Speaking of Love


Ask Me Anything
These conversation starters are great ways to rekindle a relationship and are available at a variety of sources including Uncommon Goods.

Curiosity Cards
These cards focus on light topics, asking general questions. They ask participants to reflect on such things as what they think their biggest future accomplishment will be.

Intimacy Deck
A deck of 150 cards that cover six categories—intimacy, relationships, past, life, random and about you. Questions range from asking about a first kiss to how you feel supported.

We all have a love language—how we show our love for others and how we prefer to receive it.

The book The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts has spawned a line of books, online quizzes and even an app. Developed by author and counselor Gary Chapman, Ph.D., the concept proposes that there are five ways of expressing and receiving love—words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service and physical touch.

Sometimes in a relationship it feels like we’re speaking different languages because, well, maybe we are. For example, a husband might express love by emptying the dishwasher (a love language of service), but the wife would be more grateful for a hug (a love language of physical touch). He gets frustrated thinking his act is unappreciated, and she is frustrated because what she values most she’s not receiving. Learning more about how you express caring for others and how you like to receive love can help couples, families and coworkers bond and grow.

Dr. Chapman initially developed the concept when he was a pastor counseling couples and families. His subsequent books—The 5 Love Languages of Men, The 5 Love Languages of Children, The 5 Love Languages Military Edition and The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace—are all based on the framework that understanding how we communicate love and how we want to receive it will help us develop stronger more fulfilling relationships.

There is no right or wrong love language, and the key to taking the quiz is honesty—answer the questions how you truly feel, not how you think you should feel. The goal is to make sure the language you use to express appreciation to others is the one they prioritize.


Words of Affirmation
You prioritize verbal affection and want to hear “I love you,” encouragement and compliments.

Quality Time
These people crave time with their family or partner fully present, actively listening and not on the phone or multitasking.

Acts of Services
This love language indicates you greatly appreciate when others do things to make your life better. You value service from others, whether it is cleaning the gutters or refilling your coffee.

Gifts is not as shallow as it sounds. Those with this language are not so much about the monetary value of the gift but the process behind the gift-giving—thought that goes into it and time spent creating or selecting the gift. These people want a tangible sign of love and do not want birthdays, anniversaries or significant days unacknowledged by a physical item.

Physical Touch
This language prioritizes being touched and feeling most loved with physical signs of affection from holding hands to sex. For those that speak this language, physical touch serves as a way to deepen connection through proximity, whether sitting side by side on a couch or resting a hand on a partner’s leg.

Visit the website for online quizzes or to sign up for Dr. Chapman’s newsletter and podcast. And download the app, LoveNudge, which allows you to set goals and literally nudges you to fill your partners love tank.


A deep relationship takes time, but thanks to a 2015 New York Times Modern Love article, many couples have discovered the 36 Questions to Fall in Love Quiz that became a viral phenomenon. Developed by psychologists Arthur Aron, Ph.D. and Elaine Aron, Ph.D. in the 1990s, it explores the idea that two strangers can develop a deep connection by asking a series of increasingly personal questions. Broken into three sets of twelve questions, the concept is to accelerate the creation of a close bond through openness.

The first set of questions explores intimacy with light questions ranging from your perfect dinner guest to your ideal day. Section two goes deeper, delving into questions and reflections on life and childhood, such as how you feel about your relationship with your mother and your most treasured memories. The final set of questions asks more personal questions, such as if you were to die right now, what would you regret not having said?

Whether you’ve been married for decades or just getting to know someone, consider taking the quiz over a long car ride or date night. ggia.berkeley.edu

Images: Christos Georghiou/stock.adobe.com; pronick/stock.adobe.com; charnsitr/tock.adobe.com


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