Words of Affirmation – How to Make Them Into Love Language?

Relationship Rules
22 Aug 2023
11 min read
Words of Affirmation Love Language - How to Use Words to Love

How do you show love to someone and want to receive it? This might seem like an odd question, but people have different answers for that. That’s why knowing your preferred way to show love, or love language, is so important in a relationship. Here, we’ll discover what words of affirmation love language is and what you can do in love if this style is yours or your partner’s love language.

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5 Love Languages: Overview

“Expressing love in the right language. We tend to speak our own love language, to express love to others in a language that would make us feel loved. But if it is not his/her primary love language, it will not mean to them what it would mean to us.”

Gary Chapman, the author of The Five Love Languages for Singles

In 1992, Pastor Gary Chapman published a book, The 5 Love Languages, based on his experiences counseling couples and analyzing partners’ needs in love. He came up with five love languages that people use. Everyone has a primary love language – what they need to know that their partner cares. And when someone understands their partner’s primary love language, they should honor that.

Let’s see what these love languages can be:

  • Quality time: Many people feel loved when their partner spends focused time with them. This means more than just being together but turning off devices and having conversations or planning outings, such as a date night.
  • Physical touch: Some people need physical displays of affection to feel loved. Physical touch speaks volumes about how their partner feels, much more words, actions, or shared experiences.
  • Receiving gifts: Gift giving is important to some to feel loved. This can be anything – a surprise luxury vacation, a new outfit, or a small trinket like a favorite candy bar. The monetary value is not the point – it’s the gift giving of any kind.
  • Acts of service: This love language encompasses a partner doing small and large things for their love. It can be something as simple as cleaning the bathroom mirror or washing their car, fixing their favorite meal, or giving them an entire “day off,” where they are waited on and every whim accommodated. These acts of service speak volumes to someone whose primary love language is to experience sweet things their partner does for them.
  • Words of affirmation: Love language that involves spoken or written words of love, affection, and encouragement affirm to a partner that you love them. These can be simple phrases such as “I adore you” or “You are the best thing that ever happened to me.” The partner wants to hear these words of affirmation in speech or writing.

This article will specifically talk about the words of affirmation love language. If this is the love language of your partner, pay attention.

If words of affirmation are your love language, you need to encourage your partner to express their love to you with words, not deeds.

Words of affirmation love language: How it works

Words of Affirmation Love Language: What Is It?

If words of affirmation are your love language, you tend to express affection and caring with spoken words, even if prominent actions accompany your words. Here are some of examples of your natural behavior:

  • You will call or message kind words to encourage a friend who is struggling
  • It’s not a problem for you to ask the clerk at the grocery store how their ill spouse is doing
  • You like giving compliments and praising so that others feel good about themselves.
  • You use words as a positive reinforcement to encourage someone to keep doing what they are

In short, when words of affirmation language is more important to you than the other languages of love, you will not just want to hear them – you will give them out too. You tend to be sensitive to the needs of others and will say nice things to make their life a bit brighter. And in a relationship, you want words of affirmation from your partners.

Related reading: 21 Things Your Partner Should Never Say to You (and Vice Versa)

4 Benefits of Words of Affirmation for Relationships

No matter which of the different love languages a person might prefer, words of affirmation in the form of encouragement, compliments, positive reinforcement, appreciation, and care never “fall on deaf ears.” Here are the exact benefits they bring, even if your partner has another one of five love languages:

  1. Words of affirmation serve to improve communication between you
  2. Close and warm communication improves both physical and mental intimacy
  3. Good words make your partners feel valued by each other
  4. Constant affirmation improves your partner’s self-esteem (think at least one compliment a day) and even greater self-love.

And here’s an additional benefit just for you. Check how you feel after giving a compliment or praise to someone. You feel good, and your mood is improved. If you need extra insights, get some advice here on how to get better at giving words of affirmation and change other people’s lives by doing so.

7 Ways to Manifest Words of Affirmation Love Language

If your or your partner’s love language is words of affirmation but you are not well versed in using words of affirmation and other gestures, no worries. You’re not alone – it may even cause you discomfort initially. But you can overcome this initial awkwardness and learn to use words of affirmation with enough practice and a little help from your loved one too.

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Let your loved one guide you, along with these tips and strategies to use the verbal expression of love effectively and with love.

1. Practice Saying “I Love You”

If this is not something you normally say, watch a few romantic videos and hear how others say it with meaning. If you tend to say such phrases in a perfunctory manner, don’t force it. Even if it sounds a bit stiff, tell your partner you love them often. It is extremely important for them.

If you’re still struggling, sometimes adding more words to the phrase helps. “Honey, you know I really love you” may sound much easier and natural. Try to put your genuine feelings into what you say.

“I love you” works especially well in a crisis. If your partner makes a mistake that has impacted you somehow, they will likely express their regret. But when you say, “That’s okay, honey. I still love you to bits,” you express the readiness to tolerate the situation, even though they may disagree. As a result, you’re likely to receive lots of appreciation and probably some love back in your preferred love language.

Related reading: Does He Love Me? Quiz Will Give You an Answer!

2. Express Empathy

Empathy is a simple concept. Can you put yourself in your partner’s shoes, see where they are coming from, and express that? There are different life’s situations, and your ability to understand your partner is critical for the stability of your relationship.

