What are love languages
Relationship Blog

What Are the 5 Love Languages and How to Use Them in Your Relationship

What are love languages?

In simple terms, a love language is something that you do that shows that you love someone without actually saying it. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture as often it’s the little things that mean so much.

Love languages occur in all relationships, not just the one you have with your partner. Love language occurs between family, children, friends, and even yourself. 

Table of Contents

Throughout this post, I focus on the love language between a couple in a romantic relationship.

If you are in a relationship with someone, do you find it hard to say I love you? Or do you feel that your partner doesn’t say it as often as you would like to hear?

Saying ‘I love you’ is not the only way to give and receive love. Love languages also demonstrate love, and knowing and understanding each other’s love language can help you both feel appreciated. 

Love language theory

In 1992, Dr Gary Chapman wrote the book The 5 Love Languages

Dr Chapman is a marriage counsellor and director of marriage seminars who spent years researching and developing the love language theory.

He came to the conclusion that there are 5 love languages. After speaking with many people who were in his couples therapy and marriage counselling programmes, he believed that couples could connect on far deeper and richer levels. They just had to understand each others love language.

Chapman’s theory was that couples who were unhappy often did not understand each other and their needs. He wanted to demonstrate to couples that there was more to being married or in a relationship than physical intimacy.

Why is Love Language so important?

Love language communicates love in a way that we often take for granted when we are in a relationship.

Couples who each have a different love language can learn to love each other more deeply and have a more fulfilling relationship once they understand one another’s language.

Using Love Languages in everyday life

Every day romantic partners use their love languages, they just may not realise it.

Do you love it when your partner calls you with kind words when they are away at work? Does spending time with a partner mean more to you than physical intimacy?

What you are experiencing is certain types of love languages that you respond to.

Over the years, Gary Chapman’s proven approach has helped millions of couples unlock the secret to their relationship.

What Are the Five Love Languages?

Gary Chapman broke love languages down into five distinct types, one of which will be your primary love language.

  1. Words of affirmation
  2. Quality time
  3. Physical touch
  4. Acts of service
  5. Receiving gifts

Let’s take a look at each of these in detail.

Words of Affirmation

Words of affirmation mean that you or your partner use words of love and affirmation to show to express love. They also respond well to words of affirmation. If this is one of your partner’s love languages, be sure to tell them you love them or that you appreciate them on a regular basis.

If your partner complains that you don’t tell them you love them, here are some things that you can do to express heartfelt commitment to your life partner. It will also support their emotional needs and you will both experience a deeper love for one another.

  • Put a secret note in their bag that says ‘I love you’ that they will find during the day
  • Send them a random text saying ‘I love you’
  • Write them a love letter and send it in the post
  • Compliment them on their clothes 
  • Tell them how proud you are of them after they complete a big project

Quality Time

Those who enjoy quality time with their partner express their love language when they give or receive undivided attention from their loved ones.

In today’s world, giving your time fully can be a challenge. There are so many distractions to compete with.

If you recognise that your partner enjoys quality time with you, be sure to make eye contact, put down your mobile phone, and give them your full attention.

Here are some ideas for quality time with your partner.

  • Go for a walk and take time to talk 
  • Visit your favourite coffee shop or restaurant together
  • Stick to a weekly date night
  • Book tickets to see a play and go for a drink first 
  • Turn off the TV, put down your phones and take an hour to check in with each other.

Physical Touch

Physical touch is different from sex. It’s more about the small moments of affection and intimacy that couples share-things like having a massage, holding hands, or cuddling up on the sofa together.

It is possible to touch your partner physically without it being a sexual act. You can improve the intimate relationship you have with your partner through the language of touch.

If you think your partner’s love language is physical touch, try the following types of physical affection so that your partner knows that you truly love them.

  • Scratch their back or give them a shoulder rub without them asking
  • Hold their hand or link arms while you’re out and about
  • Kiss them unexpectedly, or rub their arm as you pass them
  • Cuddle up to them while you watch TV

Acts of Service

Does your partner feel loved or appreciated when you help them out and do things for them? Acts of service can be the little jobs that you perform around the house. Tasks like washing the dishes, offering to run errands, or vacuuming the house.

If you think that acts of service are your partners love language, try the following:

  • Do some chores around the house without being asked first
  • Make them a cup of tea
  • Walk the dog 
  • Clean their car and fill it up with fuel

Receiving Gifts

Giving gifts acts as a love language and is self-explanatory, though you don’t have to splash out on big expensive gifts. A small, thoughtful gift is often all it takes to show your love.

Gift giving has been seen as a form of love for centuries. But you don’t have to splash the cash, instead think of some small, nice things that your partner enjoys.

  • Bring them home their favourite chocolate or bottle of wine
  • Buy flowers
  • Send them a surprise in the post
  • Make them a Spotify playlist with songs that mean something to both of you

Primary love language

Your personal love language may be one or more of the five. The chances are that you have a primary love language that stands out from the other four. But the other love languages will also play a role in your life but on a smaller scale.

Your love languages may be different to those of your partners, so it’s important that you use their love language to form lasting relationships, even if you don’t understand their need for physical touch or gifts.

Once you have discovered both of your love languages, it will help you understand each other better.

If you are not sure which love language relates to you, Dr. Chapman has a quick and easy love languages quiz that you can take here.

The 5 Love Languages

Gary Chapman’s book, The 5 Love Languages is still available today and is still helping romantic partners all over the world.

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