The Languages of Love

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, so I thought I’d share a blog all about love.

Having said that, I’m conscious I may be giving the impression this is aimed solely at couples, and whilst what I’m about to share is very useful for them, it’s also useful for absolutely everyone, because it’s about the giving and receiving of love in all types of relationships, whether that’s a friendship, parent-child, siblings and so on.

When we think about love, we may have a perception that it’s that warm fuzzy feeling we get from being in love with another. Love however, takes many forms, in fact the Ancient Greeks studied this, and came up with several different types of love, the four main ones being: Eros (Romantic, sexual love), Philia (love of friends), Storge (parental love) and Agape (Charitable love, the love of God). Check out for more info.

Love languages

We feel different things for different people and that’s what those Ancient Greeks came to understand and define. You may have a variety of relationships, but not feel particularly loved by some or all of them, but not really understand why. There may be many reasons for this, but one of them could be that they’re not very good at speaking your love language.

You may have heard of the Five Love Languages, it’s a popular book by Gary Chapman, and there’s information online too. Or this may be news to you and wonder what it’s all about. Love languages, put simply, are the ways in which we can express and receive love. Knowing your love language is important for self-understanding and understanding others. To really feel loved by others, the people in your life need to be able to ‘talk’ your love language quite well. For others to feel loved by you, you need to be able to ‘talk’ theirs.

What are these five languages? Here is a brief description of each:

Quality Time:

This is where time is spent together, where interruptions (phones on silent!) are kept to a minimum and attention is shown to one another. It could be having a 1-1 chat over a cuppa, taking a walk together, a fun day out, playing a board game, you get the idea.


This could be a handshake, hug, a kiss on the cheek, or more intimate touch between lovers.

Words of Affirmation:

‘You’re amazing’, ‘I love you’, ‘I really like your outfit’, ‘You’re so talented at this’ or as Mole would say ‘I’m glad you’re here’ (from ‘The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse’, Charlie Mackesy).

Acts of Service:

Making someone a hot drink or meal when they’re unwell, pitching in with the washing up, helping someone with their gardening, volunteering for a charity, or any act that helps out another.


This doesn’t have to be extravagant offerings, it could be buying someone their favourite chocolate bar, making a handmade gift for someone, or when a child draws a birthday card to give to their parent.

This doesn’t have to be extravagant offerings, it could be buying someone their favourite chocolate bar, making a handmade gift for someone, or when a child draws a birthday card to give to their parent.

As you’re reading this, you may already recognise which ones make you feel particularly loved. But if you’d like to be sure, you can take the Love Languages quiz here:

What can often happen though, is that if someone is aware of how they like to receive love i.e. acts of service, they may assume that that’s how everyone receives love, and offer that as their one way of expressing love. The truth is we’re all unique and have different preferences. If, for example, someone’s love language is quality time, then whilst they’ll appreciate acts of service, and all the other love languages for that matter, if they’re not getting your time, they won’t feel loved enough.

Which is one of the reasons why relationships can struggle, you may not be feeling loved by the other, and wonder whether they really love you at all. Perhaps they’re giving you lots of encouraging compliments, but what you’d really like them to do is help clean up the kitchen after dinner. Or perhaps they regularly buy you a thoughtful gift, but what you’d like more than anything is a day out – just the two of you.

By knowing your love language preferences, and being aware of the other person’s, you can make informed choices as to how to let each other know that they are loved. Remember: love is a verb, a doing word, it’s how we behave towards others that shows how we really feel about them. So perhaps the most loving thing you can do for someone this Valentine’s Day, is discover their love language and ‘speak’ it.

I appreciate, however, that relationship issues may not be as easily solved as figuring out each other’s love language, there are a multitude of problems that crop up in our relationships with others that can be complex and difficult to untangle, so if you’d like some help with this, either as an individual or as a couple, then feel free to get in touch. I’d really like to help.

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