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  • Writer's pictureSharanya Naidoo

What's Your Love Language?

Updated: Jul 9, 2019

The Love Languages are a great tool to understand what will help us feel more loved, and also what we can do to ensure those around us feel more loved.

What’s Your Love Language?

Love Languages are a gift to the world from Gary Chapman. He teaches us that there are five love languages and the way you naturally give love is the way you wish to receive it. See which one you feel connected to the most. In no particular order:

Gifts: it’s not the money but the thought behind the gift that makes you feel loved. It could be as small as a flower or a lovely pair of earrings or a big bag of fruit or a handmade card. You must love me so much to have thought about me when you hand-made that gift for.

Quality Time: it doesn’t matter what you end up doing, just as long as you’re doing it together. Could just be in the car driving together on errands all day, or going to the movies, or a picnic. You must love me so much to spend this time together with me. 

Words of Affirmation: you feel loved when you hear loving words. I love you, you’re amazing, well done, you’re so thoughtful. You must love me so much because you say such kind words to me. 

Physical Affection: a simple hug is all you need. Also holding hands walking down the street, cuddling on the couch. You must love me so much because you’re always wanting to be close to me.

Acts of Service: when someone takes the time to do something for you, you feel loved. Perhaps just ironing your shirt so you don’t have to do it in the morning for your early start, or cooking you a meal, or taking the time to drive you to the airport. You must love me so much to have the taken the time to do that for me.

The Love Languages are a game-changer for any relationship and not only to romantic relationships. It applies equally to the relationship with your mum and dad, your siblings, your friends and anyone else in your life.

When you have no clue about Love Languages

I remember many, many years ago when I had to travel about 12 hours to visit my parents, I was heading back for my Dad’s birthday. I went to the local chocolate shop, spent about half an hour picking out individual chocolates that I thought he would like. I picked about 10 pieces – mint, ginger, chilli, etc.   The gentleman placed them into a crispy white box, and tied a huge dark blue bow with ribbon. It was sealed shut. I took great care to ensure the chocolates didn’t melt on my long trip home.

I arrived and placed the present in the fridge ready for his birthday tomorrow. I will never forget when I presented Dad with his present he was not vaguely interested. He took a few bites, gruffly said thanks, and put the box back in the fridge. Less than two minutes. I had put a good two days of effort behind this gift and that was all I got back. You see the joy in giving a gift for me is seeing the joy on my loved one’s face when they receive the gift. And then I feel they have received the love I have intended to give them.

Needless to say, I was devastated with my Dad’s reaction. My sadness and hurt morphed very quickly into anger (my life’s story) and I vowed never to waste my money and time on buying him another gift. Ever. Again.

Enter Gary Chapman. I would put a garland around this man’s neck if I ever met him. It would be years later when I would read his book “The Five Languages of Love” but better late than never I say.

Penny Dropping Moment

The penny quickly dropped for me. Dad is not a gift person. It is the absolute last language on his list. Quality Time is his strong number one. Incidentally, Gifts and Physical Affection are my top two. Fast forward a couple of years after reading the book to my brother and I planning Dad’s 50th. My brother was coming up with ideas on buying him the latest electronic gadget but once bitten, twice shy. I briefly told him about the five Love Languages and we instead planned a day of quality time with him. We took him horse riding, something he had always wanted to do. The whole family participated and we rode for two hours in the beautiful wine country of the Hunter Valley (Australia). It was gorgeous. We then had a delicious lunch. And spent the rest of the day just lounging at home a little sore from the riding. It was hands down a success, Dad loved every bit of it.

Here are three things to remember about the Love Languages:

1. Give love in the way the person wishes to receive it, not in the way you wish to receive it. This saves a lot of disappointment.

2. It’s economic: minimum input, maximum return. When you know someone’s love language it is so easy to make them feel loved. Your energy, time and money never feels unappreciated.

3. Talk openly about it. Try to figure out each other’s love language.

How do I know which Love Language is mine?

Some people have a stand out Love Language, some have a top two like my husband and I. It’s an art not a science. It takes effort to give love in a way that you’re not wanting to receive it. My list and my husband list are in complete opposition to each other. His top two are Acts of Service and Words of Affirmation. So if he cooks me a meal but there’s no hug, I’m not going to feel deeply loved. Maximum effort, minimum return on his part. I can certainly appreciate his effort in cooking a meal for us but that doesn’t translate into love for me as much as a hug does.

The best way to find out the order of Love Languages list is to read Gary’s book, or do the online quiz that he has developed. Click here for the quiz. (

Love Languages are an absolute game-changer to feeling loved and ensuring your efforts result in the important people in your life feeling loved too.

All for you feeling even more loved,



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