There is a high chance that you express your love to your loved one a lot of the time. However, have you ever taken the time to ensure you’re doing it the way your partner wants it? Even love can become complicated and get lost in translation when two partners have different love languages.
The five love languages are essential to know as they are the five different ways of receiving and expressing love the way you, your partner, and everyone around you genuinely want to receive it. The five love languages are words of affirmation, receiving gifts, quality time, acts of service, and, of course, physical touch.
It is important to remember that not everyone will communicate their love in the same way and will have different views on how they prefer to receive love. The 5 Love Languages: The Secrets to Love That last is a book by Gary Chapman, Ph.D., about the five unique styles of communicating love. He speaks about the concept of love languages like they have never been explored before.
Gary Chapman uses his experience in marriage counseling and linguistics to get the best out of how you love the people around you. In turn, you can understand your love relationship much better. While some of us will relate to a few love languages, others will only connect to one.
It is also essential to know that even if we relate to multiple, there will be one in particular that speaks to us most and stands out. By discovering your and your partner’s love language and then speaking that language regularly, you will better understand what you both need and how you can support each other’s growth.
Love languages are so helpful as they express a fundamental truth in a meaningful way. None of us experience love in the same way. Some of us will be completely content when we hear the words “I love you,” and others will feel more cared for when their partner does the dishes or scrubs the toilet.
In saying this, love languages are essentially currency for your loved ones. In a relationship, you must learn the emotional currency of how our favorite humans love. Identifying their love language is a massive part of this.
No matter your situation, whether you spend 24/7 with your partner, live all alone, or live with your family, the five different love languages can be a precious tool in your relational toolkit. When we can identify someone’s love language, we can personalize our gestures to resonate with our loved ones.
When we can understand which actions speak to us and make us feel as if we are loved, we can ask other people for exactly what we need in our relationships. While online quizzes can help you find your love language, reading this article will be a far more in-depth way of finding out your love language and what others can do to make you feel loved.
Now, let’s take a more in-depth look at the five love languages and how they can be applied and optimized. First of all, let’s look at the five different love languages to gain an overview.
1. Words of Affirmation
Your love language is likely words of affirmation if you prize verbal connection over anything else. People who have the love language valuing words of affirmation will want to hear you say precisely what you appreciate, admire, and love about them. For example, they will sincerely value phrases such as:
- Wow, I think it was nice of you to organize this family dinner.
- I loved it when you made lunch today.
- I love you.
This is especially important for the people who you cannot see in person right now due to the pandemic. They would appreciate a short video or voice message providing them with some words of affirmation. Even for the people you see every day. It would be best if you remembered that even the smallest gestures would matter to them and make their day.
2. Acts of Service
Acts of service is a very, very popular love language. Some of us will feel more loved than ever before when others lend a helping hand or do something very nice for us. Knowing that your loved one’s love language is an act of service will allow you to bring them the most happiness possible.
You can buy someone flowers when they’re having a bad day, do the dishes, feed the animals, make the bed, or do the washing. In your home, being proactive for the one you love can ease the person’s daily grind, which will very much appeal to their love language if it is an act of service.
Why not do the chore that you know they hate doing? This could be as simple as cleaning the oven, scraping ice off the car, changing the litterbox, filling the dishwasher, or even heating the vehicle before they get in the morning. For someone who appreciates acts of service as a love language, seeing someone do something to make their lives easier will send a significant message to them.
There are many people out there whose love language is gifting. However, gifts aren’t necessarily something expensive or extravagant. Instead, their love tanks will be filled with love when someone gives them something meaningful that is intangible or tangible that makes them feel special, loved, or appreciated.
Yes, the thought counts for those with gifts as their love language. For example, when you pick up your weekly groceries, pick up their favorite drink or their favorite packet of chips. They will love that you have picked something up for them, but they will also love that you have remembered their favorite type of each thing.
Even a framed photo of both of you, a potted plant, or a fun toy will make them feel loved. These acts of love will fill your loved one’s emotional bank account.
