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The love languages are one of the most popular concepts in relationship psychology today. It’s likely you’ve already heard of the love languages, know which languages are yours, and now are looking for more guidance on one of these: the words of affirmation love language.
The 5 Love Languages were created by author Gary Chapman, and published in a 1992 book The 5 Love Languages. Since its appearance, this book has been read by millions across the world.
The basic concept of the book is that each person has certain ways they best receive and give love: a primary and a secondary love language. The love languages include:
- Quality Time
- Receiving Gifts
- Words of Affirmation
- Acts of Service
- Physical Touch
You can read a bit more about them in our five love languages summary.
Which Love Language is yours?
The first step to understanding the Five Love Languages is discovering which ones you best respond to. The simplest way to do this is by taking the official quiz. Although you may already have an idea of which love languages you’re drawn to. I didn’t need a test to tell me that, far and away, my primary Love Language is Words of Affirmation.
I can’t get enough of being told I’m loved and cared for. I can never hear the words “I love you” too often. I adore compliments and sweet words and meaningful cards and letters. Words are my thing, both how I most feel loved and how I best express my love to others.
A Guide to the Words of Affirmation Love Language
What is the Five Love Languages Words of Affirmation Language?
So what does it mean if your main love language is Words of Affirmation? Or, if it is your partner’s?
Essentially, this is a verbal affirmation love language. A person who prefers this language feels most affirmed when they hear verbal confirmation of the fact. Put more plainly, Words of Affirmation include encouraging words, compliments, kind remarks, and even romantic poems. To feel best-loved, these individuals must hear it spoken to them (or written to them–or even texted!). Let’s dive in further.
How to Speak the Words of Affirmation Love Language – Plus Words of Affirmation Examples
If you connect with the Words of Affirmation Love Language, then this article may be more than clear to you. But what about those of us who don’t find that verbal declarations of love come naturally?
First, I have good news. You don’t need to become a romantic poet or a sentimental Shakespeare in order to use/speak this love language. While your Words of Affirmation partner would likely appreciate such a gesture, this is far from what is most important. In fact, oftentimes, the simpler the words, the better. Basic, straightforward phrases have the most meaning:
I love you.
I appreciate you.
I support you.
I believe in you.
I trust you.
I’m thankful for you.
I admire you.
These are phrases that anyone can say, even if verbal expression doesn’t come naturally.
These phrases can also be reworked to suit your own language patterns or for each situation. For instance, you might feel awkward saying “I support you.” All you need to do is find another way to say it.
Here’s an example. Let’s say your wife is planning to quit her job to pursue a new passion. It’s a risky move and she’s nervous. Not only is she worried that she may have made a hasty, bad decision, but she likely worries that she’s putting her marriage at risk. She worries about your feelings on the decision.
In this situation, kind, encouraging words go along way for speakers of any love language, but in this case, you know your wife’s Love Language is Words of Affirmation. So you make the effort to offer her verbal support and love.
You might say “I think it’s really cool that you’re going after this new opportunity. I know you can do it.”
Or, “It’s inspiring that you are following your passions. I love that about you.”
These kinds of phrases may feel less robotic than “I support you,” but they portray the same meaning, and they can be built to fit your own style of speech.
Practice Makes Better
The saying may be that “practice makes perfect,” but what in a relationship is ever perfect? I prefer to think that practice simply improves things over time, and it truly does.
Consistent use of your partner’s Love Language will become easier and easier for you, even with those languages you don’t naturally “speak.” The effort of trying, over and over, even when it feels unfamiliar or uncomfortable, is a tremendous gift to your partner. And just trying to speak their Love Language is loving in itself.
So don’t give up.
Now, let’s talk about some more concrete examples, including Words of Affirmation for men and women.
This is more than just a “words of affirmation list.” We wanted to provide you not only with some Words of Affirmation examples but with general guidelines for the various ways to express verbal affirmation for your loved one.
The easiest affirming words to understand are those that convey love clearly and obviously. Saying I love you is a great place to start, but how many ways can you truly say I love you? Thousands!
If your husband, wife, or partner’s primary Love Language is Words of Affirmation, he or she will delight in being told over and over about your love for them. Talk about your feelings for them and the different ways in which you love them. You can even talk about when you met or reminisce about times in the past.
