It’s easy to take your partner for granted. After all, you’ve been together for a while, and things are going smoothly. But it’s important to remember that everyone has their own needs and wants, and some of those needs go beyond just having a partner.
The five love languages are a great tool for understanding how you and your partner express love, but they can also help you understand yourself better. This self-awareness will help you find new ways of showing your partner how much you care about them.
Do you know what your partner’s love language is? How about your own? If not, read on to learn more about the five ways people receive love from others.
What Are the Five Love Languages?
The Five Love Languages is a book by Gary Chapman that explains how different people express and experience love in different ways. According to Chapman, there are five love languages as described below:
Acts of Service
Acts of service are a love language that involves doing things for others. Doing acts of service is a great way to show someone you love them, but it’s important to remember that while this kind of love is always lovely to receive, it can be one of the most difficult to express.
To speak the language of acts of service, consider doing any of the following:
- Doing chores without being asked;
- Making dinner;
- Going grocery shopping;
- Cleaning up messes around the house or office;
- Bringing flowers home from work;
- Washing the dishes after dinner;
- Running errands for someone else (especially if they are unable to do so themselves); and
- Helping someone with something personal like paying bills or scheduling appointments with doctors or dentists.
The physical touch love language is a great way to show your partner that you care. This language expresses love through physical contact. You can express your affection in many ways: holding hands, kissing, hugging, touching their knee or shoulder when talking with you, and giving them a back rub. The list goes on and on.
It’s important to remember that this love language can be misinterpreted if the timing is wrong. For example, if your boyfriend or girlfriend is upset about something and you try to comfort them by rubbing their arm or shoulder, it may not be received well. It’s best to wait until after they’ve calmed down before trying this type of communication during an emotional moment.
For someone who speaks this language to feel loved, it’s essential to receive a touch from you regularly; otherwise, they may feel neglected or unimportant. If this happens often enough, they may feel unloved and emotionally distant from you even though they don’t mean to be!
Quality time love language is about spending time with your partner. It’s more complex being in the same room. Quality time means doing something together that you enjoy. This may include going on a date.
If your partner’s primary love language is quality time, they need to feel like you’re there for them and that they matter to you. If they don’t feel like they matter, they’ll eventually start pulling away from you because they don’t feel like they are getting what they need from the relationship.
Gifts are a great way to show love and appreciation. If this is your primary love language, you’ll feel loved when someone gives you a gift.
Receiving gifts is the most common way we express our love for each other. Some people have a strong need to receive gifts because it makes them feel secure and loved. They may even be disappointed if someone doesn’t give them a gift at Christmas or on their birthday.
If this is your primary love language, try not to make assumptions about your partner’s feelings toward you based on their behavior. Instead, ask them what they would like to receive as a gift sometime in the future (with no special occasion in mind).
Words of Affirmation
Words of affirmation are love language that says, “I care about you, and I want to communicate with you.” People who prefer words of affirmation feel most loved when someone tells them they are unique and essential. They also value hearing compliments about their appearance or accomplishments, but those statements must be sincere — the feeling behind the words matters.
If your partner’s primary love language is words of affirmation, your words become incredibly powerful. Imagine how much more effective your relationship would be if you knew how to use this love language effectively!
The key to loving someone whose primary love language is words of affirmation is simple: Give them compliments! This might seem obvious, but many feel uncomfortable complimenting their partners because they don’t want to sound insincere or fake. However, if you’re trying to show love in your primary way, you must start giving compliments regularly!
The Role of Love Languages in Relationships
Love is a beautiful thing, but it can be difficult to express. The problem is that people have different ways of showing love, and sometimes it takes time to figure out how your partner best expresses his or her feelings.
The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman identifies five different ways people express and receive love. Chapman believes that understanding these languages can help couples strengthen their relationships.
That said, love languages have many benefits for couples:
- They help you understand each other better. Knowing your partner’s love language will help you better understand what he or she wants from the relationship — and vice versa. This will prevent miscommunication and make you both more effective communicators with each other.
- They increase intimacy in relationships. When couples understand each other’s needs, they’ll be able to give and receive better emotional support — which builds trust and strengthens their bond.
- They create a sense of equality in relationships (or at least try). Suppose one partner always performs acts of service for their partner but receives very little in return. In that case, there’s an imbalance in the relationship — but if both partners perform acts of service for each other equally, it strengthens the relationship.
The key to understanding your partner’s needs is knowing which of their five love languages they speak fluently. If you don’t know these things about each other, misunderstandings will likely arise, and communication will break down over time.
This is why it’s so important for couples to work together on their relationship; if there are problems in any area, they should work through them together instead of ignoring them or expecting each other to change on their own without guidance from either party.
Chapman believes each person has one primary love language: they prefer to give and receive love. However, he also believes that all five languages are essential and should be included in relationships. He suggests that couples should figure out which languages are most important to them to ensure their partner feels loved and how they want to be loved.
For example, if your partner’s primary love language is physical touch, you must show physical affection as often as possible (hugs and kisses). If your partner’s primary love language is words of affirmation, then you need to tell them how much you appreciate them and why (even if it doesn’t seem like much).
- Hughes, J. L., & Camden, A. A. (2020). Using Chapman’s five love languages theory to predict love and relationship satisfaction. Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research, 25(3), 234–244. https://doi.org/10.24839/2325-7342.jn25.3.234
- Chapman, G. D., & Campbell, R. (2012). The 5 love languages of children. Northfield Pub.
- BUNT, S. E. L. E. N. A., & HAZELWOOD, Z. O. E. J. (2017). Walking the walk, talking The talk: Love languages, self-regulation, and relationship satisfaction. Personal Relationships, 24(2), 280–290. https://doi.org/10.1111/pere.12182