The 5 Love Languages In Relationships & What They Mean
Despite knowing what love language is, a common problem for many in their relationship today is their struggle to genuinely express love deliberately and in a way that would be appealing and meaningful to the person they are in a relationship with. Almost everyone fancies the idea of showing their partner that they care and really mean it, yet find themselves struggling in expressing it in ways that it resonates with the other person’s heart.
Interestingly, the propeller for this concept of love, “The 5 Love Languages®” by Dr Gary Chapman which was published in 1995, paved the way for how we now see love. The book has also been popular in recent times, giving rise to what the love languages are and what they are about. Besides this, you might also want to check out the important ingredients for a healthy relationship.
Relationship experts have revealed over time that learning how one’s partner receives love will help you express and connect with them effortlessly without having to break a sweat. Regardless of the type of relationship you find yourself in, it is important that you learn to speak your partner’s love language if you intend to connect with them effortlessly. However, what exactly is a love language?
What is a Love Language?
A love language can be defined as spoken or unspoken words, acts or gestures that speaks to one’s heart and better helps the “speaker” express how well they love and care for their partner who is the recipient of the language. Also, love languages help describe how best we feel loved, valued or appreciated. “The 5 Love Languages®” was first put forward by Dr Gary Chapman.
What are the Love Languages?
Developed by Dr Gary Chapman in his book titled “The 5 Love Languages®”, below are the 5 love languages:
- Words of Affirmation
- Acts of Service
- Quality Time
- Physical Touch
To further understand each of these love languages, we will explain in detail what each of them means with relatable examples.
1. Words of Affirmation
The words of affirmation love language is one of the love languages that require spoken words to work. They involve expressing love through words that help build up your partner. This can come in the form of praises, compliments, gratitude or appreciation. People who have this as their primary love language thoroughly enjoy kind, gentle words and encouragements. A simple “I love you” can mean everything to them and they find solace in adorable text messages, cute love notes, short love poems, uplifting quotes and honest compliments. You are also more likely to find people with this love language listen to and enjoy love songs a lot.
Examples of words of affirmation:
“The dress was made just for you”
“You looked really beautiful today”
“Thank you for completing me”
“You are the best thing that has ever happened to me”
“What you did today means the world. Thank you”
Another thing to note about people who have this as their major love language is that negative words or criticisms can get to them and it can take a while for them to forgive you, if at all they do.
2. Receiving Gifts
The receiving gifts love language is perhaps the most misunderstood love language of the five. Oftentimes, people assume those who have this as their main love language are materialistic, selfish and shallow-minded but this is not in any way true. This love language means thoughtful and meaningful gifts makes your partner feel loved, valued and appreciated.
To them, it is not necessarily about the price tag on the gifts but the efforts and thoughtfulness, time and effort that goes into them. The love language receiving gifts focuses on the idea behind the gift rather than the gift in itself. To those who favour this love language, getting them gifts means you know and understand them quite well. In addition, they tend to remember every little gift they have received over time.
3. Acts of Service
“Action speaks louder than words” is the motto of this love language. This love language expresses itself through doing things you know your partner likes, finds helpful or kind. Cooking their favourite meal, help with tidying the house, clipping their nails, help with the baby, doing the dishes, helping with their hair, doing the laundry, etc., are some of the ways one can show a partner or spouse who favour this love language how much you love them without actually saying it. To them, doing these things require thoughtfulness, time and effort.
Lack of support or ambivalence can be very hurtful to partners who lean towards this love language.
4. Quality Time
“Quality over quantity” is the motto of this love language. People whose main love language is quality time do not care about gifts or how much you give them or spend on them if you fail to give them undivided attention. It does not mean they are clingy or overly dependent but they love being at the centre of attention when they are with you. This means putting away your mobile phones, tablets, turning off the TV, if need be, looking into their eyes and listening to them. Although this does not include curling up on the couch or bed just to watch Netflix or movies so long it’s just the two of you.
People who favour this love language feel loved, comforted and special when you both spend time together doing the things you love. Absent-mindedness, cancelling dates, getting distracted when you are with them, postponing anticipated time together can be very hurtful to people whose main love is quality time.
5. Physical Touch
“Physical is emotional” is the motto of this love language. People who favour this love language feel loved and mostly contented through physical touch. Other than sex, those with this love language as their main feel loved when their partner does something simple as hold their hands while they walk, hugging, giving them a foot rub or a massage at the day’s end or touching their arms. They might not necessarily be sold out to over-the-top PDA but they feel safe and comforted and a connection is established with them when you make simple contacts either by holding hands, hugging, kissing, etc.
The absence of physical contact can make your partner feel unloved, unwanted, and isolated in the relationship if physical touch is their main love language.
Can One Have More Than One Love Language?
Yes! As a matter of fact, everyone has more than one love language but there is always a main or primary love language for every individual. It is impossible to love all or more than one love language equally.