Mamas, I have a confession. I am in love with love! I am particularly fond of the five love languages and apply them to all aspects of my life. I use the concept to speak my husband’s love language, of course. But I also use the same principles to communicate my love to my daughter at home, in a language that she best understands. Similarly, I apply the love language principle to showing appreciation for my team in my corporate job.
Dr. Gary Chapman’s principles are universal, and they’re incredibly helpful in understanding others. Previously on [step]momming, we’ve shared 50+ Date Ideas that Fit Your Love Language and 50 Gifts that Speak Your Partner’s Love Language. Further, we offer the completely FREE 7-day email series, Becoming a More Thoughtful Partner, which also incorporates this concept.
I highly recommend grabbing one (or all!) of his books if you’re interested in learning more about the love languages. I personally own all of them… No shame in my game!
When the author of the following article approached me with a request to share this information, I couldn’t pass it up! I’m a sucker for a good love resource. Enjoy!
25+ Love Language Ideas For Your Significant Other, Your Kids & Yourself
Have you ever meticulously planned out a romantic evening for your significant other, only for it to fall flat? Or maybe you’ve organized a huge birthday bash for your kid only to observe that they would have preferred something else.
Doing something nice for someone can be exciting, especially when you think you’ve figured out the perfect way to show someone you care. But sometimes what you might think of as a great way to say “I love you” might be far different than what your significant other or friend had in mind. That’s where understanding their love language comes in handy.
Theorized by Dr. Gary Chapman, a love language is a way a person prefers to receive love and affection. He suggests that most people give or show love the way they wish to receive it instead of how their partner wishes to receive it. This is why so many partners complain that their significant other doesn’t show affection or love—they’re miscommunicating it!
Using our guide to love language ideas, you’ll never have this problem again. We have included several ideas for not only your significant other, but for your kids and yourself as well!
What are the Five Love Languages?
The five love languages are different ways people receive and communicate their love to others. The different languages are:
- Acts of Service
- Words of Affirmation
- Physical Touch
- Receiving Gifts
- Quality Time
Every person has a primary love language and a secondary that they wish for others to speak to them.
Though it is usually directed at romantic relationships, knowing someone’s love language can help you foster a loving relationship with other people in your life beyond your significant other, such as close friends, parents or kids.
To learn both your own love language as well as others, take Dr. Chapman’s quiz, then use your results to determine which ideas to refer to next time you want to show someone you care.
Acts of Service Love Language Ideas
People whose love language is acts of service prefer that people show their love and appreciation with chores and other odd-jobs. It goes beyond just doing chores or what you’re asked to do, but picking up extra work around the house or running errands they’ve been dreading to make their day easier.
For Significant Other
- Make them breakfast in bed
- Take the dog for a walk
- Do the grocery shopping
- Fold and put away their laundry
- Give them an hour of uninterrupted TV time
- Do a chore they’ve been dreading
- Help them clean their room
- Let them choose the movie the family watches
- Make their bed for them when they forget
- Cook them their favorite meal
- Order takeout food so you don’t have to worry about cooking
- Treat yourself to a cleaning service
- Declutter your home and donate unused items to a charity
- Start using a laundry service to pick up your dry-cleaning
- Invest in a robotic vacuum
Words of Affirmation Love Language Ideas
People whose love language is words of affirmation want to hear they are appreciated and loved more than anything. It can be as simple as saying “I love you” or “I appreciate you” randomly throughout the day instead of just before bed or when you go to work, or a more grand gesture like leaving notes throughout your home for them.
For Significant Other
- Leave them a sticky note on the bathroom mirror saying “I love you”
- Compliment a project they’ve recently finished
- Send them a letter in the mail telling them you appreciate them
- Share something nice they did on Facebook or Instagram
- Give them a phone call just to say how much you love them
- Write them a nice note and pack it with their lunch
- Give them a bracelet with that says “I love you” to wear
- Hang their art on the fridge and tell them how much you love it
- Tell them you appreciate them when they do their chores
- Share five reasons why you love them
- Read through your favorite quotes
- Write down what you like about yourself
- Repeat self love affirmations to yourself in the mirror
- Save notes people have written you and read them later
- Call a friend and talk about what you love about one another
Physical Touch Love Language Ideas
The physical touch love language isn’t just reserved for couples or significant others. People who “speak” this love language simple enjoy human contact, whether it’s with a hug after a long day or just sitting near someone.
For Significant Other
- Give them a backscratch or a massage—before they ask for one
- Put your arm around them or hold their hand while you’re out in public
- Give them a hug or a kiss, just because
- Schedule cuddling or snuggling time as a date
- Take them out for a night of dancing
- Let them sit on your lap while you read to them
- Style their hair for them or help them get dressed
- Give them a surprise piggyback ride around the house
- Hold their hand while shopping together
- Cuddle them to help them fall asleep
- Schedule a manicure or pedicure for yourself
- Snuggle with pets at your local shelter
- Spend five minutes stretching after you wake up
- Get a haircut and enjoy the complimentary head-massage
- Sleep with a weighted blanket
Receiving Gifts Love Language Ideas
People who want to receive gifts as a sign of love are not materialistic. They want thoughtful gifts that indicate their loved ones have been listening to them and thinking of them throughout the day. This can be done by sending them flowers in the middle of the week or by buying them a certificate to the spa. But what matters most is the thought behind the gift!
For Significant Other
- Bring them their favorite flowers, just because
- Buy them something they’ve been wanting for awhile
- Send them a surprise package at work
- Make them a mix CD and explain why you chose each song for them
- Sign them up for a class they’ve been wanting to take
- Buy them a new outfit and lay it out on their bed
- Let them pick out one new toy at the store
- Surprise them with a present on an obscure holiday
- Pack a small gift in their backpack
- Get them their favorite treat at the grocery store
- Buy yourself your favorite dessert
- Order something off your wishlist
- Have an extra glass of wine
- Create a photo album of your favorite memories
- Make DIY decor for your home
Quality Time Love Language Ideas
People whose love language is quality time want to spend undivided attention with those they love. This means leaving your cell phone behind and devoting special time to your loved one. Whether it’s just having a conversation over coffee or watching their favorite movie with them, just spending time with that person will let them know that you care.
For Significant Other
- Try out a new restaurant or cook together
- Go on a walk together after dinner
- Plan a romantic picnic—without phones
- Buy tickets for a movie or play they’ve been wanting to see
- Schedule a weekly date night
- Play board games or video games with them
- Take them on a lunch date without any other siblings
- Bake cookies or something else sweet together
- Play catch in the yard together
- Take a road trip or overnight trip together
- Read a book in bed
- Take a bath with a fizzy bath bomb
- Wander around a new neighborhood
- Attend a yoga or meditation class
- Journal your thoughts
Learning someone’s love language goes a long way towards strengthening your bond with them. Now that you know different ways to show people you care about them, send your words of affirmation friend a sweet note or send your significant other flowers—just because. You’ll make their day and feel great doing it.
This article was originally printed on FTD.com and has been reprinted here with permission.
PS: Don’t forget to check out our list of date ideas that fit your love language!
PPS: Did you want to enroll in our free series, 7 Days to Becoming a More Thoughtful Partner?