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1-Page PDF Summary of The 5 Love Languages

Maintaining emotional love and connection in a relationship can be hard. Often, the problem is in the way you are communicating love to your partner, and vice versa. Have you ever demonstrated a gesture of affection, only to not have it appreciated? Does your partner ever say they don’t feel loved enough?

These conflicts happen because every person receives and experiences love differently. The way you experience love dictates your love language. There are 5 love languages: Word of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch. Learning to speak your partner’s love language can help you understand how to make them feel loved. And learning your own love language helps you understand what makes you fulfilled in a relationship.


  • Listening to your partner talk about their day and asking questions to understand how they feel will let them know you care and are willing to be there for them.
  • Talking about your past or fears with your partner will tell them you want them to be part of your life completely.

Receiving Gifts represents the act of giving a gift as a symbol of love. A gift equates to thought, and to a person with this love language, that thought is felt as love. The type of gift is less important than the effort to procure it and the desire to give it.

  • A small present brought back from a business trip makes your partner feel special because you were thinking of them.
  • A diamond bracelet will elicit the same response as a crocheted scarf. The feeling will still be of being loved enough to receive something from you.
  • Sometimes, your mere presence is the gift your partner needs.
    • If they are in crisis, being there as a shoulder, sounding board, or comforting presence is enough to represent your love for them.
    • Prioritizing a request for your presence over work or previous plans shows them how much their feelings matter.

Acts of Service are things done to make life easier for your partner. Whether you act to remove a burden from their life, help out, or provide space for them to do something else, these acts of service will tell a partner with this language that they and their time are respected.

  • Not all acts are created equal. Understanding which acts will serve your partner best means understanding their life enough to know how to help and their expectations enough to know what they want done for them.
    • If your partner frequently complains about a certain task at home, pitching in to remove that task from their day is an act of love.
    • If you know your partner hates walking the dog at night, taking over that duty will fill their tank.
    • If your partner wants more time to themselves, taking the kids out one night a week will speak volumes of love.

Physical Touch signifies a person who feels love most through intimate contact. Touches can be large or small and intimate or casual. The most important thing to learn about a partner who speaks this language is their specific preference for touch.

  • A hand on the shoulder may be desired more than a kiss on the neck.
  • Physical intimacy may express love more than holding hands, or vice versa.
  • Touching someone in a way they don’t like is a negative touch, a violation, or abuse.
    • This action does not communicate love.
  • There are endless ways of expressing love through touch.
  • Have fun learning what sort of touches your partner likes.

Who Speaks Which Language?

Determining your love language is not always easy. Figuring out which language your partner speaks can be even harder. There are a few clues that might help you understand you and your partner’s languages better.

Think about what you desire most from your partner or the ways in which you feel most loved.

  • Often, what you tend to want the most reflects the way you believe love is best expressed.
  • Are you always vying for compliments? Do you like to hug or hold hands more than anything else? Do you wish your partner would help out more around the house? Do you long for a date night?

Think about what makes you feel hurt or unloved.

  • The ways in which we feel dejected or rejected can speak to the ways in which we want to be loved.
  • Do you feel crushed if your partner insults you? Do you feel resentful of the amount of time your partner spends at work? Does it bother you when your partner leaves without kissing you goodbye? Does a general gift leave you feeling empty?

Think about how you show love to your partner.

  • The ways in which we make an effort to show love also speaks to how we feel love is best communicated?
  • Do you often do little things to make your partner’s day better? Do you find ways to touch your partner to show you care? Do you tell your partner how wonderful they are on a frequent basis? Do you like to surprise your partner with small tokens of love?

Thinking about your partner in similar terms can provide an understanding of their language. What do they ask for the most? What do they frequently complain about? What do they do most often to show you love?

Consider speaking in one language for a week for five weeks to see how your partner reacts. The bigger the reaction, the more likely they speak that language.

Love Is a Choice

Deciding to learn and act accordingly within your partner’s love language is a choice. If their language differs from yours, the effort required in that choice may be great.

  • You may feel uncomfortable giving compliments.
  • You may feel resentful of needing to find gifts.
  • You may feel too busy to make time for your partner.

