You may show your love for your relationship frequently, but do you take the time to ensure that you’re expressing it in the way that your partner prefers? Understanding our partners might be challenging at times. When two couples speak different love languages, even love can become lost in translation. So, given this difference, how can we truly connect with them?
The five love languages
Words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch are the five love languages—which are five different ways of expressing and receiving love. Not everyone shows love the same way, and not everyone receives love in the same way.
Gary Chapman—an author, speaker, and pastor—presented the five love languages idea in his 1992 book hit, The 5 Love Languages. He explains these five unique ways of communicating love, categories he extracted from his expertise in marriage counseling and linguistics. The five love languages illustrate how humans express love and gratitude. You may experience love in a different way than your lover, depending on your personality. Understanding and interpreting these many ways of expressing love might help you better understand your partner’s expectations and needs.
Dr. Chapman describes the five love languages as words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. We experience these in romantic relationships, also in our families, friendships, and leadership responsibilities.
1. Words of affirmation
People who value verbal acknowledgments of affection, such as frequent “I love you” compliments, verbal encouragement, words of appreciation, and often frequent digital communication such as texting and social media involvement, regard words of affirmation as a love language.
Words of affirmation love language is a set of words that you use to encourage and appreciate your loved one. Compliments don’t have to be sophisticated—the shortest and most straightforward praises are the most powerful.
“You look amazing in that dress!”
“You never fail to make me chuckle.”
“Today, I like your hair.”
If your lover speaks this love language, a few words can make all the difference. A simple love confession and a compliment can go a long way. Aggressive or offensive statements, on the other hand, might damage your partner. They may take longer to forgive than others.
If words of affirmation are your partner’s primary love language, keep the lines of communication open with them.
2. Quality time
When their partner actively wants to spend time with them and is always down to hang out, people whose love language is quality time feel cherished. They adore it when active listening, eye contact, and complete presence are essential in the interaction.
It’s all about undivided attention in this love language. There are no televisions, smartphones, or other sources of distraction. If this is your partner’s first language, they don’t just want to be involved—they want to be the focus of your attention during this time. They want their partners to focus solely on them. That isn’t to say that you can’t watch Netflix on the couch—it just means that you need to make time for each other without all of the distractions. That will make them feel more at ease and appreciated in the present.
When you cancel a date, postpone time together, or aren’t present throughout that time together, it can make your partner feel you care more about other things or activities than they do.
3. Receiving gifts
Gifts are a simple way to express love. People who give you visible signals of love make you feel loved. It’s not about the monetary value of the object but rather the symbolic meaning behind it. People with this personality type understand and appreciate the gift-giving process, including careful consideration, the thoughtful selection of an object to represent the connection, and the emotional advantages of receiving the gift.
Receiving gifts in love language does not have to be materialistic. A thoughtful or meaningful gift makes your partner feel cherished and valued. The thinking and meaning behind are the most significant aspects. The appropriate gift can demonstrate that you care about and understand your relationship, making them feel appreciated and loved.
4. Acts of service
You value when your partner goes out of their way to make your life simpler if your love language is the act of service. It could be as simple as making you soup when you’re sick, getting your coffee in the day, or picking up your dry cleaning after a long day at work.
If their motto is “actions speak louder than words,” your partner might have acts of service as their love language. This form of love language focuses on specific actions that demonstrate your concern for and understanding of your companion. They necessitate time, effort, and thought.
You should perform all these actions with positivity and your partner’s ultimate joy in thought for them to be considered an interpretation of love. Doing something solely out of necessity or with a negative tone will not intend as much and can even harm your partner.
5. Physical touch
Physical signs of affection, such as kissing, holding hands, cuddling on the sofa, and intercourse, make those who use physical touch as their love language feel cherished. For persons who speak this love language, physical intimacy and touch may be encouraging and serve as a powerful emotional bond.
The roots can be traced back to childhood when some children only sensed their parents’ intense devotion and love when they were hugged, kissed, or touched. People who express their gratitude through this language, when they consent, feel loved when embraced, kissed, or snuggled. Physical touch provides them with a sensation of warmth and comfort.
The most often used love language
Chapman evaluated the responses of 10,000 people who took his online questionnaire in 2010 and discovered that words of affirmations language were the most common, but only by a slim margin. In 2018, dating app Hinge evaluated their app and found out that quality time was by far the most frequent love language.
Love languages are a helpful tool for communication improvement and expressing ourselves to other people, but they shouldn’t be the final answer to flawless relationships and happiness. Instead, it should serve as a jumping-off point for couples to embark on a journey to understand each other and self-regulate. However, the work should not end there.