If you’re new to the love languages concept, check out the 5 Love Languages website. Click here for 20 ways to express love through words of affirmation, here for the post on expressing love through physical touch, here for the post on expressing love through acts of service, and here for the post on expressing love through gift-giving.
1.Grab cards, a strategy game, or a board game to play together (er, without your cell phone present).
2.Play–or learn–a sport together.
3.Take lessons of some kind together: ballroom dancing, golf, watercolor, pottery–get creative! One mom I know took taekwondo with her son and daughter; right now my son and I are doing our best at guitar.
4.What hobbies does this person enjoy? Which ones could you enjoy together?
5.Head to an event together–a ball game, a concert, a play, a lecture, a comedian–and grab a bite to eat before or after.
6.Go for a walk or hike together.
7.Exercise together. You might even set a goal (“let’s do P90-X!” “let’s run a 5K!” “Let’s see if we can bench that much by the end of the month!).
8.This love language might be spelled T-I-M-E. Take a few moments after dinner’s over to just sit and talk; cuddle for a bit on the porch or sofa after work.
9.What haven’t you done in your community that begs to be seen or tackled? Check online, study the community calendar, ask around–and see what you can find that you could try out together. One friend of mine always has some local idea up her sleeve: mosaics, the children’s theater for the kids, some restaurant I’ve never heard of, a local art festival.
10.Meet him or her for lunch at school or work.
11.Take him or her out for breakfast on a Saturday morning, or for a spontaneous ice cream or coffee date.
12.For a daughter or son, get some great “girl time” or “guy time” together, whatever that looks like for you: snacks and a movie night, painting nails, paintballing–you get the idea.
13.Tackle a project together: a garden, a woodworking project, building a robot, rebuilding a car, sewing, landscaping, even participating in a play! For ideas, you could visit your local hobby or home improvement store.
14.What skills do you have that you’d be willing to share with your child, and they’d want to learn? Do they have interest in learning handyman skills, fishing, waterskiing, or mechanics? How to cook?
15.Together, plan a service project for people in your neighborhood or church: a block party, a date night for parents of babies and toddlers, a meal plan for someone battling cancer. Maybe you decide on a ministry you’d like to do together at church–teaching Sunday School, serving at the shelter, etc. Get excited and get on it.
16.Make it regular: Get a night on the calendar that’s consistently your night to be together on a weekly, biweekly, or monthly basis.
17.Plan a trip for just the two of you–and make the most of the anticipation, too.
18.If it’s appropriate, take your child to work with you occasionally so they can glimpse your world.
19.Maintain certain times when some electronics are verboten, like meal times, times together, or days of rest, so you can focus fully on each other without interruption and more surface-level forms of interaction.
20.Form a plan to serve your family together. Maybe it’s a family night (31 ideas here!)–making the budget, planning the activity, gathering supplies. Maybe you and your child plan a “gourmet” meal with all the trimmings, planning, cooking, and shopping for it together. Maybe you plan your next vacation together, and he maps out the routes, researches the sites, and presents ideas to everyone. Maybe you plan “12 Days of Christmas” fun for time when everyone is home.