The Five Love Languages to Increase Intimacy in Your Relationship.

April 3, 2024

BY April Lincoln, LCSW

Developing and sustaining intimate relationships demands deliberate effort and dedication. While many find joy in the initial stages of romance, it is in the phase following, where the true essence of a relationship is shaped. This stage requires self-awareness and a willingness to adapt to harmonize with our partner.

We all express and experience love in five distinct ways: through words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch. These are known as "love languages," a concept developed by Dr. Gary Chapman during his extensive work in marriage counseling. Understanding and speaking each other's love language is crucial for nurturing a strong and fulfilling relationship.   

I would like to briefly explore each love language to help you better understand their impact on relationships. The first love language is words of affirmation. Words of affirmation communicate love, appreciation, and respect and hold immense value for those whose primary love language is in this category, whether spoken or written. These expressions of love carry significant weight. For example, simple statements like "I appreciate when you..."; "You look beautiful/handsome"; “you are a gem…”  can profoundly affect your partner. I know a couple where the husband packs his wife's lunch daily, including little notes with kind words about her.


The second love language is acts of service, which involves expressing love through helpful deeds and actions. Examples include doing chores, running errands, or performing tasks that make life easier for your partner. For instance, a friend of mine finds it incredibly meaningful when she comes home to her husband cooking her dinner. This is just one example of how acts of service can profoundly impact someone's sense of worth and connection in a relationship.


Receiving gifts, the third love language, can be powerful for those who prioritize this language.   Gift-giving is a profound expression of love. It brings pure joy and shows that someone has taken the time to think of another. Giving is a beautiful way to express affection, it doesnot have to be expensive and can be tangible or intangible, such as a homemade meal, a cup of coffee, or a bouquet of beautiful flowers.


Quality time, the fourth love language, involves expressing love and affection through undivided attention. When with your partner, putting away all electronic devices and focusing on them by making eye contact and actively listening is essential. Quality time is not about the quantity of time but rather the intentionality and quality of the time spent together. Plan a particular date, bike ride, try a new restaurant, or take a leisurely walk in the woods. Spontaneous gestures, like surprising your partner with a visit, can be significant. I once knew a woman whose partner dropped everything to drive 45 minutes to spend a half hour with her.  She still speaks fondly of how he prioritized her by dropping what he was doing to come see her for that brief visit and assist her with a brief task.


The fifth and final love language is physical touch. It's important to note that physical touch goes beyond sexual intimacy. This love language emphasizes expressing and receiving love through physical gestures like hugging, holding hands, and cuddling. For individuals who value this form of affection, these actions symbolize closeness, comfort, and emotional connection.

By embracing and utilizing these love languages, couples can significantly enhance their emotional connection, foster appreciation, and improve communication and intimacy. Recognizing and addressing our partner's love language allows us to effectively manage expectations and avoid potential relationship challenges. It empowers us to prioritize our partner's needs over our own and communicate in a way that truly resonates with them. Embracing the concept of love languages not only deepens emotional intelligence but also strengthens the foundation of a healthy and thriving relationship.

If you want to learn more about your love language, check out the love languages website and take their quiz.  The quiz is short and only takes a few minutes to find out your results.  Discover Your Love Language® - The 5 Love Languages®

If you are interested in further assistance with improving your relationship with your significant other, please feel free to contact Arrow Behavioral Health professionals to schedule an appointment.  Call 608-387-9638 to schedule your appointment or email