4. Quality Time
Having someone’s pure, dedicated, and undivided attention is precious for people whose love language is quality time. Spending quality time together is so underrated, but it is a great way to show people how much you love them without any words needing to be exchanged. It is also one of the easiest ways to engage with your loved ones.
Make an effort to spend time with your loved ones by taking them out on coffee dates, going to museums together, taking short walks, or even just coming over and watching movies with them! You can even schedule a weekly or daily phone call with them. When you hang out together, you can put your phones away and even turn the tv off if it isn’t included in your activity.
After all, nothing truly says “I love you” more than quality time together.
5. Physical Touch
Expressing love via physical touch doesn’t automatically mean it is sexual. It can be as simple and platonic as giving your friend a fist bump or hug when they tell you that they have landed an interview for their dream job! It can also be as intimate as a kiss with your partner to say hello at the end of the day.
During the pandemic, for obvious reasons, many people were turned off by physical touch or weren’t giving it out as freely. This led to many people whose love language is physical touch not being able to reach their daily quota of physical affection. While there are no easy solutions, we begin to see restrictions ease, and people have become more familiar with physical touch now.
A Brief Takeaway of the Five Love Languages
Love languages are a valuable concept to become familiar with if you genuinely want to connect with your loved ones and build long-lasting relationships. Considering we have just gone through a very lonely time during the pandemic, knowing the love language of your loved ones can help them feel more emotionally satisfied going forward.
By learning about love languages and how to adhere to them, we can strengthen our relationships and bonds with the people we love.
The Love Language Quiz: What is My Love Language?
When trying to find out your love language, read through the following statements and tick or highlight those that deeply resonate with you. Filter through it and ask yourself questions such as:
- How do you show love?
- What do you complain about when you’re in a relationship?
- What do you need from or request from your partner daily?
If two or more love languages are tied for first place, use the process of elimination to work your way down the list until you have one or two languages left that you don’t want to part with. Remember, it is entirely normal to have more than one love language. Let’s begin!
Words of Affirmation
- You love when your partner says, “I love you.” Those words are incredibly special, meaningful, and reassuring for you to hear, no matter how many times it is said.
- You appreciate being acknowledged and praised. You love hearing your efforts praised and recognized with kind words, no matter how small.
- Details matter to you, and you like it when your partner comments on things such as a change in your hair or outfit. When they are paying attention, it makes you feel cherished.
- You feel valued when they take time to positively and thoughtfully reflect and comment when they have noticed something positive you’re doing.
- When you do something nice for your partner, and they thank you and feel grateful, you feel affirmed and recognized.
- You like to spend uninterrupted time with your partner. It would help if you had enough time together with their undivided attention. You don’t like distractions when you’re with them.
- It is meaningful when they make time for you despite anything. You love when they don’t cancel plans and prioritize you in their schedule.
- Creating memories and special memories together is extremely important. New experiences with your loved one mean everything to you.
- Time is precious and meaningful, so you want to soak up every second of your time with your partner.
- You feel pleased and content when you are with your partner, even if you’re not doing anything substantial. You just like being with them.
Acts of Service
- You feel very taken care of when your partner helps you with little chores and any responsibilities.
- It means a lot to you when someone sticks to their word and follows through with something. When they do this, your cup is full of love.
- You love it when your partner comes in and does things for you to make your life easier, not because they have to, but because they want to.
- If you’re feeling tired or stressed, it is excellent for them to step up and alleviate any burdens by taking things off your plate.
- You think that actions mean everything, and talk is cheap. Show, not tell.
- You feel very loved when you receive a gift. The present itself is only a bonus because it is the thought behind it that counts. A gift is only an object that reminds you that something was thinking about you.
- After a trip or date, it is nice to take something specific home with you. The item reminds you of sentimental moments.
- The best gifts for you are the most meaningful ones. If it is a surprise, that is even better.
- You want to commemorate it with some gift during birthdays, anniversaries, or holidays. Those days are very special to you, so you want to celebrate them.
- The gesture of receiving a gift shows you that you are prized, seen, and cared for. You thrive on thoughtfulness.
