In the next few blog posts, we will be discussing Gary Chapman’s book The Five Love Languages. Today’s blog post looks into the first two love languages: words of affirmation and quality time.

It’s easy to forget just how powerful our words are. They have the power to help someone, hurt someone, and make or break someone’s day.

“I love when you curl your hair like that.”

“Thank you for taking the garbage out.”

“Supper was fantastic. I’ve yet to taste a better French dip than yours.”

The list above may not seem like much, but these small compliments may make a world of difference to your partner if their love language seeks words of affirmation.

Chances are, you probably don’t share the same primary love language as your partner, and that’s okay. It might be hard for you to come up with compliments or encouraging words for your partner, especially if you don’t crave compliments yourself. If you think your partner feels most loved when receiving compliments or encouragement from you, try to pay attention to the little things. Thank him for watering your plants or for taking the dog for a walk. Let her know that you love it when she picks up your favorite drink from the grocery store.

As Chapman says, encouragement requires seeing the world from your partner’s eyes; it requires empathy. In order to best love your partner, you must learn what is important to him/her. Your partner wants to know that you see and respond to what they are doing.

Maybe your partner doesn’t care to receive compliments. Maybe he/she feels most loved when the two of you are spending quality time together. Quality time does not mean going to the movies or watching television together. Quality time means giving your partner your undivided attention, away from technology and other distractions.

To accomplish this, focus your attention on your partner and let them talk about their day. Focus on what they are saying, and really listen. Try not to interrupt.

As Chapman says, it’s important to remember that a relationship is not a project to be completed or a problem to be solved. Just because your partner is telling you the problems they faced throughout the day doesn’t mean that they want your advice on how to handle the situation. It might mean that they just want your sympathy or someone to listen.

Here is an exercise that comes from chapter five to try with your partner. Fill in the blank: “I feel most loved by my partner when _____.” Talk over your answers and see how you can show more love to your partner. For instance, if your partner says he feels most loved by you when you spend one-on-one time together, try to make more time for the two of you. It could be as simple as going for a walk after work or getting a coffee before class or work in the morning.

In the next blog post, we will talk about the remaining love languages: receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. If you have any questions about today’s blog post, don’t hesitate to contact Reka by phone at 402-881-8125, by email at, or via Twitter or Facebook.

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