With the impending arrival of Valentine’s Day, this seems a good time to address and create awareness about the ways in which we express our love to others. A foundation of Dialectical Behavior Therapy is Mindfulness which in simplistic terms is ‘building awareness’ of one’s thoughts, feelings, emotions, and actions. In wanting to better understand myself in this area of my life, I eagerly took a quiz based on the book ‘ 5 Love Languages’ by Dr. Gary Chapman who suggests each person has an individual style of giving and showing love.

It came as no surprise to me that top on my list of ‘Love Language’ is determined by ‘Acts of Service’ . This can be as seen as taking soup to a sick friend, gifting others unexpectedly, and working at a local homeless shelter. Through the years I have struggled with and wondered why my husband’s ‘Love Language’ does not match mine. After he took the same quiz, we discovered that his Love Language is based on ‘Words of Affirmation’ and that praise and togetherness is what is most important to him. This knowledge is helpful for me to be aware of and will hopefully bring us closer. “Darling, you did an amazing job of unpacking the dishwasher. I am so thankful to have a husband like you” were the words I used when I sent him off to work today. The act of mindfulness around our communication styles is insightful and powerful in helping one build stronger love relationships with others.

Acts of Service: For these people, actions speak louder than words.
– Do the dishes
– Cook a meal
– Do the grocery shopping
– Take out the trash
– Help out with child’s homework

Words of Affirmation: This language uses words to affirm other people.
– Share compliments, appreciation and meaningful statements such as:
– “I really appreciate all you do for me.”
– “I love you.”
– “Thank you for helping me today.”
– “Amazing work!”

Receiving Gifts: For some people, receiving a heartfelt gift is what makes them feel most loved.
– Give them a thoughtful card
– Gift a favorite dessert
– Surprising them with flowers
– Gift a thoughtful/personal gift

Quality Time: This language is all about giving the other person your undivided attention.
– Watch a movie together
– Create a ritual, like taking a walk together after dinner
– Schedule a date night
– Schedule time to hang with your best friend
– Turn off your phone/distractions when having a conversation

Physical Touch: To this person, nothing speaks more deeply than appropriate physical touch.
– Kissing a partner hello and goodbye
– Giving a friend a hug
– Cuddling in bed before and after sleep
– Holding hands
– Prioritize intimacy with a partner

I encourage you to take the quiz to learn your love language! You can also encourage your partner, children or roommates to take the quiz to learn their love languages too! Cultivating mindfulness of your own needs and others needs can improve your self-care, communication and relationships!

Written By: Dr. Michele Lob PsyD., CEDS, MFT#39932

Chapman, G. D. (2010). The Five Love Languages. Walker Large Print.
Fruzzetti, A. E. (2006). The High Conflict Couple. New Harbinger Publications, Inc.

Photo Credit: Mayur Gala on Unsplash

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