What Are Love Languages?
The concept of love languages was first introduced by Dr. Gary Chapman, a renowned marriage counsellor, after 20 years of helping couples save their marriages in his book, “The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts.”
According to Chapman, there are five ways to express and receive love. And everyone has a unique love language. In other words, people value different ways of expressing love.
Likewise, relationship experts say it’s important to know how to show love to your partner in a relationship.
In other words, your relationship may head for the rocks if both partners do not understand each other’s love languages.
- Dr. Gary Chapman pioneered the concept of love languages in his book “The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts.” These languages communicate how people in an intimate relationship want to give and receive love.
- The five love languages are words of affirmation, physical touch, quality time, gifts, and acts of service.
- People often have a mix of love languages. However, there is usually a dominant one while others are subservient.
What Are The Five Love Languages?
Words of Affirmation
Words of affirmation have tremendous significance for some people. They prefer it if you express your love for them in words, either spoken or written. They enjoy hearing “I love you,” “thank you,” “I appreciate you,” and other such phrases. It makes them feel valued and cherished for being in the relationship and contributing to it.
People who treasure words of affirmation will feel loved and appreciated if you tell them what you admire in them, praise them for modest and thoughtful things, and frequently give compliments.
In today’s digital world, the expression of love through words of affirmation is being accomplished by sending love messages through emails or texts or making social media posts in honor of a loved one.
Presence is extremely important to people whose love language is quality time. Spending quality time with them entails giving them your undivided attention when you’re together, which means turning off the television, not looking through your phone when you are sharing time together, and avoiding other sorts of distractions. Other ways to spend quality time together include participating in recreational activities together, having date nights, watching a movie, or going for a walk.
Have you been in a relationship where you forgot to get a gift for your partner’s birthday, your anniversary or any other special day and that led to the end of your relationship? Perhaps you have wondered why such an infinitesimal thing (so you thought) led to a big problem. Receiving gifts might have been your partner’s love language.
Acts of Service
People in this category appreciate it if you show them love by acting it out rather than speaking words only. They want to see how much you love them by the things you do to show them you care. Helping them with chores after a long day at work or when they are tired to make their lives easier, or cooking something for them when they’re sick, for example, means a lot to them. A relationship expert advises doing one act a day that displays your affection for such people.
When their partners express love in this way, those whose love language is physical touch feel loved, safe, and more connected.
They get affection and feel an emotional connection through this medium. Physical touch provides them with warmth and comfort. Kissing, holding hands, hugging, cuddling, and massaging are all examples of physical touch.
People who value physical touch and whose love language is not met in this way will feel unloved. People whose partners value physical touch should look for opportunities to express it to them at various times throughout the day and night. A gentle rub on the shoulder, or holding your partner from behind while they are engaged in an activity, for example, provides a soothing feeling and comfort. Hugging your partner when your paths meet is another wonderful way to show them how much you care.
Want to take a personality test used by Fortune 500 companies in their hiring practices? Take our free DISC assessment today!
You and your partner do not have to speak the same love languages…
Experts reveal that you and your partner do not need to speak the same love language for your relationship to thrive. Your emotional needs can be met when you have a clear grasp of each other’s love language.
Paying attention to your partner over time will help you deduce his or her love language. Many conflicts in relationships arise when people think their partners are deliberately denying them love by not expressing love to them in their unique love language.
Having a different love language from that of your partner enriches your relationship with multiple expressions of love. In instances where your differences in love expressions are becoming an issue, it’s best to resolve the situation through communication. Openness about what you want from each other will provide insight into what you both desire.
Am I a Mix of Love Languages?
“Expressions of love can be as unique and multi-faceted as the people expressing them,” says Victory Jones, a sound healer, wellness leader, and co-founder of Colour Girl.
Relationship experts agree that you can have a mix of love languages. That is, there are a variety of ways you may like to receive love. However, there is a primary one, or the dominant one, that speaks your love language. Receiving gifts, words of affirmation and physical touch may be the ways you like to be loved, but by observing your preferences over time, you may find the one that by far makes you tick more than the others.
“My love languages are all of them combined! I am not exclusively bound to one. And how can we be? I believe we can have favorites amongst them, depending upon what we prefer, mirror, or are used to.“ says Jones.
Another expert says it’s certain that you will have a mix of love languages and that the mix will vary in different seasons of your life. However, the most important thing is to find the one that makes you feel emotionally connected to your partner.
“Also, the preferred love language of any given person may or may not change over time. It’s all relative and can be contingent upon so many factors” says Jones.
To sum up, relationship experts recommend that is beneficial for couples to know the love languages of their partners and theirs too. It’s a learnable ability and the responsibility of both people if they want to enjoy a lasting union.