Examples of the Five Love Languages – From Affirmation to Touch

These examples of the five love language examples start with words of affirmation and end with physical touch. Learn how to express you love in tangible ways…

These love language tips are from writers – some have been married for decades, others are single. Some are parents, and others don’t have kids. A little bit of love from everyone…

“The object of love is not getting something you want but doing something for the well-being of the one you love,” writes Gary Chapman in The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts. “It is a fact, however, that when we receive affirming words we are far more likely to be motivated to reciprocate.”

Examples of the Five Love Languages

“Words of affirmation” is one love language. It sounds complicated, but all it means is saying good, kind, loving things to your partner. Words of affirmation increase the chances that your partner will respond with his own words of love, creating an upward spiral!

If you have trouble expressing love, read 65 Ways to Say “I Love You” Without Words – it includes tips from marriage coaches, psychologists, old married couples, and me.

And here are several practical ways to say “I love you”…

How to Express Love With “Words of Affirmation”

When was the last time you told your partner how wonderful he is, how much he means to you, and why you love him? Words of affirmation are encouraging, kind, and supportive. What does your partner do well? What do you love about him? Tell him.

Here’s an example of this love language from Gary Chapman: “Allison always wanted to be a writer, but after receiving her first rejection slip from the publisher, she gave up. One evening her husband Keith came into the den and said, “I just finished reading your article. Allison, you are an excellent writer. This stuff ought to be published! Your words paint pictures that I can visualize. You have to submit this stuff to some magazines.” Ten years later, Allison has had several articles published and has her first book contract. She credits her success to Keith’s words of encouragement. Perhaps your spouse has untapped potential in one or more areas of life. That potential may be awaiting your encouraging words.” Helping your partner achieve her goals is one of the best ways to say “I love you”!

How to Express Love With the “Gifts” Love Language

Sometimes gifts are an easy way to show your love – unless you’re married to someone like me, who doesn’t want more stuff! But many people see gifts as a tangible object that says, “I was thinking about you. I love you.”

Here’s a creative way to say I love you: “I purchased a meteorite that was carved into a heart for a pendant,” says Kurtis Hemmerling, a Suite101 Contributing Writer. “Then I wrote a poem about how love is like the meteorite that comes from ‘heaven’ and must survive the intense heat and challenges.” Comparing your love to something as eternal and finite as the galaxy is a creative way to show love!

How to Express Love With “Acts of Service”

This is my favorite way to receive love: practical acts of service. I love that my husband does the dishes every night and takes care of all the household repairs (even changing the lightbulbs!).

Sandra Williams, the Canadian Fiction Feature Writer on Suite101, agrees: “My ‘language of love’ is acts of service,” says. “Washing the dishes, doing the laundry, or scrubbing the floor is romantic. Adding chocolate to any of these would be a bonus.”

But wait, there’s more:

“Get that first cup of coffee in the morning and place it by his bedside,” says Elizabeth Batt, who writes about Inter-Child Relationships on Suite101. “Take the time to find gifts that have meaning. Say you’re sorry – and mean it. Bite your tongue. If you can’t bite your tongue, say it without malice. Do things you don’t want to do but you know will make him happy. Let him be when he wants to be left alone.”

Express Love With the “Quality Time” Love Language

Quality time is about the experiences you share with your sweetheart. How do you spend your time together? Quality time isn’t watching tv together over dinner, or sitting side-by-side while you work on your laptops.

Sometimes, quality time is about sacrifice, which may be a different way to show love…

“Sacrifice often spells love for me,” says Katrena Wells, who writes for Seniors’ Health/Medicare on Suite101. “When I see someone going to a nursing home every day to feed lunch to a spouse who has Alzheimer’s and doesn’t remember who he/she is any more, that’s true love in my book. It’s often about the things that few people ever know about that can make a deep impression. Love doesn’t have to have an audience or a standing ovation…it’s just simply living it.”

“My late husband and I owned a business for 31 years and I feel that our kids got the short end of our time. They may not agree, but nevertheless, now I can be there for the grandkids. Their sick days home from school, an overnight now and then when mom and dad need a night out. They know they can call on me.” ~ June Smith, a Suite101 Contributing Writer.

Express Love With the “Physical Touch” Love Language

“Numerous research projects in the area of child development have come to the same conclusion: babies who are held, hugged, and touched tenderly develop a healthier emotional life than those who are left for long periods of time without physical contact,” writes Chapman in The 5 Love Languages. “Almost instinctively in a time of crisis we hug one another. Why? Because physical touch is a powerful communicator of love.”

I’m not as into hugs and wrestling as my husband is, and I have to constantly remind myself to reach out physically. That’s the tricky part of the five love languages: showing love in ways that are different to you, but how your partner receives love.

