Category: Marriage

5 Love Languages: Physical Touch

Touch Square Main

***This is the sixth post in a series of 6 about the Five Love Languages in marriage. I suggest reading them in order. Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

It should not surprise you to know that physical touch is an important part of love and marriage. However, for some people, it is the most important part. A loving hand, kiss, or full body contact can fill this person’s love tank faster than any other expression of love.

Let’s get real ladies. We all know what people, even experts, say about men and sex. They say it is an actual physical need. But let me assure you that not every man’s primary love language is Physical Touch, although sex may be extremely important to him. Dr. Chapman even points out that many men mistakenly believe, right off the bat, that physical touch is their primary love language based on the importance they place on sex. However, if you were to take away the expression of love in their actual primary love language, with sex still being available to them, they would most likely withdraw.

What are the different dialects?

There are many different ways to touch someone in order to make them feel loved but here are the basic 2 in marriage.

1. Making Love

Making love is a critical part of marriage but it is even more significant for people who speak this dialect of Physical Touch. If this is your spouse’s dialect, please remember that every time you deny him that, he will feel more rejected than most. It is common, in marriage, to allow external pressures to take away from our intimacy with our partner. Perhaps you feel exhausted after a day of work, cleaning, and putting the kids to bed and sex is the last thing on your mind. Do not forget the power you have and the love you would be denying your spouse if you ignored his advances. If this is the way he feels loved, you must decide how willing you are to fill his love tank. Just as with any other love language, this one act of intimacy can be the difference between a thriving marriage and a dying one.

2. Other forms of touch

You may be surprised to realize that although making love is definitely important, your spouse actually speaks another dialect in the love language of Physical Touch. When I was dating my husband he would often ask me to rub his back. I knew he worked hard and was often sore at the end of the day so I would gladly rub his back for him. When we got married, he continued to ask for back rubs and to be frank, with time it got annoying. Sleep is critical for me, so I would sometimes turn down his request and tell him I was too tired.

Our first major fight was actually over this. I remember he was so upset and said that I had spoiled him and gotten him used to back massages and it wasn’t fair. I thought he was acting like a child. He left the house in what I considered to be a tantrum. Finally, after 6 years of marriage and reading this book, I realized how important back massages were to him. It wasn’t just because he was sore, this was a legitimate concern for him because when I denied him a back rub, he felt that I didn’t love him.

I asked him to take the love language profile and physical touch came in first, with quality time a close second. I already knew what dialect he spoke and so in the last few weeks I have made sure to take 5 minutes or so at the end of most days to offer him a back massage. In the beginning, it was kind of a joke. He would say, “Wow, I feel so loved!” You wouldn’t believe my delight when walking through the door after work one night, I saw what had once been a sink full of dirty dishes, all washed and drying. He smiled when he saw my reaction. I think we finally get it.

Of course, there are many dialects and ways to express love through Physical Touch. Some are more explicit such as love making, cuddling, and back massages. However, sometimes touch can be more implicit and casual such as running your hands through his hair, a quick kiss before he leaves, or even a hand on his shoulder as you pass by. It may take a little time to figure out what kinds of touches communicate love most effectively to your spouse. Once you find them, use them often and see how your spouse’s attitude changes.

Touch square2

How do I know if this is my or my spouse’s love language?

Dr. Chapman offers a few different ways to check if this is either your or your spouse’s love language. 

1. Do either of you express love in this love language? Do you feel that your spouse is often hugging, kissing, or touching you in some way? Do you try to cuddle with your spouse every chance you get? Is it critical for you to hug or kiss your spouse before you part?

2. What are your complaints like? Does your husband ever mention how much it hurts him when you turn down his advances in bed? Do you feel offended when your husband pulls away from you when you’re trying to cuddle or hold hands? Does he complain that you are not responsive to his touches?

3. What kinds of requests do you make? Does he ask for back massages? Do you ask for a kiss when you come home? Does your spouse ever request you make love more often?

How can I express it?

So let’s say you have discovered that your spouse’s love language might be Physical Touch. How do you speak it then?

Here are a few ideas:

•     If back massages are a big deal to him, invest some time and maybe even money in learning to be a good masseuse. Then make sure you get lots of practice in. I’m sure he’ll be more than willing to be your guinea pig.

