Category: The 5 Love Languages®

Q&A: Valentine’s Day and Love Languages

Q: What are some good love language suggestions to speak to my spouse this Valentine’s day?

Gary: On Valentine’s Day as well as any other day we should try to speak our spouse’s primary love language. What speaks most loudly to your spouse is when you speak love to him or her in a language he or she understands.  Flowers are great for some people, but will means very little to others. Remember that there are five love languages: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch. One of these languages will speak deeper to your spouse than any of the others this Valentine’s day.

Q&A: Matching Love Languages

Q: Wouldn’t it be easier and more satisfying for couples if their love languages matched?

Dr. Gary Chapman: I think the short answer is yes. If you both have the same love language it may be easier. Typically, what I have found with couples who have the same primary love language is that each individual has preferred ways of expressing or receiving that love language. For example, one may like words of praise and the other may like words of encouragement. Those are somewhat different. So yes, it may be easier if this is the case, but this is not a criteria for whom you should pursue. People with differing primary love languages can form wonderful marriages.

Q&A: Learning Words of Affirmation

Q: My wife’s love language is Words of Affirmation. Mine is not. Where do we start with this?

Dr. Gary Chapman: If Words of Affirmation is your #5, and it’s her #1, it’s going to take a lot of learning. Get a notebook and write down endearing things you hear other people saying to their spouses, thoughts you’ve had but never uttered, or things you read. Write them down, stand in front of a mirror, and say them to yourself until you feel comfortable saying them. Then, go to her and say one of them. This breaks the silence. Every subsequent time will be easier. It’s going to take baby steps for you to learn Words of Affirmation.

Q&A: Special Needs Individuals and The 5 Love Languages

Q: For many special needs individuals, sensory input is what communicates to them. How do the 5 love languages apply?

Dr. Gary Chapman: All of us need love. When we figure out a child’s love language and give them heavy doses of it, it speaks to the heart of the child. Special needs children also have a primary love language. When the parents or assistants who work with them seek to discover their primary love language and speak it on a regular basis, it does make a difference in the behavior of the child and they’re going to be much more open to learning and growing from the parent or the teacher who’s trying to instruct them. I think the concept of the 5 love languages is very applicable to special needs children.

Q&A: Love Languages and Time

Q: Can love languages change over time?

Dr. Gary Chapman: I believe that love languages, like many personal traits, stay with you for life. If a child is organized at 3, he’ll probably be organized at 33. Having said that, I think there are certain situations where love languages do appear to change for a period of time. For example, imagine a mother who has three young children; Acts of Service may not be her love language, but during those years it will certainly be very important to her. Physical Touch may not be a family’s love language, but hugs may become deeply meaningful to them during a time of crisis. To sum it up, love languages do not change, except for in exceptional situations for a period of time.

Q&A: Love Languages and Dating

Q: While dating how much time should be taken to help teach my love language to my boyfriend?

Dr. Gary Chapman: In the dating context you’re trying to get to know each other, which involves talking about your histories, your future. It also involves learning some skills that will help you if you decide to get married and one of those skills involves the concept of love languages. I would suggest the two of you read the book, maybe the singles’ edition, take the quiz, and discuss it with each other; find out how to clearly speak each other’s love language. If you get this down while dating and later decide to get married, it’s going to be a great step forward for your marriage because you already know what makes each other happy. So yes, I would suggest discussing the love languages freely while dating.

Q&A: Being Found Unattractive by Your Spouse

Q: My husband has told me that he doesn’t find me attractive. It breaks my heart, but what can I do?

Dr. Gary Chapman: I would say to ask why. If he says, “You’re overweight,” or “You dress sloppy,” those are things you can work on. However, it is likely far deeper than that; it is more than physical, it is emotional. Ask, “On a scale of 0 to 10. How much love do you feel coming from me?” It will probably be rather low. Then ask, “What can I do to help meet your need for love?” Take the quiz on and determine each other’s language. You can then begin to speak his language and vice versa. Chances are, he will begin to find you attractive again.

Q&A: Long Distance Quality Time

Q: I’m currently in a long distance relationship, but our love languages are Quality Time. What things can we do to make it work?

Dr. Gary Chapman: I would suggest several things. Extended phone conversations and internet conversations are helpful, genuine quality time. Try reading the same thing and then talking about during these conversations. I would also suggest old fashioned, hand-written letters, which communicate to the heart of the person for whom Quality Time is the primary language. The recipient sees it and knows that the author spent time on it and put thought into it. It may be difficult, and it certainly isn’t the same as being together in the flesh, but Quality Time is still possible with distance.

Q&A: Dr. Chapman’s Marriage Seminars

Q: Are your “The Marriage You’ve Always Wanted” seminars only for married couples?

Gary Chapman: Most of the couples who come to my conferences are married, but we always have engaged couples come and even single adults who want to learn about marriage. While we focus on married couples, everyone is invited. If you’re interested in marriage, you’ll learn some things that will help you when you are married.

Q&A: Are some Love Languages more Common than Others?

Q: What are the most common Love Languages? Are they all distributed equally? 

Gary Chapman: Our research shows that they are distributed pretty equally among people; not exactly 20% in each one, but pretty close. I do know that a man or a woman can have any one of these languages as their primary love language. One is not more predominant in one gender than another. What is important is that you learn the love language of your significant other and speak it regularly.