The Five Languages of Love and What They Mean
One of the biggest challenges faced by people in relationships is how to express love in meaningful and intentional ways to those they care about. We all have different preferences when it comes to things that make us feel loved and cared for. So how to make sure that you are communicating your love in the way your partner wants to receive it? Keep reading to learn about the five love languages that we all should learn to speak.
A Synopsis of the Five Languages of Love
Although the book on the 5 love languages in relationships by Gary Chapman was written in 1992, it continues to influence how couples understand and express love, helping people to show their feelings. Prior to publishing the book, the author had spent years studying couples in regards to ways people tend to misunderstand each other in their relationships. The findings led to the eye-opening book on the five important languages of love.
What Are the Five Languages of Love?
The languages of love are about what makes a person feel loved. Each person understands love differently and has one primary love language. Your partner’s primary love language can be different from your own, so you should learn to understand it if you want to improve communication and strengthen your relationship.
Words of Affirmation
The first in our list of the five languages of love is verbal acknowledgments of affection. Many people value being reassured verbally using affectionate words. Compliments and messages of love appeal to these people the most. When the verbal affirmation is your preferred language, you will tend to look forward to messages of affection, and will likely feel neglected if your partner fails to tell you about their feelings for a while. Understand that those who value verbal affirmation prioritize spoken and written expression of affection as it makes them feel loved and appreciated. If it’s your partner’s preferred love language, you should talk to them directly to express your love with sincere words.
The second primary love language is quality time – it’s all about undivided attention. Such people feel valued when their partners go out of the way to spend time with them. When your partner prefers this love language, try to create time for them and make active listening, eye contact, and full presence a priority.
They feel comforted if you dedicate time together without any distractions. That means no mobile phones, no chores, and no TV. Spend time with your significant other sharing recreational activities or having meaningful conversations. Other ideas include taking a walk together, planning a date night, or having coffee together at work.
Acts of Service
If your partner lives by the motto that actions speak louder than words, then their primary love language is acts of service. For such people, love should be expressed by doing things they would like or things that can make their life easier. They want affection to be shown, rather than told. Home-cooked meals, helping with laundry, and doing chores are important ways to show these people that you care. In fact, it can be anything that can ease the burden of their responsibilities, and it should be done with positivity in mind. Do it to make your partner happy.
Gifts to Show Affection
We should never underestimate the significance of gifts as a language of love. Many people feel appreciated when those they care about give them visual signs of love. Of course, with gifts, people don’t normally attach meaning to monetary value. Rather, things that make gifts important for these people are the symbolism, thoughtfulness, and effort done by their partner to express love. They appreciate the process of giving and receiving gifts, especially when their partners carefully consider the gifts that matter and select objects that represent the relationship.
Give your partner meaningful gifts on birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, and “no occasion” days. They shouldn’t be expensive or elaborate – find something special for your partner and make it a surprise.
Some people value physical touch as the primary language of love, and nothing is more important for them. They feel loved and appreciated when they get physical indicators of affection, including cuddling, hugging, kissing, and sex.
If physical touch is your partner’s primary love language, they can’t feel connected and safe in relationships without physical contact. And the roots go back to their childhood when they felt the deep affection of their parents when they were touched or kissed. Such people value physical touch because it gives them a feeling of comfort and warmth. These people want to feel their partners physically and not only emotionally.
If you want to make your romantic partner happy, you should be intentional to find different ways to express your love with physical touch, for example, hold hands while you are walking, kiss hello and goodbye, or touch their hand during a conversation.
We all prefer to express and receive love in different ways. Understanding these differences can have a huge impact on your relationship. Learning your romantic partner’s love language can help you create a strong bond with them. And remember that it’s important to modify your own behavior according to your partner’s love language – it’s the key to a lasting relationship.
If you don’t seem to get through to the one you love or are having trouble understanding their love language, consider getting relationship counseling from therapists online. Established online therapy platforms like Calmerry offer affordable access to licensed therapists from the comfort of your home. Our counselors can help you learn effective strategies for adapting your behavior to your partner’s love language.
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Kate has an MD in Health and Medical Psychology. She has worked in the healthcare industry since 2017, helping people with depression, anxiety, trauma, and grief as well as identity, relationship, and adjustment issues. Kate tries to make the world a better place by fighting stigma and discrimination and advocating for equality and equity for all people. And what she loves most about her work at Calmerry is the possibility to make quality mental health care even more accessible to everyone – one step at a time.Read more