If you’ve read the book or seen the movie, The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts, then you are well aware of how much the author and relationship counselor Gary Chapman believes in his ideas about the five love languages. These languages, which include physical touch, quality time, acts of service, receiving gifts, and words of affirmation focus on communicating love in a way that speaks to each person based on their innate preferences as human beings.
What Are The 5 Love Languages?
As you learned in elementary school, we all communicate differently. The same is true when it comes to how we receive and perceive love. According to author Gary Chapman, there are five major ways that people express and experience love. Since he wrote The 5 Love Languages way back in 1995, millions of couples have benefited from learning his model for showing—and receiving—love. In fact, many people are using his five languages even beyond their romantic relationships!
1) Words of Affirmation
Some people feel most loved when they’re told that they’re loved. To communicate love in their primary love language, give them specific compliments. Even if you don’t say it often, making your affection and appreciation clear through words will convey your message of love loud and clear. In addition, knowing your partner’s love language will help you understand why he or she acts in certain ways—and how you can better show affection. For example, if words of affirmation are a person’s primary love language, then hearing I love you is a way for him or her to feel truly valued by his or her partner. But saying I appreciate what you did for me today! might not have as much impact on someone whose primary love language is physical touch.
2) Quality Time
If quality time is your love language, you crave face-to-face interaction with your partner. You value undivided attention and feel loved when you can share quality time doing activities together. Saying I love you doesn’t require extravagant gifts or flowers—simply spending quality time together does wonders for your relationship! For example, if your partner’s love language is quality time, a great way to show them that you care would be by taking them out on a date night. Plan ahead by setting aside some alone time for just you two; it will make all of the difference in showing how much they mean to you.
3) Receiving Gifts
Is it just your spouse or partner who says, It’s not about how much you spend; it’s about how much thought you put into it? If so, you and your sweetheart may have different love languages. While some people are more inclined to give gifts than others, there are those for whom receiving gifts is a primary love language. In fact, a study of married couples found that those with a gift-giving love language reported greater marital satisfaction than those whose primary love language was something else. If you want to know what your loved one wants for Valentine’s Day—or any other occasion—ask them!
4) Acts of Service
In some relationships, people feel most loved when their partner helps them out. If you have a spouse or partner who acts of service is one of his or her love languages, he or she will feel most loved if you do something that makes his or her life easier. Here are some ideas: surprise your spouse with a clean house, take over with childcare so your partner can go for a walk and get away from it all for an hour, run errands and pick up necessities. The key here is to do things that help lighten your partner’s load—don’t just assume what would be helpful. When in doubt, ask what would make him or her happy. And don’t forget about physical touch! Physical touch doesn’t always have to mean sex—just hold hands while you watch TV together, give hugs at random times throughout the day, etc.
5) Physical touch
Feeling loved when you are touched is a pretty common love language. Physical contact can come in many forms, like a pat on the back or a warm embrace. There’s nothing wrong with wanting physical affection from those around you, but it can be important to realize that not everyone values physical touch as much as you do. Be considerate of those around you who may not value physical touch as highly and don’t use it as your primary method of communicating love. (Likely speakers: parents, children) It makes me feel valued when someone touches me or does something kind for me in a physical way. If you don’t value physical touch as highly as I do, then it might not be your primary love language either. The five main love languages are: Physical Touch Words of Affirmation Acts of Service Quality Time Receiving Gifts.