Here’s a simple example: Your partner has had a horrible day at work and “unloads” on you when they come home. You’ve had a busy day and are tired. How do you respond? Instead of saying, “I’m tired. Can we talk about this later,” try forcing yourself to really listen, see their day from their perspective, and express empathy – “I’m so sorry you had such a bad day, and I see why you are feeling so horrible. What can I do to help you have a better evening? How about you get a shower while I make dinner?”

Follow all this with the best pep talk you can muster, and make sure that your words of affirmation tell them you know they are capable, skilled, and talented.

3. Appreciate Even the Tiniest Details

One of the best ways to enhance relationships is for partners to regularly show their appreciation for each other. You can express this even for little things. “Oh, thank you for unloading the dishwasher! That saves me just one more task in the kitchen today.” It’s a small phrase, but it can lighten the whole day for your partner.

Related reading: How to Be a Better Lover – Inside and Out

4. Give Lots of Compliments

Nothing endears a partner more than receiving verbal compliments from you. “You look amazing in that outfit,” “I love the way you come on to me in bed,” “I’m so glad your boss was thrilled with the project, but then, you always rock everything you do. I’m so proud of you.”

Start complimenting more and see how your partner responds. And make the compliments as specific as possible – they will seem much more genuine and authentic.

Openly express affirmation love language

5. Praise Your Partner in Front of Others

Want to give your relationship a real boost? Try complimenting and praising your partner in front of others! You don’t have to get all gushy or necessarily go into lots of detail. But do make an effort to tell others something great and special about them.

Try to invent something like this. “You won’t believe how great our kitchen looks now that (s/he) repainted and put in that new lighting. (She’s/he’s) a genius with this stuff,” “I’m so proud of him. He volunteers every Saturday morning tutoring kids who are struggling.”

6. Focus on Your Partner’s Strengths

Relationships always get a boost when a partner recognizes and verbalizes what they know are their partner’s strengths. These positive words of affirmation serve not just to boost their self-esteem but also to remind them that you see and want to recognize them.

Here are a few examples:
“You’re doing such a great job handling the stress at work – I’m not sure I could do the same”
“I’m so proud of you for how you handled that tough situation with your sister”
“You are just so put together every day – I’m a little jealous”

These words of affirmation will communicate your deep regard for them. Way to fill up their love tank!

7. Words of Affirmation Don’t Have to Be Verbal

If you have a tough time verbally expressing affirming words, there are creative ways to put them into writing and boost your relationship that way. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Leave a post-it note on the bathroom mirror, in their wallet, on their laptop screen, or some other place that will surprise them
  2. Send a written text or an email at a random time during the day or even from across the room with an endearing message – “I can’t imagine my life without you,” “As far as relationships go, you have made ours the best I’ve ever had,” or “you have fulfilled me.” Again, you don’t have to write more than a phrase necessarily – they’ll know they are receiving love from you.
  3. If you are pretty good with the written word, write a love letter to your partner. Tell them what your relationship means to you, how they have improved your life, and that you appreciate all they do for you. And here’s something novel. Instead of just leaving the letter on the table or the passenger seat of their car, how about mailing it? This gesture will add a romantic touch to your words.
  4. When your loved one is going through a rough patch, words of empathy are great, but you can communicate them via a card as well. Find a card that is especially meaningful for the situation, write your own short note, and tell them how much you love them. You might also add some acts of service – take over chores, give them a gift card for a massage. Anything you can do to communicate your love will be appreciated.
  5. How about a few posts on social media to express your feelings for your partner? Your words of affirmation will be read by all of your followers and digital friends, and your love will see them too.
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Side Note: Be Careful with Criticism!

Here’s the thing about people whose love language requires words of affirmation. They are highly sensitive to what is said than those who prefer different love languages. So be careful with your words!

You may have disagreements and, of course, face the need to address things that irritate or upset you. So when you speak to these, choose your words carefully. Don’t make each other feel like you have to walk on eggshells, because you may start arguing and fighting even more.

3 golden rules in a conflict with a person whose love language is words of affirmation:

  1.  never attack your partner as a person with negative comments about “who” they are:
  2. Speak only to the issues, and use “I” rather than “you” messages.
  3. End any discussion or argument with words of affirmation to receive kind words in response.

Negative words at the end of an argument tend to “hang in the air” for a long time with those whose love language is words.

Let’s Recap This Whole Words of Affirmation Thing

People whose love language is words of affirmation rely on more words and fewer deeds to show and receive love. When words are used to express love, praise, compliment, encouragement, support, and appreciation, these people find their relationships happy and satisfying. That’s why it’s important to tell them often.

But don’t assume your partner knows and understands your preferred love language. They may not even know about primary love languages at all. That’s why you should start by acknowledging your partner’s words of affirmation and verbalizing how meaningful they are to you.

Tell them how those words make you feel and how they motivate you. If you do this, you are likely to get more of the same, because someone who loves you genuinely wants to please you.

You may also introduce your partner to the whole concept of love languages. Have them watch a video on them and identify what their preferred love language is. Then you can both talk about how you can honor each other’s language.

And the additional plus for your relationship? Once you know your partner’s love language, you will understand that they may often express love to you in that language, and you can respond positively to those gestures.

Relationships Author
Geoffrey Williams
After taking a required Intro to Psychology course as an undergrad, I have never looked back. Since my doctoral program, I have specialized in adult relationship therapy. Through my studies and clinicals, I wrote several articles for professional journals and currently in the midst of writing a book.

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