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Sex with Dr. Jess


November 5, 2020

What is Your Love Language?

Are you familiar with the languages of love? Jess chats with Jeff and Carolyn this morning on Global TV’s The Morning Show about love languages and how they can teach you to better understand your partner’s needs. Check out her notes and video interview below.

What are the languages of love?

Gary Chapman’s bestseller, The 5 Love Languages, suggests that each of us has a primary love language — words of affirmation, receiving gifts, acts of service, quality time or physical touch — and that in order to improve emotional connection, we need to learn to speak our partner’s language.

Of course, you can speak multiple languages and other “languages” exist, but this 5-pronged framework can be very helpful to help you better understand your own needs and your partner’s.

  • Acts of service – performing favours that make them feel loved, appreciated, seen and special.
  • Words of affirmation – expressing your love in words in a variety of ways (via text, voice note, video message, love notes or in person)
  • Physical affection – touch that might include hugs, kisses, snuggles, caresses, and sex (of course, some people will disagree with me that sex should be a part of this category).
  • Receiving Gifts – thoughtful planning to give gifts that are meaningful and well-liked.
  • Quality Time – tuning in to spend time and be attentive (i.e. present and not distracted)

How do you know what your love language is and how do you figure out your loved ones’ love languages?

You can take the online quiz here, but you may also observe how they show you (and others) that they love you; this is often an indication of how they want to be loved (although it can also be a reflection of expectations — according to gender, age, race, sexual orientation and experience).

I also suggest you have more in-depth and nuanced discussions about your needs and desires and how they change over time. Open up a dialogue to discuss how you and your partner experienced love growing up. What made you feel safe? What made you feel threatened? When you consider your parents or other sources of love, what did they do well with regard to emotional expression? What do you wish they did differently?

Can you guess your partner’s love language?

Words of Affirmation (for loved ones — not just intimate partners):

  • Love notes on the mirror in the morning
  • Reassurance that everything will work out and checking in to ask how they’re feeling
  • Quick texts to let them know you’re thinking of them
  • Voice notes or video messages to tell them you love them
  • Compliments and saying what you’re thinking. Don’t assume they know. Say it aloud.

Acts of Service:

  • Set up their workspace if they’re working from home
  • Make sure their devices are charged and their cords are handy
  • Bring them a snack or drink while they’re working
  • Steal one of their regular chores so that when they go to put out the trash, it’s already done
  • Cook an extra portion of food to share with a friend

Physical Affection:

  • 60 seconds in the morning
  • Hugs from behind
  • Rub their feet for one minute while they’re on a call

Quality Time: 

  • Setting limits on technology at the dinner table, in the living room and in the bedroom
  • Checking in at the start of the week or in the morning to ask if they have time to go for a walk, watch a show, workout or talk
  • Reaching out to a friend who usually is the planner; take the initiative and ask them to hang out virtually or outdoors

Receiving Gifts:

  • Have the kids make an art project for them
  • Order an extra treat when you’re having your groceries delivered
  • Pick up a used book from an independent bookseller and inscribe a personalized message
  • If you were going to treat yourself, consider splitting your spend and ordering something for a friend