You’ve probably heard the term “love language” here and there. Maybe you’ve heard about them in passing or saw a trendy article about them. So, what are they exactly?
The love language concept originated in 1992, when Dr. Gary Chapman, a marriage counselor, started noticing a trend amongst his clients. Dr. Chapman noticed that a lot of his clients were not able to appreciate their partner’s display of love, because it is not what they wanted or expected. For example, if your partner loves giving gifts, but you’d prefer time together rather than a new present, it can cause a bit of animosity in your relationship. This is why understanding each other’s love language is so important! It helps both of you feel more appreciated and understood.
While it’s by no means an exact science, love languages do serve as an easy and relatable way to break down your relationships with other people. In romantic relationships especially, a mismatch in love languages is often at the source of conflict in intimate, romantic relationships. Here’s everything you need to know about the 5 love languages:
Find Out What Your Love Languages Are
Not sure what your love language is? Take the free quiz during your free trial of Relish! There are also plenty of resources online. Understanding you and your partner’s love languages will offer essential insight into your dynamic. It will also show you how you should show other people love in order to make them feel the most seen.
Before we dive into how to use love languages to help your relationship, let’s first identify each of them. There are five different love languages that describe how a person either prefers to give or receive love: 1) words of affirmation, 2) quality time, 3) acts of service, 4) physical touch and 5) receiving/giving gifts.
Love Language 1: Words Of Affirmation
This love language favors verbal praise and affirmation. People with this love language love to hear or say things like “You’ve done a good job”, “I’m proud of you”, or “You look beautiful today” as a way to give or receive love.
Love Language 2: Quality Time
People with this love language either give or receive love by prioritizing quality time with their friends, partners, or family. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate night out – just spending time around the people you love!
Love Language 3: Acts Of Service
Those with this love language prefer to give or receive acts of service as a way to show love. Some examples include taking care of the chores, making dinner, or giving a massage at the end of a tough day.
Love Language 4: Physical Touch
This love language is pretty self-explanatory! Those who prefer this language are all about physical touch. It doesn’t have to be intimate, either. Hugs, holding hands, massages, playing with hair, etc., are all ways they prefer to give and receive love.
Love Language 5: Gifts
This love language is for those who prefer to give and receive gifts as an act of love. It doesn’t mean they expect big, lavish gifts – it’s all about their partner showing they were thinking of them. It can be a small gift, surprise delivery, or handmade item – anything that shows you truly know them.
Complimentary & Secondary Love Languages
While it’s normal to have a strong preference for one of the five love languages over the other, many people have more than one type of love language. Some love languages tend to go hand in hand (for example, a lot of people that prefer to receive quality time also appreciate acts of service), so when you take the quiz to discover yours, be sure to pay attention to all of your results.
How to Demonstrate Them in the Wild
Understanding both of your love languages is important so that you can navigate your relationships with more self awareness. If you truly understand your love languages, you can take some of the guesswork out of what you and your partner need from each other. It helps prevent miscommunication and disappointment. Recognizing someone’s love language not only helps you understand them better as a person, but it also has the potential to improve your relationship.
What Love Languages Say About You (And Your Relationship)
Love languages at their core show what you and your partner prioritize and care about. Understanding love languages is about understanding that love can be communicated in various ways. Without knowing them, it can lead one or both of you to feel ignored or undervalued. Even if your partner’s preferred love language doesn’t come naturally, it’s all about the effort! Showing you understand – and care- about their preferences speaks volumes, and your partner will truly appreciate it.
Are Love Languages Fixed?
While most people have a preference for one or two love languages, it’s possible for it to change over time. Big life events often cause people to seek love in new ways. For example, after having a baby, a partner might appreciate acts of service more than receiving presents. Taking a chore off of their hands will mean more to them than getting a new cologne (though that’s always nice too). Bottom line? People can change, and so can their love languages.
If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed but are committed to learning your love languages and exploring how they can help your romantic relationships, then you and your partner should try Relish! Relish is a relationship coaching app that offers couples personalized quizzes, articles, games, and tailored relationship advice so that you can set and achieve goals related to your relationships. You’ll be speaking each other’s love languages in no time!