•     Make it a point to initiate intimacy with your spouse the next time. For someone whose love language is physical touch and love making is their primary dialect, this will speak love louder than ever to him!

•     Try making a conscious effort to touch your spouse more frequently. Making your kisses more available, your hugs more heartfelt, and random love touches more significant.

•     Try asking your spouse how he wants to be touched. If he’s open to talking about it, this will put you on the fast track to finding what works and what doesn’t.

No response?

So what if you feel like your spouse isn’t really responding to your loving touches? The most likely answer is that it isn’t his primary love language. If this is the case, check out the other posts about the other 4 love languages.

If you’re sure it is his primary love language but he still isn’t responding, there may be more going on. If you have struggled in your marriage for a while, it is possible he is interpreting your touch as manipulation. He may believe the marriage is over and it’s too late. Either of these options doesn’t have to mean the end of your marriage. Stay consistent in expressing love in the language that means the most to him, without expectation of receiving anything in return. Do this for an extended period of time, Dr. Chapman suggests at least six months. It is hard to maintain a cold heart when a person is loving you, in the way you understand and appreciate, without conditions. 

Experiment!

If you’re still on the fence about whether or not Physical Touch is your husband’s primary love language, try an experiment. For an entire week (or more if needed), try some of the above mentioned ideas for ways to express love to your spouse through touch. Do at least one every single day. Do it with the desire to make him feel your love, without expecting anything in return. Make a note on your phone to write down your observations. If there is a drastic shift in his attitude, you’ve probably found a winner. If not, check out the other posts about the other 4 love languages to see if there is one better fitted to your spouse.

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Is Physical Touch your love language? Or your spouse’s? I want to hear about it! How do you feel loved? How do you express love through touch?

Signature Yellow2

 

 

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5 Love Languages: Acts of Service

Service Square Main

***This is the fifth post in a series of 6 about the Five Love Languages in marriage. I suggest reading them in order. Part 1, 2, 3, 4

A common way of showing you care about someone is by serving them. When we hear about a friend who just had a baby, we often run to the rescue by bringing dinner, offering to do the laundry, or making a run to the store. This is not only important in friendship but can be critical in our marriage if our spouse speaks the love language Acts of Service.

Stereotypes are a big part of this love language. Most women have experience in this area of serving their spouse because our society still has a tendency to follow these stereotypes. Maybe your husband expects you to take care of all the housework and the children because that’s what his mother did and he feels like it is your womanly duty. Or maybe it truly makes him feel loved when he comes home to a clean house and dinner on the table.

It is important to note, if this is your husband’s love language, your attitude about performing such tasks will make a huge difference on the way these acts of service will be received. Nobody wants to feel like a doormat and serve their spouse out of fear or pure obligation. Likewise, nobody wants to receive service when the giver is doing it begrudgingly. If we do it out of love, we keep our own dignity intact while filling our spouse’s love tank. Remember, love does not make demands, only requests.

What are the different dialects?

Here a few ideas of what may be different dialects for the love language Acts of Service.

1. Chores

Service can come in many forms but a common one is household chores. That means doing the dishes and the laundry, cleaning the bathrooms and the floors, making the beds and dusting the furniture. It comes in the form of preparing meals, bathing and caring for the children, running errands, yard work, and taking care of pets. In effect, anything that needs to be done around the house could be considered a chore. If you can make it a priority to help your spouse with some of that, it will show him you care.

2. Caring for

What about when your husband is sick? I’m willing to bet we are all too familiar with how grown, burly men magically turn into little children when they are sick. Although it may irk you to take care of your husband and meet his requests (not demands mind you) when he is obviously exaggerating how sick he is, it may well be the difference between an empty and a full love tank. If his love language is acts of service, he will be even more appreciative of your waiting on him when he is sick or having a rough day.

3. Help with the To Do List

Does your spouse ask you for favors or help with certain things? Maybe it’s to make him a doctors appointment or order him something online. Maybe he could use your help studying or being his soundboard for his big work project. We all know how it feels to be overwhelmed and part of marriage is being able to rely on your spouse for support. If this is his love language, you will see how much it means to him that you’re willing to help him out.

Service 2 squareHow do I know if this is my or my spouse’s love language?

Dr. Chapman offers a few different ways to check if this is either your or your spouse’s love language. 