But if the goal is to make your partner feel secure, confident, and loved, speaking the right language will make that happen.

  • Keep a list of words or phrases that make your partner happy.
  • Think about their reactions to gifts they’ve received in the past.
  • Adjust your schedule to allow for at least a few minutes a week of dedicated time.
  • Communicate with your partner about how you can help make their life easier.
  • Start with small touches and move on to more significant touches after becoming more comfortable and receiving approval.
  • Take classes in massage or cooking.
  • Make a list of things your partner does that you respect and let them know it.

There is no one way to express love or fill your tanks. But if both people in a relationship can make the effort, your tanks will begin to fill. Love can be rebuilt at any stage in a relationship. And once you have full love tanks, the chances of it lasting and staying positive are great.

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PDF Summary Chapter 1: When the Honeymoon Is Over


The same is true for love. If we speak one love language and our partner speaks another, the same barriers will exist. We will never understand how to love one another properly.

If we want to be able to love another person successfully, we need to learn which love language they speak.

A desire to love our partners is not enough. We must actively attempt to determine which love language our partner speaks to build and maintain love in our relationships.

There are five love languages, or five ways that people feel and accept emotional love.

  • Words of Affirmation: compliments or kind words about a person and their actions.
  • Quality Time: dedicated moments of time spent with a loved one.
  • Receiving Gifts: tangible symbols of love as either gifts or physical presence.
  • Acts of Service: things done for someone to unburden their life.
  • Physical Touch: physical connection through intimacy or small affectionate touches.

When these actions or behaviors are performed for someone speaking the corresponding language, the result is a feeling of being truly loved.

**Within those five languages, the expression of love is limitless....

PDF Summary Chapter 2: Everyone Has a Love Tank


But What Is Love?

The word “love” has become a catchall for expressing our likes or appreciation of something. For example, we may love it when it rains, but we also love pizza and our pets.

We love our partners, but we also may love a good joke or our favorite band. These general uses create a washed-out significance for the word, which can distance us from understanding what it really means.

When we talk about love in a romantic relationship, we mean love that addresses our emotional selves. These emotional selves are constructed by our early experiences of receiving love or the opposite.

For instance, a child that receives love, companionship, and support from their parents will have a more stable idea of self and love. A child that does not receive adequate love will likely have a confused and desperate need for love and become emotionally unstable.

To ensure full love tanks in our relationships, we must acknowledge that we each bring different experiences and expectations into a relationship. Once we understand our foundations of love, we can start addressing how to fill each other’s love tanks.

PDF Summary Chapter 3: The Joys of Beginning a Relationship


The feeling of being in love usually only lasts up to two years. Outside of the falling-in-love bubble live responsibilities and basic human behaviors. If we can understand why love changes when the first blush of bliss fades, we can maintain a loving relationship.

The intrusion of base realities can quickly drain our energy and admiration of a loved one.

  • Our partner may leave nose clippings in the sink or dirty socks on the floor.
  • The need to support ourselves with jobs puts our focus on money, bills, mortgages, and savings, which are not sexy or romantic.
  • Children require attention and resources, which can create competition and tension among couples.

Back in reality, these factors add up, changing our view from “anything is possible” to “how can we make this work.” And the love tank continues to deplete. From this diminished place, love has been lost or forgotten. Resentments grow when we feel the love we fell in love with fall by the wayside. A lack of love—or an emotion or action expressing the opposite of love—can feel like a dagger to our hearts.

The issue isn’t that the love we share isn’t real or strong enough. **The issue is that we...

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PDF Summary Chapter 4: Love Language: Words of Affirmation


Instead, if you compliment your partner only as a way to get them to comply to something, you are putting your own needs before theirs. For instance, if you compliment your partner’s cleaning skills knowing it will make them clean more—so you don’t have to—the act is disingenuous. Your partner may realize your lack of sincerity, and their love tank may begin to drain.

When giving a partner with this love language a compliment, be sure it is genuine and done simply to make them feel loved.

The Dialect of Encouragement

When you provide encouragement to someone whose love language is Words of Affirmation, you are bolstering their spirit. You are telling them you believe in them. Your belief helps them feel strong and motivated.

