When it comes to intimate relationships, even love can occasionally get lost in translation. One simple, yet affective strategy to overcoming this unfortunate yet common obstacle is by knowing and understanding each other’s Love Languages.
The 5 Love Languages
In his now classic book The Five Love Languages, author Gary Chapman reveals how, during 25 years of being a marriage counsellor, he continually noticed that different people with different personalities expressed love in different ways. Those ways of expressing and receiving love fell into five categories which he called the “5 Love Languages”.
The 5 Love Languages are; Words Of Affirmation, Acts Of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time and Physical Touch. Everyone likes to receive love in all five languages at some level, however, most people have one or two primary languages that they value above the rest.
You can discover what your Love Languages are right here. In order to discover your partner’s Love Language, you must observe the way they express love to others and analyse what they complain about most often and what they request from you most often.
Below we’ll unpack each of the 5 Love Languages.
- Words Of Affirmation
Words Of Affirmation refers to verbal compliments that express your love and appreciation. They don’t have to be complicated. In fact, the shortest and simplest acknowledgements of affection can be the most effective. Examples include cute texts, “I love you’s” and love letters.
- Quality Time
Quality Time refers to focused and undivided time spent together. This doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t curl up on the sofa and watch Netflix, but rather you remove all potential distractions. Examples include active listening, eye contact and absolute presence.
- Receiving Gifts
Receiving Gifts refers to visual symbols of love. It is not about the monetary value but rather the time and thought behind the gesture that matters most. In fact, you can buy, find or even make something. Examples include a bottle of wine, a flower or a personal painting.
- Act Of Service
Acts Of Service refers to any act that relieves and eases the burden of responsibility. For those who prefer this Love Language, their motto is “actions speak louder than words.” Examples include doing household chores, cooking a meal or given them a massage.
- Physical Touch
Physical Touch refers to any non-sexual touch that reinforces your presence. Countless research has shown that human touch can reduce pain, lower blood pressure and even improve immune function. Examples include holding hands, kissing and hugging.
The Secret To Love That Lasts
Most people tend to naturally give love in ways that they prefer to receive love. Unfortunately, this may not necessarily align with their partner’s primary Love Language.
For example, if your Love Language is Acts Of Service, you may find yourself confused when you wash the dishes for your partner and they don’t perceive it as an act of love, instead they view it simply as performing household duties because their Love Language is Quality Time.
Understanding your partner’s Love Language is vital to making them feel more loved and appreciated and is key to building and maintaining a healthy relationship.
“Many couples love each other in their mind, but one may not feel loved by their partner because the partner is expressing love in a language the other person doesn’t understand or want, which creates issues.” ― Gary Chapman
While you may regularly express affection to your significant other, you may not be communicating it in a way that they either like or want to receive which may prevent them from truly feeling loved and appreciated.
Love Languages are a way for you to recognise and identity how your partner prefers to receive love so that you can express it in ways that truly speaks to their heart. By doing so, you set the foundations for a more passionate, fulfilling and lasting relationship.