The 5 Love Languages & Thought Work

The 5 love languages framework posits that we all give and receive love in 5 different ways:

  1. words of affirmation
  2. acts of service
  3. receiving gifts
  4. quality time
  5. physical touch

While I’m not here in support of or to negate the validity of the love languages, what I’m here to say is that these kinds of tools can be a helpful starting place.

Finally, as someone who is all about that neuroplasticity, I believe we should be careful to not box ourselves in and to say a definitive “this love language works for me, this other one is garbage.”

Those of us who have codependent or people pleasing thoughts, we may already have a hard time accepting certain expressions of love because we have the habit of all or nothing, black and white thinking.

Mix that up with thinking that the love languages are a set of absolutes and you can find yourself painted into a corner, turning away bids for love or connection because you’ve decided that they just don’t work for you without exploring the topic further.

What I think is really interesting here form a thought work perspective is that it’s all about the story we’re telling about each love language.

By examining our patterns and understanding them, we can choose to have different thoughts that may change the ways we are able and willing to receive expressions of love.

The more we can allow the people we love to be themselves, the more we accept them as them and drop the desire to control everyone and everything, the more love we can feel, regardless of the love language used to show us love.

The first love language is gifts.

See how that thought “cool, thanks for bringing home my most favorite soap that I adore, but actually you didn’t do the dishes” was blocking me from receiving the loving gesture of a gift?

Next up is acts of service.

We might say acts of service don’t bring me joy and are not my love language, when in fact it’s your perfectionist thinking and desire for control that keeps you from appreciating the gift of someone doing nice for you when your story is that only you can do it right.

Words of affirmation

Physical touch

If touch is not one of your love languages, you get to do some thought work to understand why.

Quality time

I now love quality time, and it ranks highly on the love languages quiz for me.

It turns out that it is not that my love language isn’t quality time, it’s that I didn’t have the skill or ability to be present to quality time then, and I very much do now.

It might just surprise how good any of the love languages can feel when you greet them with an open heart.



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Victoria Albina, NP, MPH

Victoria Albina, NP, MPH

Victoria Albina, NP, MPH is a certified life coach, breathwork facilitator, holistic Nurse Practitioner and host of the podcast Feminist Wellness.