Marriage Matters: Love Languages

Hey sweet blog readers! It’s time for another installment in our Marriage Matters series. Today I’m discussing a tried and true topic: love languages. This concept comes from a book by Gary Chapman called, “The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts.” If you’ve never read it or heard of love languages, you can find more info here. I won’t re-write the book, so to speak, but rather share my own experiences. Below, I’ll discuss how knowing our love languages has impacted my marriage to Andrew.

Essentially, Chapman says there are five basic ways of giving and receiving love: physical touch, words of affirmation, acts of service, quality time, and giving/receiving gifts. Each one of us responds to these languages in different ways. In order for your spouse to feel loved, you have to speak to them in their love language. For example, one of Andrew’s top love languages is acts of service. It’s not really my love language at all, so it’s not my default, but I know that it means so much to Andrew. Once during our engagement, I had come up to visit Andrew for the weekend, but he was still in class. While I waited for him at his apartment, I washed his dishes. When he came home and saw the empty sink, you would have thought I had bought him a new car. He was so happy and grateful, and he brought it up for months afterward. When we speak to others in their love language, not only do we make them feel loved, but we receive love from them in return.

Now that we’re married, love languages play a role for us every day. We’ve also noticed that as we grow and change as people, our love languages grow and change. Case in point: one of my primary love languages used to be physical touch. However, physical touch is Andrew’s number one love language, so he constantly shows affection in that way. As a result of this, my love tank is pretty full in the physical touch department, and it has shifted further down the list for me. Andrew can tend to feel rejected by this, so I make sure to communicate my love in ways that makes sense to him. Whether that’s holding hands while we watch TV or placing a hand on his shoulder while we’re out in public, those simple gestures make him feel loved and seen. 

Love languages play a role in so much more than marriage, so even if you’re not married or engaged, these concepts can be a great teaching tool. Friendships, self-awareness, and professional relationships can also richly benefit from learning love languages. I encourage everyone to take a quiz to find out their love language. If you’re engaged or married, it would be great to sit down with your fiancé or spouse and discuss your results. As always, I hope sharing my experiences gives you a sense of community and helps you along the way. If there are other marriage topics you want to hear about, shoot us an email! We hope this Wednesday finds you in the midst of a great week, and that you have a wonderful weekend on the horizon! All photos in this post are by our dear friend Laura Bodnar Photography