Encouragement is the act of inspiring courage. All humans have moments where courage is required. Sometimes, you are not able to find the courage you need. In those moments, you miss out on something you want or that brings goodness into your life. A lack of courage can lead to a lack of prosperity.

When your partner lacks courage, they aren’t able to achieve their full potential. These feelings of lost potential put a strain on their...

PDF Summary Chapter 5: Love Language: Quality Time


Quality time doesn’t have to mean long hours or outlandish outings. Simply giving your partner moments of distraction-free attention is enough to make them feel loved. Examples include:

  • Taking a walk without checking your phone.
  • Simply sitting in the living room together with the TV off and devices put away.

Many couples believe they spend time together, but in reality, they simply happen to be existing separately in close proximity.

  • If you’re talking while flipping through a magazine, your attention is divided.
  • If you’re raking leaves while your partner watches, you may think you are spending time together. But for the person the Quality Time love language, your attention is still focused elsewhere, so this time doesn’t count.

Understanding exactly what type of quality time is important to your partner will help you understand how to fill their tank. Like Words of Affirmation, there are varying degrees of quality time.

The Dialect of Communication

Quality communication means engaging in conversation about things that matter. When you share the events of your day, your thoughts, your fears, your hopes for the future, you are **emotionally...

PDF Summary Chapter 6: Love Language: Receiving Gifts


Everyone has given gifts to their loved ones. Birthdays, Christmas, Hanukkah, Valentine’s Day, and other holidays all carry traditions of giving gifts. For these occasions, you likely had to put some intentional thought into what to get your partner.

Past gifts can help you understand how to fill your partner’s love tank.

  • Think about gifts your partner was really excited about, whether from you or others.
  • If you aren’t sure which gifts your partner likes, ask family and friends what they remember. Or, ask them what they think your partner will like.

Beyond these occasions, giving gifts at random can fill your partner’s tank even more. People expect to receive gifts on certain days of the year. At these times, the quality of the gift may be the focus. In contrast, gifts given without a particular reason are acknowledged more for the symbolism.

A found or handmade gift given for no reason shows your partner you care and think about them often.

  • For example, planting your partner’s favorite flower or vegetable in your yard is a gift they can cherish many times over.
  • If your partner loves Fall, bringing home a beautiful leaf tells them you...

PDF Summary Chapter 7: Love Language: Acts of Service


  • If your partner frequently states how there is a never-ending pile of laundry to be done, relieving them of this burden every now and then will appreciated.
  • If your partner wishes they had more time to read, look for ways to make more time for them.
    • Taking care of the nightly chores or children could free up their time.
    • Make plans out of the house to give them space to read.

Pay attention to the little things that make your partner happy. Think about what they enjoy doing and how you might support those endeavors.

  • If your partner loves a chilled mug with their beer, the act of making sure there are mugs in the freezer can be an expression of love.
  • If your partner likes pancakes on the weekends, getting up early on Saturdays to make pancakes speaks volumes.

Look at your partner’s life and find ways to unburden them.

  • If the first thing your partner does when they get home from work is unpack the dishwasher, taking on this duty before they get home can express to them your understanding of their daily efforts and your desire to make life easier on them.
  • If your partner gets up early to get breakfast and lunches ready for...

PDF Summary Chapter 8: Love Language: Physical Touch


  • You may find holding hands annoying or restricting, whereas your partner may feel most loved when you take their hand.

You and your partner are the best judges of what types of touches are pleasurable or uncomfortable. Listen to your partner’s feedback regarding touch.

  • Insisting on touching them in a way they don’t like is a violation and aggressive. It says your desires are more important than theirs.
  • If the goal is to learn to love your partner the best way possible, showing a lack of regard for their touch preferences is the antithesis of that.
  • Only through consensual touch can love be formed.

Emotional connection through touch can be significant, such as romantic intimacy, or subtle, such as a squeeze of the arm or hand through the hair.

  • Either form of touch will communicate love within this love language.
  • One may express love more emphatically than the other, depending on your partner.

To speak this language effectively, becoming an efficient toucher is essential. Figure out the types of touches they like, and develop your skills accordingly.

  • If your partner desires significant touches, learning to be adept at back rubs,...