1. Do either of you express love in this love language? Does your spouse sometimes help you with the chores around the house or taking care of the kids? Do you make it a priority to keep your house clean in an attempt to please your spouse? Does he ever volunteer to make dinner when you’ve had a rough day?

2. What are your complaints like? Does he seem extremely disappointed when he comes home and you’re watching TV while the house is a wreck? Do you tell him you’re tired of doing everything and hate that he never offers to help? Is it common for your husband to tell you he feels like you don’t care about him because you never have time to help him?

3. What kinds of requests do you make? Does he ask for favors a lot of the time? Do you ask for his help when you’re in the midst of cleaning up and it’s bath time for the kids? Does it seem extremely important to him to come home to a clean house?

How can I express it?

So let’s say you have discovered that your spouse’s love language might be Acts of Service. How do you speak it then?

Here are a few ideas:

•     Make it a priority to keep your house clean and dinner on the table. Don’t let this make you feel degraded. Instead, imagine that with each dish you wash, you’re depositing drops of love in your husband’s love tank.

•     If he seems to be having a rough day, offer to do more than the norm to serve him. Bring him a cup of hot cocoa or offer to put in his favorite movie. He will feel pampered and blessed to be your husband.

•     Try asking him if there’s anything he needs help with today? If there is anything you can do to lighten his load?

No Response?

So what if you feel like your spouse isn’t really responding to your acts of service? The most likely answer is that it isn’t his primary love language. If this is the case, check out the previous posts on the 5 love languages and stay tuned for the last one next week.

If you’re sure it is his primary love language but he still isn’t responding, there may be more going on. If you have struggled in your marriage for a while, it is possible he is interpreting your service as manipulation. He may believe the marriage is over and it’s too late. Either of these options doesn’t have to mean the end of your marriage. Stay consistent in expressing love in the language that means the most to him, without expectation of receiving anything in return. Do this for an extended period of time, Dr. Chapman suggests at least six months. It is hard to maintain a cold heart when a person is loving you, in the way you understand and appreciate, without conditions. 

Experiment!

If you’re still on the fence about whether or not Acts of Service is your husband’s primary love language, try an experiment. For an entire week (or more if needed), try some of the above mentioned ideas for ways to express love to your spouse through service. Do at least one every single day. Do it with the desire to make him feel your love, without expecting anything in return. Make a note on your phone to write down your observations. If there is a drastic shift in his attitude, you’ve probably found a winner. If not, check out the other posts in this series and stay tuned for the last one next week to see if there is one better fitted to your spouse.

*   *   *   *   *

Is Acts of Service your love language? Or your spouse’s? I want to hear about it! How do you feel loved? How do you express love through service?

Signature Yellow2

5 Love Languages: Receiving Gifts

Gifts Main***This is the fourth post in a series of 6 about the Five Love Languages in marriage. I suggest reading them in order. Part 1, 2, 3

Gift-giving is apparent in almost all civilizations throughout time and history, especially between couples bound together by love. We even make excuses, like special holidays, to give gifts. However, if your spouse’s love language is Receiving Gifts, it would not be wise to wait until a holiday to get him one.

It is a common misconception that people who enjoy receiving gifts are materialistic. In fact of all the love languages, I think this one is the least likely to be admitted to. However, there is absolutely no shame in admitting you feel loved when your partner gives you a gift. In most instances the size or cost of the gift are insignificant. The amount of thought and planning that go into the gift are much more important.

Don’t you treasure those little dandelions your kids bring you from the yard? A meaningful gift is something your spouse can hold and say, “She was thinking of me when she picked this up and wanted me to feel her love.”

Although a gift needn’t be expensive, if you’re a true miser when it comes to money and think gifts are a waste, you will need to revise your beliefs. Some gifts do cost money. Remember this is an investment in your marriage and if it costs a little money, so be it. You must make it a priority if you want to fill your husband’s love tank.

What are the different dialects?

There are two primary dialects for the love language Receiving Gifts.

1. Physical Gifts

Whether it be store bought, homemade, found in nature, or otherwise obtained, these are physical gifts your spouse can hold in his hand and know you were thinking of him. It is easier to give these kinds of gifts when there is a special occasion such as Christmas, birthday, Valentine’s Day, or an anniversary. However, sometimes the most meaningful gifts come when there is no excuse to give it other than to show you love him.