- You always look forward to cuddles, hugs, and kissing. Nothing starts the fire in your heart more than physical affection.
- You feel pleased and safe in a relationship when physical affection is cultivated and freely accessible to you. Long embraces, holding hands, and kisses are very welcome.
- You’re always happy for displays of public affection. It helps you feel desired and wanted.
- If your partner is sitting next to you, you want to cuddle up. The closer you are to them, the better.
- Physical intimacy makes you feel very close to your partner and loved.
What is the most common Love Language?
When Chapman posted an online quiz in 2010, over 10,000 people responded. This quiz identified that words of affirmation were by far the most popular language, but it was only at the top by a thin margin. In fact, in 2018, the top-rated dating app, Hinge, found that the most common love language was quality time when the app was analyzed.
The most popular love language will also depend on culture, gender, customs, values, and even your childhood experience. Certain love languages are far more prevalent in the West, while others are less common in non-Western cultures. While some cultures may push physical touch, others prefer to keep the PDA away and praise their partner with words of affirmation.
Some cultures do not allow public displays of affection at all. This is why culture has so much to do with your chosen love language.
Dating with Each Type of Love Language
Love languages have always been a very simple concept due to their fundamental truth. Understanding them can be a transformative experience if you put in the work. It allows curiosity into the relationship and stops you and your partner from thinking you need to read each other’s minds to make it work.
For example, you may be someone who loves words of affirmation. However, your partner could be someone that places a lot of their love on quality time and physical touch. As a bid for love and connection, you may have sent them sweet texts, words of affirmation, and love quotes all day, thinking that you’re expressing your love in a great, clear way.
However, they may be sitting there wondering why you’re never interested in cuddling together on the couch when you watch tv at night. Sometimes, it may make your partner feel unloved because you don’t want to touch them. Though, when we begin to understand and determine our love languages, it can be far easier to give our partners what they crave in a relationship.
This can make you and your partner feel more comfortable, loved, and connected in a relationship. Keep these tips in mind when you’re dating people with different love languages:
- Words of affirmation: Words mean absolutely everything to this person, so choose them wisely. Make sure you favor positivity, and your communications will flourish. Say it to them and do it often when you notice good things. Avoid nonconstructive criticism as words leave a lasting impression and impact on this person.
- Quality time: Make sure you make time for this person in your schedule to schedule quality time together. It could be as simple as a coffee date at their favorite café or a short walk together outside. Leave your phones and other distractions at home and enjoy an in-depth conversation about your day.
- Acts of service: If your partner favors acts of service, go above and beyond with your actions to show them, love. Don’t always make it about chores, though. People often have entirely different ideas about what this love language means to them. You’re better off asking them directly what they need. This will make them feel incredibly loved.
- Gifts: When your person’s love language is gifting, they will never forget the special occasions. Make sure you mark it on the calendar and honor the day with a thoughtful gift for your partner. Remember that it doesn’t have to be an expensive or extravagant gift. Just something thoughtful and loving will make their day. Surprise gifts are the best ones for this person. Consider dropping by the store on the way home and grabbing them a bouquet of flowers as a little gift after a long day. I promise they will love it!
- Physical Touch: Physical touch is all about physical affection, tender caresses, and touching. This love language is very easy and straightforward to understand. This love language doesn’t involve a lot of money, planning, or exertion. It is as easy as holding your partner’s arm or hand, squeezing them, or tapping their butt as you walk by. It is as easy as that.
How Love Languages Can Benefit Relationships
Most of us will have one or two preferred love languages, and most of the time, they will differ from that of our significant other’s. If you express your love to your partner via your chosen love language, the chances are that it will go unnoticed by your partner. For example, if your love language is gifting and you constantly surprise your partner with gifts, it will upset you when they look at them quickly and put them down.
Meanwhile, your partner’s love language may be acts of service. It would mean the world to them if you did chores around the house to ease their mind instead of buying them gifts. This will ensure that they feel very loved within the relationship.
