The Mental Health Minute – May Edition

“The Five Love Languages” – Understanding your partner and improving your relationship.

Twenty-five years ago, Dr. Gary Chapman’s created the Five Love Languages framework to help individuals understand how they and their partners perceive and express love. He discovered that understanding and effectively expressing love in alignment with your partner’s love language can foster healthy and fulfilling relationships.

His theory suggests that there are five distinct love languages: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time and Physical Touch. Each person has a primary love language that resonates most deeply with them. By understanding and speaking in each other’s love languages, couples can enhance their emotional connection.

Speaking different love languages is like speaking a foreign language it can create misunderstanding and a difficulty communicating with each other. The difference in preferred modes of communicating affectionate feelings can result in communication breakdown.

Partners can feel frustrated that despite their best efforts, it seems like their loving feelings aren’t being received – or reciprocated – by their partner. Learning each other’s Love Languages can bridge the communication gap and help deepen intimate connections.

Here are the five types of love languages:

#1 – Words of Affirmation. Verbal compliments, terms of endearment and expressions of appreciation, let you know you how much you are loved and cherished.

#2 – Acts of Service. For someone who speaks this love language, actions speak louder than words. Whether cooking a meal, stacking the dishwasher or taking out the recycling, for this person, taking on responsibilities is an act of love or devotion.

#3 – Receiving gifts. This love language is about the thought behind the gift, not the monetary cost. It is the care, consideration and thoughtfulness that has gone into the token of love and affection that is important.

#4 – Quality time. People who speak this love language desire shared moments and undivided attention. Uninterrupted conversations and extended time in each other’s company are their way of deepening the bond of love with their partner, as they feel prioritised and loved.

#5 – Physical Touch. Here physical affection and contact are most important. A person that speaks this language finds proximity and touch from their partner highly rewarding. This can range from holding hands, hugs, hair stoking to sex. Even abstract gazing into their partner’s eyes is part of this love language.

How do you find out what love language you and your partner speak? There is an online questionnaire at You can do the quiz online or print the questionnaire out and it is suggested for both partners to complete a quiz.

Once you have become familiar with your and your partner’s love language, it can help you to gain a deeper understanding of each other’s communication and appreciate the other’s loving behaviour.

Further reading: “The Five Love Languages” by Dr Gary Chapman


The information provided is from Better Together Community Support. This advice may not suit your personal situation and therefore cannot substitute real psychological advice. Please consult a professional if this has raised issues for you. You can contact Better Together’s Professional Psychological Services for an appointment on 4091 3850.

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