Besides holidays, other opportune times for gift giving could be:

•     When either of you return after being apart.

•     After an argument or fight.

•     After a rough day.

•     Before a special day or event, to wish him luck.

•     When he’s not feeling well.

There is always the “Just Because” gift too. Anytime you see something that he might like or that might have special meaning, consider picking it up. Of course, different budgets call for different strategies but a smaller budget does not have to mean less gifts. Try your hand at any number of Pinterest DIY gifts to help fill your spouse’s love tank if money is an issue.

2. Gift of Self

Another dialect in the love language of Receiving Gifts is the gift of self. This is your physical presence. This is different than quality time in that it is usually most appreciated during a specific time or event. For example, it may mean the world to you that your husband never leaves your side while you’re giving birth. His presence helps you to know he loves you. Or maybe when he loses a loved one, you make sure to take the entire day off just to be with him to help comfort him. Sometimes we can be inconsiderate in not realizing that our spouse just needs us to be there, even when there isn’t much we can do to help.

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How can I know if this is my or my spouse’s love language?

Dr. Chapman offers a few different ways to check if this is either your or your spouse’s love language.

1. Do either of you express love in this love language? Does your spouse bring you little gifts often? Do you always remember special dates and spend lots of time thinking of and coming up with the perfect gift for him? Did he seem super appreciative when you brought him that little souvenir from your last trip without him?

2. What are your complaints like? Does he ever mention that you never think of him when you’re apart? Or did he act a little disappointed when your last gift was rather thoughtless? Do you ever say to your spouse that you feel like your anniversary doesn’t matter to him, thinking in the back of your mind that he never gives you an anniversary gift? It may be hard for us to admit that we don’t feel loved because our spouse doesn’t give us gifts, it seems materialistic and selfish to say that. It may be a little trickier to figure this one out based on complaints. Just keep your eyes and ears open to how your spouse responds to gifts and the lack thereof.

3. What kinds of requests do you make? Does he mention, often, what kinds of gifts he appreciates or looks forward to? Does he remind you of special gifts from the past? Do you hint to your husband what you would like him to get you for Christmas? Again, based on requests it might be more difficult to figure out if this is your spouse’s love language. We don’t like to ask for gifts. It might be more effective to think back to his reaction to gifts in the past.

How can I express it?

So let’s say you have discovered that your spouse’s love language might be Receiving Gifts. How do you speak it then?

Here are a few ideas:

•     For starters, make sure you never miss a gift-giving opportunity when it comes to major holidays. It would be extra disappointing and probably hurtful for your gift-receiving spouse to not receive a gift on Valentine’s Day.

•     Keep a list on your phone of gift ideas for your husband. If he mentions something he would like, put it on your list. If you notice that he needs something that he won’t buy for himself, put it on your list. That way, you’re never at a loss for what to get him.

•     Try getting or finding him a small gift “Just Because.” He will be floored with the thoughtfulness of it!

•     Make it a goal to set aside some money on a regular basis to pull from for gifts for your spouse. This will help eliminate the excuse that you don’t have the money to express your love.

•     If money is a serious issue, look up ideas for DIY gifts that are either super inexpensive or free. You would be amazed at the stuff people come up with!

•     Make sure that the next time your spouse really needs you for something, that you’re there. Move heaven and earth to assure you are there for him.

No Response?

So what if you feel like your spouse isn’t really responding to your thoughtful gifts? The most likely answer is that it isn’t his primary love language. If this is the case, check out the last posts on Words of Affirmation and Quality Time and stay tuned to the following weeks as we study the other love languages.

If you’re sure it is his primary love language but he still isn’t responding, there may be more going on. If you have struggled in your marriage for a while, it is possible he is interpreting your gifts as manipulation. He may believe the marriage is over and it’s too late. Either of these options doesn’t have to mean the end of your marriage. Stay consistent in expressing love in the language that means the most to him, without expectation of receiving anything in return. Do this for an extended period of time, Dr. Chapman suggests at least six months. It is hard to maintain a cold heart when a person is loving you, in the way you understand and appreciate, without conditions. 

Experiment!

