Although expressing how you feel to your partner is important to do regularly, they may not always respond the way you may want them to. Believe it or not, we all have one love language that stands above the rest. Of course, you can still want all five, but one always prevails. If you or your partner are unsure of each other’s love language, you both can run the risk of miscommunication and hurt feelings. So how can you avoid this? By learning about the five love languages, of course.
What Are They?
The five love languages in expressing and receiving love are words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. Sounds pretty simple, but trust me it is more detailed than you think. And I’m not the only one who thinks so. Gary Chapman, Ph.D. published an entire book called The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts to help break down these five unique styles of communicating love. Here at Official, we are all about helping relationships last, so we take Chapman’s advice very seriously, especially since the categories have been curated from his own experience in marriage counseling and linguistics.
Here’s a snippet from MindBodyGreen on each of the five languages in more detail:
1. Words of Affirmation
Spoken or written words that confirm, support, uplift, and empathize with another person in a positive manner. This can be done by sending an unexpected note, text, or card. Everything that you say has to have meaning behind it, so don’t go blowing smoke. Be genuine and intentional.
2. Quality Time
Centering around togetherness, it is all about expressing your love and affection with your undivided attention. This means that when one person is talking, the other is listening to understand instead of listening to respond. The conversations that you have together must be uninterrupted and focused, so remember to put away the phones. Be sure to create special moments together, which can be anywhere from taking a morning walk or going on a weekend getaway. Just make it count.
3. Gift Giving
This form of love language is pretty straightforward. One feels loved when people give you visual symbols of love. It is not about the value of the item, but more about the thought behind them. Much like the words of affirmation, you have to be genuine and intentional. This can be anything from something that your partner mentioned that they wanted or anything that you know that they would appreciate. Thoughtfulness is key!
4. Acts of Service
One who has this love language is focused on doing something for your partner that you know they would like. You are essentially going out of your way to make your partner’s life easier. This can be anything from doing chores together or making breakfast in bed. Simply being ready and willing to help alleviate stress can go a long way.
5. Physical Touch
People with this love language prefer physical expressions of love over all other expressions. Although it may seem self-explanatory, there are both intimate and non-intimate touches that can and should be used to show your partner love. This includes kissing, holding hands, cuddling on the couch, and of course, sex. It’s all about using body language and touch to express the love you have for your partner.
Discovering Your Partner’s Love Language
The most common love language is Quality Time. However, just because it is the most common, doesn’t mean that this is your partner's love language. So how do you go about discovering your partner’s love language?
It’s simple really. All you have to do is take a love language test. Just like a multiple choice quiz, the love language test provides you options on what you prefer from your partner. Based on the answers you have chosen, your profile will explain your primary love language, what it means, and how you can use it to connect with others. Pretty easy, right?
You and your partner can also go a step further and buy Chapman’s book to dive deeper into what the love languages are in hopes to continue to flourish in your relationship. But this is totally up to you and your partner.
The Bottom Line
Understanding you and your partner’s love language is helpful to improving how you both communicate and express yourselves. This, however, should not be looked at as the be-all-and-end-all solution for happiness, but rather a starting point to a more profound way to take this journey together. Remember, you need all the pieces of the puzzle in order for you both to remain official.