“Relationships grow better when we understand each other,” writes Dr. Gary Chapman, a marriage counselor and author of the bestselling book, The 5 Love Languages.
Not everyone speaks the same love language, but understanding all five is key to successful relationships.
Knowing your own love language helps you ask for what you want from lovers, friends and even coworkers, while speaking the language of those you love makes your affections clear.
What Are the 5 Love Languages?
The five love languages are:
- Words of Affirmation
- Acts of Service
- Receiving Gifts
- Quality Time
- Physical Touch
Most people have at least one primary love language they prefer above the other types.
Because most of us tend to give affection in the same way we would like to receive it, we can discover the language of those we love through careful observation and attention. We give what we want in return.
Words of Affirmation
If your love language is words of affirmation, there’s nothing sweeter to you than receiving a letter or having your lover write you a song. You want to hear them say, “I love you” and better yet, you want a list of all the reasons why.
Insults or unkind words––even if it’s only teasing–– are like punches to the gut for you and are not easily forgiven. So make it clear to your lovers and friends that what makes your heart sing is unsolicited compliments, epic love poems, and handwritten notes.
Acts of Service
Actions do in fact speak louder than words when acts of service is your love language. Nothing is better than someone saying, “Let me do that for you.”
You want lovers to show their affection by washing your dishes, running your errands, and generally taking burdens off your plate. You can’t stand laziness or when it feels like you are always picking up the slack. Broken commitments are your worst nightmare.
Make it clear to those you love that the tiniest favors and most basic attention to detail can go a long way.
When receiving gifts is your love language, you’re not being materialistic. It’s about the thought that goes into the gift more than the gift itself.
If this is your love language, receiving creative presents from lovers and friends makes you feel known and appreciated. You feel the care and attention on the part of the giver and you carve out special places to display even the tiniest or seemingly inconsequential objects. You are affronted by thoughtless gift giving or a failure to make a simple polite gesture.
It doesn’t matter what the gift is, as long as it’s a token of affection.
If your love language is quality time, all you want is someone’s undivided attention. You love to plan meaningful activities and are all about making memories.
Nothing is sweeter to you than a truly uninterrupted conversation––no mindless scrolling, no work emails, just being fully present with the one you love. Postponed plans, distracted hangouts or spending time with someone who just isn’t listening to you can cause you major distress.
Make it clear to your lovers and friends that all you really want is to be with them.
If you’re known for your hugs then your love language is probably physical touch. You are all about sensuality and really swoon for public displays of affection.
A simple gesture like a lover gently touching your hand or putting their arm around you while you’re out and about means the world to you.
Because physical proximity matters so much, long distance relationships are not ideal. You can’t stand feeling neglected. What matters is that your lover makes you feel safe, protected and warm.