I am a huge advocate of the 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. I use it in marriage counseling all the time. I have also referred to them a number of times here on this site. Below is a summary I use or overview in working with couples. It is not complete nor does it suffice for reading the book yourself, but hopefully the overview piques your interest.
Words of Affirmation
Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important—hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten.
Quality TimeIn the vernacular of Quality Time, nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there—with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby—makes your significant other feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful.
Receiving GiftsDon’t mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you. A missed birthday, anniversary, or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous—so would the absence of everyday gestures.
Acts of ServiceCan vacuuming the floors really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes. The words he or she most want to hear: “Let me do that for you.” Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t matter.
Physical TouchThis language isn’t all about the bedroom. A person whose primary language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face—they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive.
To learn which love language you speak, take the assessment at http://www.5lovelanguages.com/assessments/love/
5 Languages of apology
In any relationship, we have struggles, disagreements, fights, and hurt feelings. For each relationship, we need to be intentional about healing the trust in our relationships. To do so, it requires an apology. Like love languages, we each have an apology language that speaks to us more clearly than another.
For more information, go to