Do you feel like you are showing love to your partner, but they tell you that they are not feeling connected with you? Does your child beam when you do certain things with them but seem indifferent to other engagement activities and you aren’t sure why? Differences in love languages may be at play!!!

The Five Love Languages are a concept developed by Dr. Gary Chapman to describe ways that people receive and express love in their relationships. He saw that couples were misunderstanding each other and that many people were surprised that their partner wasn’t feeling appreciated or loved.

Marriage counselors often use The Five Love Languages in couples therapy to explore needs in these romantic relationships. Not only are the 5 love languages used by marriage counselors they are also used by child counselors, too, in non-romantic relationships! It can be used to strengthen friendships, family, and the relationships between parents and their children!

Every person has a primary love language – you can take a quiz here to find out!

So What Are The Five Love Languages?

  1. Words of Affirmation
  2. Acts of Service
  3. Physical Touch
  4. Receiving Gifts
  5. Quality Time
An image representing a couple exploring their love language upon recommendation from their marriage counselor.

Words of Affirmation

When someone’s primary love language is words of affirmation they enjoy hearing verbal expressions of love and encouragement. Giving compliments and pointing out ways you think they are amazing or things you appreciate about them will go a long way!

Ideas for romantic partners from a marriage counselor:

  • Tell them something you appreciate about them as your partner
  • Put a love note in something they use often – such as their favorite coffee mug
  • Notice their efforts and acknowledge them in front of others
  • Whisper “I love you” in their ear
  • Leave them sticky notes on the bathroom mirror
  • Compliment them on a goal they have completed
  • Send them a text or give them a call to tell them how much you love them

Ideas for kids from a child counselor:

  • Put a sweet note in their lunch box
  • Reflect that you see their hard work! – “You were so focused on building that tower”, “You are so proud of the effort you put into that project!”
  • Come up with a cheer with their name in it
  • Look into their eyes when you give them a compliment
  • Make an acrostic poem about them using their first name
  • Hang their art on the fridge and compliment their creative brain!
  • Tell them you appreciate them when they complete a chore

Acts of Service

When someone’s primary love language is acts of service they feel love through helpful acts.  Try helping them with tasks they are struggling with or thinking ahead and completing tasks for them before they ask!  Use the phrase “I’ll help….” often!

Ideas for romantic partners from a marriage counselor:

  • Help them get out the door in time for work
  • Fill their car up with gas
  • Do the house chore you know they don’t like very much
  • Make them breakfast in bed
  • Take the dogs for a walk
  • Help them pack for a trip
  • Provide feedback when they are making tough decisions
  • Pick them up at the airport
  • Do a repair project around the house
  • Unload and unpack the groceries when they get back from the store

Ideas for kids from a child counselor:

  • Tuck them in at night and set up their stuffed animals and pillows
  • Help them clean their room
  • Bring them a snack or drink of water while they are working on their homework
  • Help them with their more challenging chores
  • Make their bed when they forget
  • Tidy up their room for them
  • Check their homework
  • Let them pick the movie on movie night

Physical Touch

When someone’s primary love language is physical touch they enjoy physical closeness and contact.  For romantic partners, this included both sexual and nonsexual touch.  Sitting close on the couch with someone who enjoys physical touch is a great way to connect in a simple and effective way.

Ideas for romantic partners from a marriage counselor:

  • Manicures and pedicures or a spa day
  • Holding hands under the table
  • Passionately kiss
  • Dance in the kitchen
  • Scratch their back
  • Initiate hugs and kisses
  • Massage their shoulders while you are watching TV together
  • Stroke their hair
  • Initiate being intimate

Ideas for kids from a child counselor:

Parent and child engaging in physical touch advice from a child counselor.
  • Let them sit on your lap when you read a story together
  • High fives
  • Games like “this little piggy went to market” and hand-clapping games
  • Pat them on their back
  • Comb their hair – maybe even do a wacky hair-styling game!
  • Family group hugs
  • Tickle or wrestle with them
  • Carry them or hold their hand when shopping

Receiving Gifts

When someone’s primary love language is receiving gifts they feel loved through physical symbols that reflect thoughtfulness and effort.  Focus on thoughtfulness in your gift giving and be sure to show gratitude when receiving a gift from them.

Ideas for romantic partners from a marriage counselor:

  • Mail a package for them to receive when you are away
  • Bring them home an item you thought they would love while you were shopping
  • Put out a bowl of their favorite candy on the counter for them to be surprised by
  • Keep a running note in your phone for gift ideas that they mention
  • Make them a playlist with songs and explain why you chose each one
  • Buy them something on their online shopping wish list
  • Bring them a donut when you come back from your morning coffee run

Ideas for kids from a child counselor:

  • Make their favorite meal for dinner
  • Do a treasure hunt in the house
  • Buy a new outfit for them and hang it in their closet for a fun surprise
  • Bring them a flower or pretty rock from your walk around the block
  • Let them pick out a treat when they go grocery shopping with you
  • Surprise them with the slime/stuffed animal they have been wanting
  • Give matching friendship bracelets – one for you and one for them!
Couple engaging in physical touch and quality time with tips from a marriage counselor

Quality Time

When someone’s primary love language is quality time you can help them feel loved by spending time with them in a very focused and intentional way.  Undivided attention is super important – staying off your phone and making eye contact is key!

Ideas for romantic partners from a marriage counselor:

  • Ask them about their day and listen closely
  • Schedule romantic date nights
  • Eat meals together without TV or other technology in the background
  • Plan a staycation
  • Recreate your first date together
  • Explore a new part of town or try a new restaurant
  • Take a class together – dance lessons or pottery classes can be so much fun!
  • Go to a local farmers’ market
  • Learn to cook something new together

Ideas for kids from a child counselor:

  • Play with them and turn towards them during play
  • Get crafty together with an art project
  • Go on a bike ride together
  • Eat together as a family
  • Have a bedtime routine where you can connect
  • Play catch in the yard
  • Build a tent fort together in the living room and have a slumber party
  • Go to the zoo and find each of your favorite animals

How BPC Can Help

These are some great tips to start improving your relationship with your family members. Schedule a FREE phone consultation today to schedule a therapy session with one of our child or marriage counselors

If you have any questions or would like more information on the topics discussed or want to know what are the next steps, send an email to info@brittanipershacounseling.com or give us a call at: 713-364-8645.

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