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May 08

5/9 Do you Speak the right Relationship Language?

ResourcesWe need to understand our own requirements for a healthy relationship.  Many of us try to run our life on an empty or nearly empty “Love Tank”.  When we live our life without enough emotional connection, our ‘Love Tank’ can become dry and hardened – even to God’s love.  We need our partners to give us types of love that will fill our tanks.

First, rate your own “love Tank” need.  Use a scale of

1 = “I feel less of a need for this.” to

5 = “This is most needed for me to function well.

Next, rate your partner’s love needs.

1. Words of Affirmation: This love language is expressed through words that build up the other person.  Use simple words to share what you appreciate about someone or their actions.  This helps them know that you see their world and that you want to share what you see in positive way.

My needs:  1. < ————- > 5.    My partner’s needs: 1. < ————- > 5.

H/W:  Make a list of what you appreciate about your spouse.  Add more items during the next week.  Tell him/her two things during the week.

2. Gifts as a Love Language:  Giving gifts is a universal expression of love.  The gift doesn’t need to be expensive to give your message of care to the other person.  The gift says, “He was thinking about me!”

My needs:  1. < ————- > 5.    My partner’s needs: 1. < ————- > 5.

H/W: What gifts have you received from your partner that said “I care!”?  Twice this week give them something special – not necessarily expensive – that would say “I value you.”

3. Acts of Service: Cooking a meal, washing a car, even doing the laundry is an act of service.  Doing household chores sends the message that you care and are part of the team that lives in the same house.  Doing something that you know your partner would like says “I think about and care about you.”

My needs:  1. < ————- > 5.    My partner’s needs: 1. < ————- > 5.

H/W:  Make a list of what you appreciate about your spouse in their acts of service to you.  Add more items during the next week.  Tell him/her two things that you appreciate that they do for you during the week.

4. Quality Time:  Giving someone your undivided attention is a strong expression of love, showing your partner that you value him or her. This means having a genuine interest in their world, listening, drawing them out with uncritical words – not instant advice!

My needs:  1. < ————- > 5.    My partner’s needs: 1. < ————- > 5.

H/W: List when you spend quality time with your partner.  How could you expand this or include your partner more?  Let them know two things/events you would like to do with them over the next week.

5. Physical Touch:  Holding hands as you sit or walk, an embrace, a back rub, sex – all express love through touch.  For many males sex is their primary love language.  Physical touch will speak of your respect and affection for them.

My needs:  1. < ————- > 5.    My partner’s needs: 1. < ————- > 5.

H/W:  Aim to increase your physical touch with your partner in gentle, meaningful ways over this next week.  Watch for two times they increased their physical touch for you.  Tell him/her that you noticed and appreciate how they are trying to understand and fill your love tank.


Each person will have a primary love language that fills their love tank the best.  Your partner may appreciate the other four as well so try not to neglect the other ways they want their tank filled.  Seldom do the husband and wife have the same primary love language.

We learn to express these languages from our family of origin.  Dad may have bought flowers to say that he valued and loved your Mum. However, this doesn’t mean that you enjoy receiving flowers.  For most of us, we need to discover which language works best for our partner.

Try some of the homework listed for each of the languages.  Watch which homework worked the best in filling your partner’s emotional love tank.  A love-starved husband or wife will never reach their potential as a person or a Christian.  Use the other’s primary love language often and regularly.  Those around you, especially your partner, will begin to feel valued.

Adapted from The Five Languages of Love, Gary Chapman, Northfield Pub. Chicago, USA, 1995.

Susanne Fengler, Blog Author



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1 comment

  1. Julie

    I have so enjoyed the writings of Dr. Chapman. Thanks for putting up this post. Keep up the good work.

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