February is dubbed the month of love, but understanding how we express love and can communicate is an evergreen subject. There’s such an emphasis on romantic love and “decoding” our partners but have you ever done some research on yourself? It’s so important to understand more about yourself, whether you’re in a relationship, married or single. If you’ve scrolled through your social media feeds, you’ve probably seen some articles on the five love languages. The concept originated from a book by Dr Gary Chapman called Five Love Languages, which became a #1 New York Times best-seller shortly after it’s publication in 1992.
Why is this even important?
The best-selling book, introduces Dr Chapman’s concept of “love languages” while sharing valuable information and advice on how to understand each one. According to the official 5 love languages website, “The premise is simple: different people with different personalities express love in different ways. Gary called these ways of expressing and receiving love the “5 Love Languages.”
While these love languages pertain to romance, they can be applied to other relationships in you life, understanding how the people you care about want to be respected and cared for.
So how can you find out what your primary love language is? Go to the official site and take one of the quizzes, pertinent to your life. There are quizzes for men, women, teens and children amongst others. Whether you’re in a relationship or just single, you can answer questions that are tailored to your current stage of life.
I’ve taken the test before and one of the primary love languages I got was Acts of Service along with Quality Time. It really helped me understand why I would be so annoyed at partners or loved ones, when they failed to “do things right”. It’s been an eye-opener to share what I need from romantic relationships.. Let’s delve into what the five languages are and how you can express this with a partner/friend or loved on.
The Five Love Languages
This love language doesn’t just refer to overly expensive and materialistic gifts. People who gravitate towards this love language, enjoy receiving thoughtful gifts from loved ones. The concept of getting a gift that required thought helps someone feel loved and appreciated. The 5 Love Languages site expertly explains, “Don’t mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift.”
Pay attention to what this person speaks about, from home decor to an avid coffee drinker. If this is you,, share openly and be clear about how gifts really make a difference and ensure you feel seen, heard and appreciated.
Does spending time together with a loved one make you feel appreciated? Do you enjoy having moments of undivided attention and quality conversation with your partner? Your love language is most likely Quality Time. This is one of my top love languages and honestly, I really enjoy just spending time doing things with people I love, from running errands to laying in bed and catching up. If you’ve found yourself saying things, “We never do stuff together!” – chances are you just want some undivided, uninterrupted quality time. Plan a getaway together or allocate time that’s just for you and your partner/friend/loved one.
Words of Affirmation
Tender, kind words said with love are the backbone of this love language. If you prefer to hear your partner say how they feel about you and reaffirm that feeling, chances this language is high up on your list. As the 5 Love Languages site explains, “Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you”. It’s important to clarify how necessary these affirmations are and how harsh words or insults are a dealbreaker for you.
Acts of Service
Do you feel better when someone ticks an errand off your to-do list? Do you appreciate it when your partner does the dishes, laundry or picks up the food before they get home from work? Then Acts of Service probably features high on your love language list. This is personally my main love language and I really value when loved ones cook for me or make my favourite kind of baked goods. I find laziness and not following up with plans really annoying and it’s created rifts in my relationships. Dr Chapman explains that broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t matter.
This love language doesn’t just revolve around sexual intimacy, but around tenderness and reassurance through physical touch and gestures. Touching someone’s arm, rubbing their back or just being there are big building blocks of Physical Touch. As an excerpt from the 5 Love Languages site clarifies, “Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive. Physical touch fosters a sense of security and belonging in any relationship.” Schedule massages or plan a couple’s day at the spa where you’re both treated to physical touch.
While relationships can’t just be simplified into 5 categories, it’s so important to have the language and tools to ensure that your needs are communicated. This also leads to a better understanding around those you love and how you can improve in your other relationships.
What’s your love language? Let us know in the comments below! We love hearing from you.