If you’re still on the fence about whether or not Receiving Gifts is your husband’s primary love language, try an experiment. For an entire week (or more if needed), try some of the above mentioned ideas for ways to express love to your spouse through gifts. Do at least one every single day. Do it with the desire to make him feel your love, without expecting anything in return. Remember, these don’t have to be extravagant gifts, something very small will be just as effective. Make a note on your phone to write down your observations. If there is a drastic shift in his attitude, you’ve probably found a winner. If not, stay tuned and learn about the other love languages to see if there is one better fitted to your spouse.

*   *   *   *   *

Is Receiving Gifts your love language? Or your spouse’s? I want to hear about it! How do you feel loved? How do you express love with gifts?

15 Valentine’s Gifts for Your Man Based on the 5 Love Languages

15 Valentine's Gifts Square2Sometimes it can be overwhelming to find a great gift for your spouse. You want something meaningful, something he will really appreciate, and something that won’t break the bank or take up every afternoon for a week to complete. We tend to gravitate toward gifts we would like to receive. However, that isn’t always what your spouse would most appreciate. Enter the 5 Love Languages. This Valentine’s Day, take some of the stress out of gift-giving by focusing on gifts that appeal to your husband’s primary love language. 

Valentine’s Day is getting super personal this year and just might be the most meaningful one yet!

Words of Affirmation

If your man’s love language is Words of Affirmation, find any gift that uses words to express love. He will feel it deeper than any other kind of gift.

1. 50 “Reasons Why I Love You” Candy Jar Gift50 reasons gift

I think any variation of this idea would be perfect for the man who loves compliments and encouraging words. Every time he takes a treat from the jar, he’ll know you love him.

Scavenger Hunt2. Valentine’s Scavenger Hunt

This would take some creativity but totally pay off in the end. Be sure to incorporate some reasons why you love him or some encouraging words in your clues. If you can make them rhyme like her, that’s even more awesome!

Open When Letters3. Open When Letters

These are fun and don’t have to be only for long distance relationships. I assure you your spouse will appreciate your kind and encouraging words at the appropriate moments.

Quality Time

Quality Time is a love language that really only requires your presence and attention. Here are a few ideas that might help that happen.

DateNightsPrintable4. Pre-Planned Dates Mini-Book

This is a super awesome printable mini-book that will take the sometimes energy-draining planning out of your quality time. Bonus if you can include an envelope with the amount of money estimated to cover the costs for all the dates. That way, there is absolutely no excuse to not follow through. Assure your spouse that this year will be full of quality time together because it’s already planned.

conversation starters5. Conversation Starter Stones

If your spouse’s love language dialect is quality conversation, this is perfect! It would be fun to do this over dinner I think. Don’t be that married couple that eats in silence, bump up the conversation with this cute gift!

valentine-scratch-off-ticket-cards6. Scratch Off Tickets

I think it would be fun to choose 3 events that he would love going to in the near future. Let him scratch one off and you promise him tickets to it, as long as you go together. That means, if basketball isn’t really your thing but he would love to see his team play, you go anyway. 

 

Receiving Gifts

If your husband’s love language is Receiving Gifts, then holidays like Valentine’s Day can be extra special! As long as it’s something that took a little bit of thought, he’ll appreciate it and truly feel your love.

Sharpie mugs7. Sharpie Mug

If your husband likes hot drinks, this could be a very thoughtful gift. Personalize it and make it meaningful for him.

favorite things bag8. Paper Bag of His Favorite Things

This gift could work for anybody but I think it would be especially thoughtful for your gift receiving husband. If gifts make him feel loved, it doesn’t have to be expensive, just thoughtful. You could add his favorite candy, drink, fruit, game, etc.

Love Story Book9. Our Love Story Book

“Every love story is beautiful but ours is my favorite.” I have seen this all over Etsy and Pinterest and it’s such a sweet thought. Turn it into a photo book for your husband. What a thoughtful and sentimental gift to keep forever!

Acts of Service

Acts of Service can feel tricky sometimes as a wife if you usually do most of the housework and cooking. Only you know what kind of service makes your husband feel loved. If you don’t find it among these ideas, think outside the box and observe what you think your husband would appreciate.

Crepes Main Horizontal10. Breakfast in Bed

Try this easy recipe for a beautiful Valentine’s breakfast and take it to your sweetheart in bed. Let him relax while you fill his belly as well as his love tank.

