Hi-5 to Love!

Conducted by: Phoon Pui Yee, Social Worker

                       Jayam Vishnu Dav, Social Work Associate
Conducted on: 14 February 2015

Love was in the air at our Enhancing Positive Changes (EPC) workshop on Valentine’s Day, 14th February 2015. A total of 19 participants joined in fun-filled games revolving around the 5 Love Languages as defined by Gary Chapman, author of bestselling The Five Love Languages® series.

According to Chapman, each of us has a primary love language, and when our partner speaks our love language, we feel loved as our love tank gets filled up. Similarly if we learn to speak our partner’s love language, we are also filling up their love tanks. Chapman further added that when love tanks are EMPTY, couples tend to argue or withdraw from each other. But when the love tanks are FULL,there is an opportunity for resolving differences, mutual understanding, and …love.

Chapman defined the five love languages as 1) Words of affirmation; 2) Quality time; 3)Acts of service; 4) Receiving gifts; and 5) Physical touch. To discover the primary love language for yourself and your partner, visit http://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile.

Below is a quick guide adapted from The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts (Chapman, Gary, D., 2009) on how to speak your partner’s love language. This list is definitely not exhaustive; do discover your own unique ways of filling each other’s love tank and have fun along the way!

If your partner’s love language is …


... Words of Affirmation

What is it? 

·         Verbal compliments

·         Encouraging words

·         Kind words

·         Using a positive tone of voice

·         Empathy

What you can do?

·         Thank him/her for doing something

·         Tell your partner that you are proud of him/her and give an example

·         Praise him in front of others

·         Express love and affection verbally, via email or text messages.

What to avoid?

·         Insults

·         Criticisms

·         Harsh words

·         Neglect to acknowledge efforts made

... Quality Time

What is it? 

·         Spending time together

·         Giving him/her undivided attention

·         Quality conversation to understand his/her thoughts, feelings and hopes.

What you can do?

·         Put your phone away / turn the TV off

·         Give undivided attention

·         Take a walk together

·         Maintain eye contact during conversations

·         Make time to share about events of the day.

·         Weekend getaways

What to avoid?

·         Distractions

·         Not listening

·         Postponed dates / appointments without valid reasons

... Acts of Service

What is it? 

·         Doing things your partner would like you to do without him/her asking

What you can do?

·         Do things for him/her without being asked and expect nothing in return

·         Do household chores together

·         Be ready to offer help

What to avoid?

·         Laziness

·         Broken commitments

·         Creating more work to be done


... Receiving Gifts

What is it? 

·         Gifts matter in terms of significance and not size or price

·         May be purchased, found or made

What you can do?

·         Getting him/her what he always wanted.

·         DIY your own gifts

·         Getting him/her something on every and any occasion

What to avoid?

·         Forgetting important dates (e.g. birthdays, anniversaries)

·         Thoughtless gifting

 ... Touch

What is it? 

·         Non-verbal touch

·         Holding hands, kissing, hugging, pat on back

What you can do?

·         Holding hands while walking

·         Giving a gentle squeeze while holding hands

·         Initiating a shoulder massage after a long day

·         Feeling your partner’s feet under the table

·         Holding your partner close when he/she is upset.

What to avoid?

·         Neglect

·         Physical abuse

·         Sudden withdrawal when you see familiar faces in public

·         Long duration without intimacy

Have you know the love language of both your partner and yourself? What effective ways do you use to fill your partner's love tank? Share with us in the comments below! 


Source: Chapman,Gary, D. (2009) The Five Love Languages:The Secret to Love that Lasts. Northfield Publishing