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PDF Summary Chapter 9: What Is Your Primary Love Language?


  • If you keep and cherish small gifts, you may speak the language of Receiving Gifts.
  • If you feel overwhelming love when your partner brings home takeout, Acts of Service is probably your language.
  • If you melt when your partner touches you randomly, you probably speak Physical Touch.

2. Reflect on the ways in which you feel hurt or unloved.

  • If little criticisms or jabs wound you and stay with you, your language may be Words of Affirmation.
  • If you were disappointed when your partner didn’t bring you a gift from their business trip, you may speak Receiving Gifts.
  • If you wish your partner kissed you more, you may speak Physical Touch.
  • If you feel lonely, even when your partner is around, Quality Time may be your love language.
  • If you resent always being in charge of dinner or bedtime for the kids, you may speak Acts of Service.

Similarly, to find your partner’s language, recall moments when your partner was upset or hurt by your actions or lack of action.

3. Reflect on the way you treat your partner.

The things you do to show love for your partner indicate a feeling that love is best expressed in those ways. How you show your...

PDF Summary Chapters 10-11: Why Love Is the Key


  • Some of these languages will require effort, but if you believe your relationship is worthwhile, the effort will be rewarded.

When both people have full tanks, expressing and sharing love can become reciprocal and enjoyable.

Use Love to Recover from Mistakes

No one is perfect. Mistakes get made. You cannot change the past, but if moving forward in your relationship is what you want, actively speaking your partner’s love language can start the process of healing and reconciliation.

You can choose to work on speaking your partner’s love language, or you can continue living as you have.

  • If you choose to fill their love tank, you are making the grandest statement of love that you can.
  • If you choose to ignore their primary language, you are basically admitting that their happiness is less important than yours or not important at all.

When you want to assuage an argument, acting within their specific language can signal to them your efforts and commitment.

If you and your partner are in a rut or spiraling toward the end, changing your behavior to match their love language can begin to fill their tanks and breathe life into your relationship.

PDF Summary Chapter 12: Loving through the Hard Times


Ann’s biggest issue was the loss of time together. When they first fell in love, she and Glenn spent hours together talking or enjoying each other. But throughout their marriage, she began to feel like everything else in Glenn’s life was more important than spending time with her.

Glenn had a different attitude when they used to be more physically intimate. He also felt like Ann nagged him all the time. To understand what Glenn really needed, Ann asked him what she could do to be a better wife to him. She took the information he provided and used it to create a plan of action. She started looking for positive things in his life for which to provide words of affirmation. She also started initiating more intimate touches.

Afterward, Ann asked for feedback on how she was doing in being a better wife. Then, a week after receiving the feedback, she made specific requests of something he could do for her. Through this process, she was letting him know what her primary language was.

She followed this pattern of feedback and requests once a month for six months. At first, Glenn reacted cooly. But soon, he began providing more positive feedback and responded positively to her...

PDF Summary Chapter 13: Final Thoughts


  • The loss of the initial high of falling in love can leave some feeling lost and empty.
  • Falling in love is easy. Keeping love requires thought and effort.

If your tank is empty, your partner’s tank is likely not far off. Taking time to learn each other’s love languages can start the process of rediscovering what love means to you and the enjoyment of building it and living with it every day.

PDF Summary FAQ: The 5 Love Languages


  • Your child may love bedtime stories and play days at the park, but if your child always requests a kiss goodnight or initiates hugs frequently, they may experience physical touch more deeply than anything else.

As a child grows older, their language is not likely to change, but they way want to receive love may change.

  • A child who loved compliments may still love them, but the type of compliment they desire may change.
    • If your child used to gush when you said how smart or cute they were, those comments might now make your teenager embarrassed.
    • They might want compliments that focus on their growing individuality instead, such as “You’re developing a nice style” or “You’re getting really good at Math/Soccer/Painting.”
  • Look for signs that signify your child’s changing attitude about receiving love to ensure your love is always felt.

4. Are certain languages more common among men and women?

The love languages stem from an emotional place inside us. Although stereotypes of men seeking physical touch more than women or women desiring affirming words more than men abound, each person is different. What makes a person feel loved has less to do...