I can’t believe how much I love you.
I love you more and more each day.
I knew I loved you the moment you…
I feel really lucky to be with you.
It’s so easy to love you!
I always want to show you how much I love you.
I can’t tell you enough how much you are loved.
Another realm of Words of Affirmation is in the department of compliments; expressing appreciation for your partner’s skills, talents, abilities, appearance, and very nature of who they are.
Men, listen up. Compliments are usually especially prized by women so don’t shy away from offering some of these regularly to your wife. Compliments are some of the best Words of Affirmation for her, and usually easy to come up with. (Plus, these are external, focusing on your partner’s good qualities. If you find that words of romance and affection are more challenging, it may be because those words rely more on your own feelings. Give compliments/words of appreciation a try!)
Of course, compliments can be excellent Words of Affirmation for him as well.
You look beautiful.
You’re an amazing mom.
You’re an amazing dad.
You are an excellent cook.
You have such a great sense of humor.
I love how ambitious you are.
That dress makes you look incredible.
You look as good as the night we met.
You always know just how to make things better.
I really appreciate that you…
It feels so good when you…
I couldn’t stop bragging to my friends about you.
We all desire support and encouragement from the people we love best. That’s why words of encouragement are an essential part of the Words of Affirmation Love Language. Not only is encouragement key, but congratulations are part of the picture, too.
You got this.
I believe in you.
I know you can do it.
I support you no matter what.
I’m behind you 100%.
You made the right decision.
I’m your biggest fan.
I’ll always be here for you.
I’ve got your back.
Congratulations! You deserve this win!
Similar to words of encouragement are words of empathy. But empathy differs in an important way. Empathy allows a person to feel seen and heard, and yes, supported, but most importantly, understood. Empathy is vital. It can be hard sometimes to focus on empathetic words instead of “fixing words.” If your partner has had a bad day, often our first instinct is to figure out how to fix it, offering solutions and advice. But first, words of empathy are essential.
I am so sorry that happened to you.
I can totally see why that would upset you/hurt you/annoy you.
That makes sense.
I wish you didn’t have to go through this.
That sounds really difficult.
That’s really awful.
I wish I could make it better.
I can’t imagine how you must feel.
That would frustrate me too.
I would be disappointed by that too.
I can see why that would crush you.
Empathetic statements like these can be really encouraging words for a husband or wife going through a rough time. Be there for them, don’t discount their pain, and if Words is their Love Language, make sure you express your support for them.
Finally, don’t forget gratitude. Gratitude has an important place in our lives in so many ways, and especially in our relationships. We need to be demonstrating how much our partner’s mean to us, and how deeply we appreciate the things they do for us, and the ways they love us.
I am so grateful to have you.
Thank you so much for doing that errand for me.
Thank you for watching the kids tonight.
I so appreciate all that you do for our family.
I got so lucky when I married you.
Thank you for speaking my love language.
Thank you for your encouragement.
Need more ideas for words of affirmation for your husband, wife, or partner? Check out these articles on Two Drifters that offer tons of ideas and examples, including some written options:
- 100+ Reasons Why I Love You: The Ultimate List
- Love Letters for Him: Ideas for Sweet, Sexy, Long-Distance & More!
- 107 Flirty Texts for Him
- 25+ Romantic Open When Letter Ideas for Couples
- 115 Super Sweet & Romantic Instagram Captions for Couples
- 48 Questions to Ask Before Getting Married
- 75 Perfect Sorry Messages for Him to Show How Much You Care
- 75 Sweet and Meaningful Sorry Messages for Her
- 75 Flirty Questions to Ask a Girl
- Top 5 Things Your Husband Needs to Hear (and 25 Ways to Tell Him!)
Want to read more about the love languages for couples? Get the original book here.
Amy Hartle is the author of Do You Love Me? How To Stop Seeking Reassurance in Relationships, a book on reassurance seeking and relationship anxiety. Both her book and this blog are born of personal experience; Amy shares expert relationship advice from the lessons learned during her own 10+ years with her husband, as well as couples travel tips and romantic getaway recommendations, all gleaned while traveling the world together.