Friday, June 5, 2009

What is your love language?

In his groundbreaking book, The Five Love Languages, Dr. Gary Chapman defines five different love styles. Each style is the way someone likes to be loved and feels most appreciated. Learning your own love style, as well as that of your partner, is the best way to love and be loved. It’s quite likely that your love style and your partner’s love style will be different. If so, you may need to do a little work and practice acting in the way your partner wants to be loved. Then do a little education—determine your love style and ask for your spouse to do more of what makes you feel truly valued. If you do both of these things, you’re bound to see and feel more love in your everyday life.

Chapman’s Five Emotional Love Languages:

Words of Affirmation
People who value verbal compliments, such as “Wow, you look beautiful in that dress,” and those who desire encouragement are Words of Affirmation types. Loving comments and statements of appreciation, like “You’re an incredible photographer, thank you so much for these pictures!” are what this type craves most.

Quality Time
Spouses who are Quality Time types would like to spend alone time together, focusing only on each other (i.e., not on the football game on TV), while sharing inner feelings, thoughts, and emotions. People who treasure conversation about hopes and dreams while sharing a drink at a local coffee shop are most likely Quality Time types.

Most of us love to receive gifts, but this alone does not make someone a Gift type. Gift types look for visual signs of love, such that any gift—big or small, expensive or casual—is likely to be saved, treasured and adored. People of this type often feel that a lack of gifts reflects a lack of love from their spouse.

Acts of Service
Partners who are Acts of Service types feel loved when their spouse does little, everyday things, such as taking out the trash, paying household bills, picking the kids up from soccer practice, and the like. In order to feel loved, an Acts of Service type would like to see their partner go out of their way to care for them: to put in the planning, time, effort, and energy to make daily life a bit easier.

Physical Touch
Physical Touch types are perhaps the easiest types to spot. These partners thrive on physical contact and crave all of the hugs, kisses, and physical attention you can bestow upon them. People of this type are most want to be in close physical proximity to their partner and want to be touched or held with some frequency.

Determining Your StyleAnswer these questions to determine your love style:
1. How do you show your love to others?
2. Think back to the moments when you felt most loved, what made them so memorable?
3. What do you really wish your partner knew about how to do things differently?
4. What do you complain about most often?
5. What do you save, keep, treasure, or hold on to most?

From your answers, look for a pattern: do you value physical closeness most? If so, your love style islikely the physical touch style. Do you crave more alone time? If so, your love style is probably thequality time style. Do you secretly desire a new wedding band for Valentine’s day? Perhaps you arethe gift style type.

NEW: What is your love language quiz on Facebook:

Want to know how to determine your partner's love language?
Click here to read more of my tips:

What's your communication style?

Another great new quiz on Facebook that will tell you about your communication style and give you tips on how to connect with others:

What do we know about couples who are struggling?

We know a couple of key things about couples who are struggling: (1) they are trapped in a negative cycle, where they seem stuck in the same hurtful spiral, and (2) the key to breaking the cycle is emotion!

The cycle is a never-ending feedback loop, where we make each other out to be the bad guy. Everyone feels hurt, unheard, and pushed away when we're caught in a cycle/spiral. When we're in the cycle, the more one of you attacks, the more dangerous you appear to be, the more we look for attacks, the harder we hit back.

So we must break the cycle..... There are two important steps you can take now to breaking the cycle:

First, realize that the cycle - not your partner - is the enemy. You are not each other's enemy, you love each other. We are never more emotional than when our primary love relationship is threatened, so if both of you are acting in negative ways, that make lots of sense to me. You're both hurt and upset.

Second, negative cycles always start when one person reaches out for the other and could not make safe emotional connection. We are really moved when those we love show their deepest emotions to us, but to do that, we have to feel safe.

So your goal is to identify your cycle, recognize how you impact your partner, then become a safer, more vulnerable person for your partner to open up to.

If you'd like, come join me for "Togetherness Tuesdays" on, where I run a free clinic all day - you can ask me any relationship question you like and I will respond back with custom advice, just for you!

Dr. Kathy Nickerson

Great Online Support Site -

For a long time, I struggled to find any really good online support groups to which I could refer my friends, my clients, or even my own family. After looking, I finally decided to start my own support site, which is now live:

The site features three main sections: a learning center, where you can find articles on anything related to emotional wellness, a support center, where you can join a support group or talk to an expert, and "My FBN", which is a section filled with tools, such as an online journal, mood meter, and much more.

Best of all, the site is completely free!

I hope you'll stop by and let me know what you think. I love what we've created and think it can be a great help to many.


Dr. Kathy Nickerson

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Hi all. Just wanted to share one of my favorite new finds! The spa station on It's great, free music that is customized just for you. I love it!