Thirty years ago, a book titled “The 5 Love Languages” introduced society to its eponymous notion, which has since become part of the cultural lexicon.
The theory is that everyone has a preferred manner of expressing and receiving love, which may be classified into one of five “languages.”
In this article, we’ll look at the 5 love languages and all you ought to know about them.
What Is A Love Language?
Do you have a friend who says they’d rather have a clean kitchen than flowers when you’d rather have a little romance? That is an elementary illustration of diverse love languages.
We all express and receive love in different ways, which could explain why feelings and good intentions occasionally get lost in translation.
For example, you spend weeks trying to find the most amazing gift for your partner, but on their birthday, they say, “I would’ve been content simply ordering in and curling up on the sofa together.”
It’s not always that they’re unappreciative or that you made a mistake. They simply express their love in a different way — or speak a different love language.
Recognizing how you and your spouse prefer to receive and show love may lead to more deliberate connections and a healthier relationship, as well as less explosive birthdays and Valentine’s Day.
What Are The Various Kinds Of Love Languages?
Dr. Gary Chapman, a marriage counselor, initially established the concept of five love languages in his book “The 5 Love Languages” in 1992.
The five love languages are as follows:
- Words of encouragement
- Quality time
- Physical contact
- Acts of service
- Getting presents
To clarify, love languages do not only pertain to romantic relationships. They can also be beneficial in your platonic interactions. (We’ll go over that and more in a moment.)
|Love Language||Associated With||It Might Be Yours If||If This Sounds Like A Partner|
|Words of encouragement||Verbal expressions of Love, admiration, and encouragement.||You enjoy hearing “I love you” frequently, and you thrive when others encourage you.||Say and mean more; I love you’s, thank you’s, you mean a lot to me’s, and so on.|
|Quality time||Giving someone else your entire attention||You make time for others, but when you don’t spend enough time together, you feel distant.||Schedule date nights, turn off your phones when you’re together, and sit down to talk about your day.|
|Physical contact||Physical contact that is appropriate for the situation (nonsexual or sexual)||You’re a “touchy-feely” kind of person who feels most appreciated when embraced or touched.||Hold hands, show affection and other forms of PDA, and prioritize sex if it is important in the relationship.|
|Acts of service||Acts of selflessness and thoughtfulness that make someone’s life easier||You like it when someone assists you without being asked; actions, for you, speak louder than words.||Make them meals, do a few chores around the house, and give them baths.|
|Getting presents||Tangible expressions of affection and thoughtfulness||You take pride in offering thoughtful gifts, and you value meaningful gifts the most.||Surprise them with gifts outside of special occasions, bring their favorite treat home, and buy or make them personalized gifts.|
1. Words Of Encouragement
are the first love language, and they are all about expressing affection and gratitude through words, whether spoken, written, in texts, or all of the above.
If you thrive: this could be one of your love languages.
- Being told how much you are appreciated.
- Hearing “I love you” frequently.
- Receiving words of encouragement
The key to using affirmations is to be your real self and to express them frequently. If you find it difficult to explain yourself verbally, write a note or send a text. What counts is that you acknowledge them verbally.
It could mean telling your partner you love them more frequently or checking in during the day to let them know you’re thinking of them. Words of affirmation may be a text message saying “You’ll be fantastic!” before a job interview or praise on their outfit.
Here are some affirmation phrases you can use in romantic or platonic relationships:
- “I adore you.”
- “Our friendship means a lot to me.”
- “You’ve got it.”
- “I’m quite proud of you.”
- “I appreciate you loving me/doing everything you do/being my friend/etc.”
2. Quality Time
The second love language is quality time, and it is exactly what you think it is: valuing spending quality time together.
When others they care about make time to be together and give their entire attention, a person whose love language is quality time may feel most loved and cherished.
If you have the following characteristics, quality time may be one of your love languages:
- When you don’t spend enough time with your partner, you feel disconnected.
- Your libido suffers when you do not spend enough time with your partner(s).
- You put in a lot of effort to spend time with others.
Everyone defines quality time differently. Some people cherish a few minutes of devoted time at the end of the day to simply sit and relax together.
Here are some ways to show your love through quality time:
Every morning cuddle in bed for a few minutes before getting out of bed.
- Make it a point to have a date night once a week.
- Making time to hang out with your bestie, no matter how busy you both are.
- When you’re having a chat or doing something together, turn off your phone.
- Making a tradition, such as meeting for lunch once a week or going for a walk after dinner.
3. Physical Contact
The third love language is physical touch. Let us be clear: this is appropriate, consenting physical touch, which may vary based on the situation and the type of relationship you have with the individual.
Physical contact is a crucial way for persons whose love language is physical touch to express and receive love. They connect and feel linked to others through touch.
Physical touch could be your love language if;
- When you do not receive physical affection from your partner, you may feel lonely or distant (s).
- When a lover unexpectedly kisses or holds you, you feel immensely appreciated.
- You like PDA and consider yourself “touchy-feely.”
Obviously, how you can and should touch others is determined by the relationship you share.
Physical contact can be used to express affection through tiny physical actions such as hugging or snuggling. It can also include more intimate touch, such as kissing, and, yes, sexual activity, if suitable.
Here are some examples of physical expressions of love:
- Kissing a partner’s farewell and hello.
- Being open with your feelings, even in public.
- Spending time in bed snuggling before and after sleep.
- Prioritizing sex, even if it means scheduling it.
- When soothing them, use touch, such as laying your hand on theirs or holding them.
- Again, consent is required. Only touch or utilize these examples if the person has indicated that they are wanted and welcome.
4. Acts of service
Acts of service are thoughtful gestures you perform for your partner that make them feel loved and valued, such as:
- Assisting with the dishes
- Running errands
- Filling up the gas tank
If acts of service are your partner’s primary love language, they will notice and appreciate the tiny things you do for them. They also tend to do acts of service and kindness for others.
5. Getting Presents
Gift-giving expresses love and affection to someone who utilizes and responds to this love language. They value not only the present itself but also the time and effort put forward by the giver.
Also read: Christmas Gift Ideas For Your Loved Ones
People who appreciate getting gifts as a major love language do not necessarily demand huge or expensive gifts; rather, it is the work and attention behind the gift that counts.
When you take the effort to select a gift just for them, it shows that you care about them. Because it has such an impact on them, people who speak this love language often recall every tiny present they have received from their loved ones.
Practicing Each Love Language
While knowing your own love language is vital, so is knowing your partner’s. “Most of us express love through our unique love language, which causes relationship troubles. When you understand your partner’s love language, your feelings are not lost in translation.
Find advice on how to express your feelings to someone who speaks a different major love language than you.
How to Recognize Your Love Language
Do you feel more loved in a relationship when your partner:
- Tells you, “I love you,” or compliments you on anything you did?
- Will you be surprised by a thoughtful gift?
- Are you planning a trip for just the two of you?
- Does the errands or the laundry?
- Walks with you and holds your hand?
Answering these questions could help you figure out what your love language is. You may also think about the kinds of things you ask for in a relationship or how you communicate your love to your partner.
Love languages can help us better how we communicate and express ourselves to one another, but they should not be the be-all and end-all solution to happiness. Instead, it should serve as a beginning point for couples to embark on a journey to better meet each other and self-regulate. However, the task should not end there.
Knowing these five love languages and practicing them will inevitably help you understand your partner better and help you live happily together.
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