academy of Cognitive Therapists.

I am a Nationally Certified Counselor, a member of the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy, the American Counseling Association and the International OCD Foundation. To keep informed of the latest research and treatment approaches, I regularly attend National CBT and OCD conferences and seminars.

My approach to therapy includes planning evidenced-based interventions with my clients that are tailored to meet the specific needs of the individual and incorporates each client’s values. I help clients to understand and manage negative emotions, and build skills to tolerate and decrease anxiety.

I have experience working with adults who suffer from a wide variety of obsessions and compulsions related to OCD. I have worked with individuals with obsessions related to contamination (e.g. germs, toxins), fears of losing control (e.g. acting on impulse, violent images), fears related to harm (e.g. being responsible), perfectionism (e.g. evenness, exactness, losing things), and unwanted sexual thoughts (e.g. sexual molestation, same-sex, perverse thoughts).

I am LGBTQ affirming and I offer a warm, non-judgmental environment. I approach each client with determination, enthusiasm and a good sense of humor.