How to keep your partner's love tank full

Your happily ever after needs this.

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  • You and your partner each have a unique love tank. These tanks fuel your relationship. When they are both full you will most likely experience a smoother, happier and more satisfying relationship.

  • "A lot of misbehavior in marriage grows out of an empty love tank," said Dr. Gary Chapman, a psychologist and author of the book "The Five Love Languages."

  • The key to having a full love tank is to continually fill your partner's love tank, which you can do by saying "I love you" in your partner's unique love language. Discover your love language here, and then use it in these ways to help your relationship blossom:

  • Words of affirmation

  • If this is your or your partner's love language, then words are far more powerful than actions. Words can either fill or empty your sweetheart's love tank. Here are a few things that fill the tank and a few that do the exact opposite:

  • To Fill

    • Saying "I love you," "I'm proud of you" and "I appreciate you"

    • Texting encouraging words

    • Complimenting them for no reason

    • Giving them praise

    • Saying something supportive

    • Telling them why you love them

    • Explaining how much they mean to you

  • To Empty

    • Lack of or little verbal communication throughout the day

    • Insulting them

    • The silent treatment

  • Acts of service

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  • This love language is all about actions and less about words. Often people with this love language feel the most loved when someone is serving them. Here is how you can fill their love tank and a few things to avoid:

  • To Fill

    • Doing something practical to help the other person out (especially if they know you don't enjoy it)

    • Filling the gas tank, doing household chores

    • Doing random nice things for them

    • Working together on a project that needs to get done

    • Running errands

    • Relieving stress by taking the work load

    • Saying "let me do that for you"

  • To Empty

    • Being lazy and breaking commitments

    • Refusing to help out with things

    • Creating more work

  • Receiving gifts

  • This might sound like an expensive love language, but it really isn't. It just depends on how the person who speaks this language defines a gift. Here are things that will fill or empty the love tank of a person who hears "I love you" with a gift:

  • To Fill

    • Small tokens of love

    • A surprise gift

    • Something tangible that shows that you were thinking of them

    • Thinking ahead about birthdays, anniversaries and other gift giving situations

    • Flowers, candy or something that can be grabbed while you are out

    • A gift that says thank you

    • Letting them get something they really want

  • To Empty

    • Missed birthday, holiday or anniversary

    • Thoughtless gifts

    • Selfish gifts, intended more for you than the person you love

  • Quality time

  • This love language is not all about doing things together (though that is a big part), it's about listening talking and being together without distractions. There are many ways to fill and empty this person's love tank:

  • To Fill

    • Listening to them talk with no distractions (like cell phones, computers or food)

    • Spending time with just the two of you

    • Spending uninterrupted leisure time or just hanging out together

    • Showing interest in things they care about

    • Listening to them and trying to understand their feelings

    • Doing anything together as long as it is together

    • Planning daily time to spend together

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  • To Empty

    • Cancelling date night plans

    • Interrupting or not listening to the other person

    • Consistent distractions

  • Physical touch

  • This love language is usually easy to identify in another person because who ever speaks this language is very touchy. Different kinds of physical touches can mean different things, like a hug could be comforting or a form of expressing excitement. The person's love tank who has this language could be filled and emptied in some of these ways:

  • To Fill

    • Kissing frequently

    • Hugging and holding hands

    • Participating in appropriate public displays of affection

    • Sitting close to each other and cuddling

    • Giving a backrub or massage

    • Being physically intimate

    • Frequent non-sexual touches throughout the day

  • To Empty

    • Pushing them away

    • Being gone frequently

    • Neglecting them

  • Just because your partner feels loved most when you serve them, doesn't mean they don't need words of affirmation. You should strive to show love to your spouse in all of the love languages.

  • My husband's love language is receiving gifts, but for him a gift doesn't have to be something purchased. It could be a gift of my time, of service or even a hug. To me, my love languange is service, quality time and physical touch. But to him, it is a gift because I took the time to think about him and what he would appreciate.

  • Every person will speak their love language in their own dialect. Some people have more than one love language, and it often changes over time. So learn about and speak the love language of your partner. You can travel down the road of happily ever after when you and your partner strive to fill each other's love tanks.

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Stacie Simpson is a FamilyShare staff writer. She loves listening to, gathering and sharing stories and advice to help others improve their quality of life. She spends most of her free time with her husband, ballroom dancing, reading and writing.

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