Coupon Book11. Coupon Book:

You can either make this cute little book and offer him opportunities to request your service, or you can just do it. If he does chores that you rarely help him with, take advantage of Valentine’s Day to do some for him.

dinner12. Make His Favorite Dinner:

This is a staple and especially meaningful for guys who speak acts of service as their love language. Make it extra special with some roses, candles, and pretty dishes. Not only will you avoid the absolute chaos that is Valentine’s Day at restaurants, you’ll save money and have a more intimate evening, just the two of you. 

Physical Touch

Physical Touch is especially appropriate for Valentine’s Day. While making love can definitely add a beautiful touch to a romantic day, it isn’t the only way to express your husband’s love language. 

back massage13. Back Massage:

If your husband asks for a back massage often and your massages usually consist of a 5 minute, quick and probably unsatisfying rub-down, try a little harder today. Do a little research on how to give a better massage, buy or make some massage oil, and get some ambiance going. Your physically touchy spouse will be in heaven!

 

Movie night14. Movie Night with Lots of Cuddling:

If your husband likes movies and cuddling, this is an adorable gift! Remember, this gift isn’t actually about the movie or the popcorn, it’s about the cuddling. If he likes his head rubbed, take the time to caress him while you watch the movie together. 

Bath15. Romantic Bubble Bath:

If you’re like me, a nice, warm bubble bath just really hits the spot. Your touchy husband might just feel the same way, if you’re in there with him! He’ll revel in the way you wash him down. This one is is all about touch and he will not soon forget how full his love tank is tonight 🙂

Make sure your husband appreciates your gift this Valentine’s Day by choosing one that appeals to his love language and will make him feel loved beyond measure. If he asks for ideas of what to get you, respond with a few from your love language. You will have a magical Valentine’s Day with love tanks that are overflowing. 🙂

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What are your plans for Valentine’s Day? Do any of these gifts sound like they would appeal to your man? Do you have any other ideas? Share please!

Signature Yellow2

 

 

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5 Love Languages: Quality Time

qualitytime Square***This is the third post in a series of 6 about the Five Love Languages in marriage. I suggest reading them in order. Part 1, Part 2

I remember when my husband and I were dating I used to love to go out to the ranch with him and watch him ride and train horses all day. I could spend an entire day just watching him, helping him clean up and feeding the animals. Sometimes we would ride together and we could just sit and talk for hours. I was interested in his work and wanted to be a part of it. 

Soon after I became pregnant for the first time, I quit going to the ranch with him. In the beginning it was because I felt miserable and unless I had to go to work, I rarely left the bed. After I had our son, it was because I literally felt I couldn’t find the time. As time has gone on, life has gotten busier and busier. With two kids and two jobs, I have completely abandoned that activity we used to do together and it is one of my husband’s biggest complaints. I should have seen the signs that he was crying out for quality time.

The love language Quality Time is about giving your spouse your undivided attention. That means without looking at the TV, your phone, or thinking about work. It is about giving time in your life, that you will never get back, to your spouse. For some people, this is how they know you love them, if you are willing to put everything aside and be with them.

What are the different dialects?

There are two main forms, or dialects, for the love language Quality Time.

1. Quality Conversation

If your spouse is craving quality conversation, your number one job is to learn how to actively listen. Many times during a conversation our mind wanders to how we can relate to what the other person is saying and how we want to respond. It is critical that we learn how to listen, actively, and make sure we understand what the other person is saying. 

Of course, quality conversation is more than just one sided. Usually the spouse whose dialect is quality conversation will have a desire to hear what you’re thinking and feeling as well. It is important to be willing and open to these kinds of expressions. To this person, true intimacy is achieved through deep conversations and true understanding of one another. 

2. Quality Activities

According to Dr. Chapman there are only 3 important factors in choosing quality activities: 1) at least one of you wants to do it, 2) the other is willing to do it, and 3) you both know why you’re doing it. That doesn’t mean that you always do what your spouse wants to do. If this is his love language, it is more likely that the time he spends with you is more important than the activity. So be open to a little give and take. Be willing to try new things or do things you know you don’t necessarily enjoy but would make your spouse happy. Then throw out ideas you would enjoy and you think your spouse might be willing to try. 

