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Being married doesn’t mean that one no longer need to express love to his/her spouse. Rather, such expressions should ramp up to keep the sparks of the marriage ignited. However, does it mean that the way you express your love to your spouse is received in the way you intended? Often, it may not be the case.

Based on marriage counselor and author Dr. Gary Chapman’s well-known “5 Love Languages”—quality time, acts of service, physical touch, words of affirmation and receiving of gifts—shows that each of us has a predominant way of expressing and receiving love.

For example, if your wife’s love language is physical touch, do not be surprised if she still feels uncherished even if you have expressed your love through little acts of service.

Knowing your spouse’s love language is not only constrained to understanding how they feel loved, but also to recognise how they  express love. You may be surprised to learn that your spouse has actually been showering you with love all these while in their own special way.

To discover yours and your beloved’s love language, try this assessment.

One good way to express your love better is by giving love gifts that speak your spouse’s primary love language. Here are some gifts ideas for the different love languages.

Quality Time

Your full, undivided attention makes your spouse feel truly special and loved, not forgetting sharing quality conversation and activities too.

Avoid these: Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen.

  • Indulge in an unforgettableand romantic dinner for two.
  • Engage in a shared hobby or your spouse’s hobby. If your spouse loves to play golf but you don’t particularly do, warm his/her heart by signing up for a golf membership.
  • Create new memories by taking a day trip to somewhere or doing something that both of you have never gone or done before but would love to try.

Acts of Service

Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on your spouse speaks volumes.

Avoid these: Laziness, broken commitments, or making more work for your spouse.

  • Volunteer to take over a particular chore your spouse does often or dread doing.
  • Help him/her complete a task that he/she has been meaning to do but is too busy to carry it out.
  • Support his/her healthy lifestyle, such as a membership to his/her favourite workout session, yoga class, gym, etc.

Physical Touch

Physical touch fosters a greater sense of security and belonging to your spouse. So are physical presence and accessibility.

Avoid this: Neglect.

  • Rejuvenate his/her physical senses with a refreshing spa or massage package.
  • You can have a “spa/massage” experience at home too! Have fun with DIY “coupons” that your spouse can “redeem” from you for a 30-minute massage.
  • Engage in active activities, such as taking up a couple dance class, cooking, hiking, etc.

Words of Affirmation

Unsolicited compliments; kind, encouraging and positive words; hearing "I love you" and the reason behind that love mean the world to your spouse.

Avoid this: Insults.

  • Frame your marriage with compliments and expressions of love toward your spouse, and frame (literally) those words of endearment up. Place those “love notes” frames by the bedside or give him/her a sweet surprise by placing them at the most unexpected places. You can even opt to use Post-It notes.
  • Put together a playlist of songs that are special to you both that he/she can play anytime, anywhere.
  • Bring positivity to his/her everyday with items that carry encouraging messages, such as a “You’re the Best For Me!” mug or “I Love No One Else but You!” cushion.

Receiving Gifts

Your spouse thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind your gift because it shows they are cared for and prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to them.

Avoid these: A missed birthday, a thoughtless gift, or the absence of everyday gestures.

  • Personalise your gift with your spouse’s name or a special love message for him/her. For example, a monogrammed key ring, or a cushion with his/her name embroidered on it, etc.
  • Put together a digital photo album of shared memories. Add captions to better capture your feelings at that point in time.
  • Pay attention to what your spouse likes or whenever he/she expresses a desire for a certain item, and touch his/her heart when you gift him/her something he/she likes/desires. Remember to wrap it up!

A marriage is a progressive journey of discovering about and growing with each other. Keep your marriage sizzling with constant communication and empathy—your spouse deserves your best.