“One of my ways to show love is to massage his tired back or hugging him for no reason, writing a poem, telling him I love him just out of the blue, or surprising him with gift or his favorite dish.” ~ Suite101 Contributing Writer Linette Rabsatt.

A final thought on the different ways to say “I love you”…

“Sometimes love is allowing something to be done for you even when it is not exactly the thing you want or like,” says Christine Eirschele, Suite101 Feature Writer for Flower Gardens. “For example, your kids who make breakfast in bed but the eggs are wrong or the kitchen is a mess. Or the husband who wants to buy you something but you know the ‘something’ is something he really wants more.”

If you want to put your love language into action, read How to Increase Emotional Intimacy in Your Relationship.

How do you show your love – and how do you receive it? I welcome your comments on the five love languages below.


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9 thoughts on “Examples of the Five Love Languages – From Affirmation to Touch”

  1. I was looking for examples of the five love languages, and this was at the top of the results page! Yay for me :-)

  2. Dear Gemma,

    It sounds like you don’t feel loved, even though your husband may tell you he loves you. I don’t know if there is love in your marriage, but I think you might talk to your husband about the different ways to show love.

    Can you talk to him about the way you feel?

  3. For the two years that i am married to my husband, i never heard not even one affirming word, i always feel so insecure coz he always tell how bad i am, how i am worthless. Do you think, there is love? Although he always tell me, i love you.

  4. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Thanks for your examples of the five love languages, Jules! It was great to see how easy it can be to love our partners — just a simple touch as you’re walking by.

  5. Thank you for your article. I came across it while googling Love languages, having read the book by Gary Chapman. What a lovely insight into enhancing one’s relationships.

    After having been married and divorced to a man who was physically abusive, I realised, after reading Gary Chapman’s book and finding out my primary love language is physical touch, how devastatingly his behaviour towards me affected my self worth and attitude towards love etc.

    My current significant other’s love language is also physical touch. We find it easy to communicate our feelings for one another and rarely find that we can go to long without touching each other in some way when we are together. When in company we are obviously more restrained but when alone even just having one part of our bodies touching each other is a comfort. It is so true that it is not only about sexual contact, in fact on some days it can the last thing on our minds.

    For anyone looking for ways to enhance the language of physical touch, it does not have to be a big deal. For example when walking past each other in the passage at home, my man may brush his fingers over my stomach, when walking behind each other through a door way, a hand on the others lower back or massaging each others feet while we are watching a movie. Obviously the more intimate the touch (even non sexually), the more of a thrill it gives your physical partner. This is the language of lovers of course, it may not go down too well with a friend or family member even if their love language is physical touch. There the options are more limited.

    I am also blessed to have a daughter whose primary love language is also physical touch. She is 13 now and can be a handful, but a hug or gentle touch on her face or a kiss can often diffuse a potentially nasty argument. In the same breath, she is the most affectionate child and even sitting close to me, or being in my ‘personal space’ gives her immense comfort and security. She is the one who never neglects giving me a hug before she leaves for school and on returning.

    Think of your physical love one as a true blessing. The other love languages are important and we all need our personal balance of most of them, but physical touch is the one that cannot be ‘faked’. Touch is afterall one of our basic senses.

  6. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Thanks for sharing your comments here, Beatrice. I’m glad you’re in a good, positive relationship — and that you’ve developed the ability to stop yourself from sabotaging your love.

    And, the beauty of a healthy love relationship is that you can make mistakes and be forgiven…because that’s what love is all about!

  7. Ken
    I, too came from an abusive home where I dared not say a word for fear of being beaten. My social skills developed over time, but my problem is believing I can be happy, believing I am worthy of a good, positive relationship. So, now that I am IN ONE, I have a tendency to sabotage it. Sad. The good thing is that I realize my problem and can, most times, check my words and actions before they become a problem.

  8. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear Ken,

    Thank you for sharing your experience here! It sounds like you have alot of insight and self-awareness, which can go a long way in overcoming fear of intimacy issues.

    You CAN learn how to express love, especially if you boil it down to the five love languages in Gary Chapman’s book. It takes time and effort — but the level of self-awareness you have will take you halfway there.

    Best wishes,

  9. I have a fear of intimacy stemming from the childhood family environment. I’ve told my wife that the image I get from my childhood is like a black and white movie with speechless mannequins standing about the home. This was the alcoholic home where silence was golden, and you dare not rock the boat by talking out loud. So, my social skills were poor. And because I felt my opinion meant nothing or the truth was worthless, I felt I had to add to or alter the words I spoke to be accepted by others.