The great part about this love language is that you are building a memory bank. I will never forget the night I took my husband out to the ranch late one summer evening to watch a meteor shower. We sat there for hours and talked about space and time and God. It was absolutely incredible and we learned a lot about each other that night. I also won’t forget our anniversary trip last year when we went window shopping and found that art gallery with paintings that looked like our 2-year-old daughter had made them. We now have several inside jokes about that trip that we continue to laugh about. It is so important to make memories with your spouse and if this is his love language, it will mean more to him than all the declarations of “I love you” in the world. 

QT CardsHow can I know if this is my or my spouse’s love language?

Dr. Chapman offers a few different ways to check if this is either your or your spouse’s love language. 

1. Do either of you express love in this love language? Does your spouse often suggest activities you could do together? Is date night a big deal to you and you want to make it a priority? Do you notice that your spouse likes to take you places or seems to enjoy chatting with you at the end of the day? If being together seems to be very important to either of you, Quality Time might be your love language.

2. What are your complaints like? Does your spouse complain that you never spend any time together? Do you often complain that your husband cares more about work than spending time with his family? Does he get on you for being on your phone all the time when you’re together? These are surefire clues that one of you feels quality time is important and not being made a priority.

3. What kinds of requests do you make? Have you heard your spouse say, “I would really appreciate it if you would put your phone down when we’re talking”? Or have you noticed that you often mention to your spouse that it would be fun to go somewhere, just the two of you? These simple requests are often saying more than just what appears on the surface. Your requests often reveal what you’re longing for.

How can I express it?

So let’s say you have discovered that your spouse’s love language might be Quality Time. How do you speak it then?

Here are a few ideas:

•     Think back on your relationship and remember some of your best memories together. What were you doing? Where did you enjoy going? For someone whose love language is Quality Time, when you stop doing those things, it can be especially hurtful. Try to bring some of that back through quality activities with your spouse.

•     Make date night a top priority and make sure your undivided attention is available to him. This means, the only phone calls you take are from the babysitter in case of an emergency. There is no facebooking, pinteresting, texting, or working. It is just you and him doing whatever you guys like to do.

•     As an extra bonus, make a habit of setting aside a little money with each paycheck as your “date stash.” When money isn’t an excuse to not go somewhere, you are much more likely to make it happen.

•     Not all quality time requires money. There are loads of things you can do for free, without even leaving your house. Make a list of free activities you and your spouse can do after the kids go to bed. Try something more engaging than watching a movie. Playing cards or another game can be a blast when it’s just you two.

•     Try to keep a balance between what you like to do and what he likes to do. For an extra dose of love, make it an activity he enjoys that you rarely participate in. He will feel your sacrifice and that speaks louder than any other form of love to him.

•     Make some time, each day, to just talk without distractions. My husband and I usually end up doing this after the kids go to bed. We can sometimes talk for hours. I always notice that we get along so much better when we make this a priority. It always pays off when instead of heading straight to bed, I make myself available to him for some one-on-one conversation.

No response?

So what if you feel like your spouse isn’t really responding to your quality time together? The most likely answer is that it isn’t his primary love language. If this is the case, check out the last post about Words of Affirmation and stay tuned to the following weeks as we study the other love languages.

If you’re sure it is his primary love language but he still isn’t responding, there may be more going on. If you have struggled in your marriage for a while, it is possible he is interpreting your kind words as manipulation. He may believe the marriage is over and it’s too late. Either of these options doesn’t have to mean the end of your marriage. Stay consistent in expressing love in the language that means the most to him, without expectation of receiving anything in return. Do this for an extended period of time, Dr. Chapman suggests at least six months. It is hard to maintain a cold heart when a person is loving you, in the way you understand and appreciate, without conditions. 

Experiment!

If you’re still on the fence about whether or not Quality Time is your husband’s primary love language, try an experiment. For an entire week (or more if needed), try some of the above mentioned ideas for ways to express love to your spouse through spending time together. Do at least one every single day. Do it with the desire to make him feel your love, without expecting anything in return.

These don’t have to be elaborate dates. Sitting near him while he fixes the car, chatting at the kitchen table, playing a game together, all these small things add up. Make a note on your phone to write down your observations. If there is a drastic shift in his attitude, you’ve probably found a winner. If not, stay tuned and learn about the other love languages to see if there is one better fitted to your spouse.

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Is Quality Time your love language? Or your spouse’s? I want to hear about it! How do you feel loved? How do you express love through quality time?

 Signature Yellow2