By learning how to speak your partner’s love language, you will see a drastic effect on the strength of your relationship. After all, we all express and receive love differently. By understanding the difference, you can seriously change your relationship for the best.
Check out these ways that love languages can benefit relationships.
Promotes a Selfless Relationship
When you show that you are excited to learn someone else’s love language, it will show that you are focused on what they need rather than what you need. Couples should work on learning their partner’s love language as opposed to trying to convince their partner to discover theirs and adhere to it.
Ideally, both people need to learn how to express love in a meaningful way to the other. The entire purpose of exploring your loved one’s love language is to love your partner in a way that is directly meaningful to them.
As you learn more about your partner’s love language, you learn to empathize with them. It allows you to step outside of yourself for a brief moment to look at what makes another person feel loved and significant. When couples are committed to learning and using love languages, they increase their emotional intelligence and learn how to put someone else’s needs above their own.
Instead of expecting their partner to speak their love language, they learn to speak in a language that their partner favors.
If couples regularly speak about what keeps their love tanks full, this will create a more understanding and intimate relationship. They not only learn more about their partner, but they are also able to connect in a far deeper and more meaningful way. When this happens, their relationship will feel far more intimate.
Improving communication skills in relationships can aid in intimacy.
Aids in Personal Growth
When you focus on someone or something outside of yourself, it can undoubtedly lead to personal growth. Loving your partner in ways outside your comfort zone can force growth and change to look outside of yourself.
Shares Love in Meaningful Ways
When couples begin speaking one another’s love language, the things they do for each other become far more intentional and meaningful. Part of it has to do with the fact that they are saying they love you in more ways than make sense to them. When they do this, their partners feel far more content and happier.
How to use Love Languages in Your Nonromantic Relationship
Love languages apply to many different relationships, not just romantic ones. After all, everyone likes to be loved the way they want. To use the love languages in a nonromantic relationship, you need to observe how someone shows that they care for you.
This will tell you their love language, and what forms of affection they will resonate with the most. For example, suppose your friend is always coordinating get-togethers, reciprocating with acts of service, picking up coffee without being asked, or taking you out to lunch frequently. In that case, their love language is likely an act of service.
You can return the favor while adhering to their love language by doing these things for them for once.
How You Can Use Love Languages for Self-Care
While people rarely talk about love languages for themselves, it is just as important to show yourself some love as you show your loved ones. A similar love language framework can apply to your self-care routine. After all, human beings cannot fully love others without loving themselves first.
To love others and their qualities, you first need to recognize these qualities in yourself. Once we can identify our love language, it becomes far easier to take time out to love and care for ourselves in our native love language.
Criticism of the Love Language Theory
It has been almost thirty years since the book’s publishing date. Nowadays, the concept is more important than ever. However, this has allowed people to point out more problems with the love languages.
Some people say that love languages can be used as a personality test. However, Chapman’s entire point is about adapting to our partner’s love language, not demanding they adapt to ours. Recent research has revealed that just because couples are aligned with each other’s love language, it doesn’t exactly make it a much more respectful relationship.
Couples who shared the same love language weren’t happier over the love language system. Some believe that adapting it based on your partner’s needs at a specific time is more valuable than just relying on a dominant love language type. The broad concept can often feel far too simplistic since it does not entirely include any cultural, sexual, traumatic, or intergenerational differences.
There needs to be a far broader understanding of human relationships to understand that they are a complicated reflection of their attachment styles and childhood rooms. Once a person heals their wounds from the past, their love language will also grow and change.
As a general rule, it is super important not to use love languages as a universal salve to any relationship issues. We need more skills in our tool kit to face problems that may exist below the surface of our relationships. In saying this, love languages are still important.
But they need to be combined with other healthy relationship tools.
How to Understand Your Love Relationship – The Bottom Line
Love languages are a handy tool for improving how we express ourselves and communicate with one another. However, they shouldn’t be seen as an all-end solution for happiness. Instead, they should function as a tool that couples add to their tool kit for healthier relationships.
The work doesn’t stop, so keep going. See recommended articles and links below.
- For More information on Love Languages
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