The 5 Main Ways to Communicate Love

The 5 Main Ways to Communicate Love


Icons: ploy2907/Shutterstock Ashley Britton/SheKnows.


Everyone wants to feel loved. So why does one person feel love through a note and another through a hug?


Gary Chapman, a Ph.D. in adult education and an experienced marriage counselor, wrote and sold 13 million copies of his book, The 5 Love Languages. In this popular read, he defines and describes the five specific ways we communicate love. Because we each have only one most prominent love language, we sometimes struggle to show others love in the ways they may prefer it to be shown to them.


Chapman explains it this way: “We speak and understand best our native language. We feel most comfortable speaking that language. The more we use a secondary language, the more comfortable we become conversing in it.”



According to Chapman, the 5 love languages include:

Words of Affirmation

  • Feel loved by compliments, frequent communication, and encouragements
  • Examples: notes, thoughtful text messages


Quality time

  • Feel love by spending intentional time together, active listening
  • Examples: sitting and talking, going on an adventure together


Acts of service

  • Feel love by simple things that make life easier, actions speak louder than words
  • Examples: washing the dishes, doing laundry



  • Feel love by receiving gifta
  • Examples: sentimental gift, a small token to remember a special moment shared


Physical touch

  • Feel love through physical signs of affection
  • Examples: hugs, cuddling


To benefit all of your relationships, spend some time reflecting on how each of these five languages communicates love. But you might want to explore even further. Instead of guessing your love language from reading the descriptions, take Chapman’s quiz found here:


Kenzie Spodnik ‘23