Healthy relationships require open and honest communication, this is something we all know. Learning about the 5 love languages is a super helpful way to do that.
Never heard of love languages before? The concept is best known thanks to Gary Chapman, and his bestselling book The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts. The book acts as a guide for couples to help them identify, understand and then speak using their partner’s ‘love languages’ and it is thought to be the key to a happy and healthy partnership.
Chapman describes those five love languages as:
Words of Affirmation – Does hearing “I love you,” “You’re amazing,” “I’m proud of you,” and “You’re the best mommy ever!” bring a big smile to your face? If Words of Affirmation is your primary love language, you feel loved when someone expresses spoken or written affection, praise, or appreciation.
Quality Time – If your partner’s primary love language is Quality Time, they feel completely adored when they have your undivided attention. A three hour dinner while you are intermittently looking at your phone means nothing in comparison to 15 minutes of eye-contact, highly engaged, and with no distractions time together.
Receiving Gifts– Does it make your day when someone brings you a little something that tells you they were thinking of you? If your primary love language is Receiving Gifts, gifting is symbolic of love and affection for you, so you treasure meaningful, tangible, and thoughtful gifts and surprises.
Acts of Service – Someone may want to be with you all day, telling you over and over how much they love and appreciate you, but unless they help you around the house, feed the cat, take the trash out, take care of your oil change, or do anything that you find helpful, you just don’t feel they mean it. That is a sign that your primary love language is Acts of Service.
Physical Touch – Most people think of sex with this category (and it’s definitely not excluded), but physical touch has so much more to do with regular, everyday gestures of affection. It is a foot massage while you’re watching tv, having your back gently scratched before you fall asleep or when you are driving and your partner reaches over to rub the back of your neck, that kind of thing.
Take the Quiz
Go to 5lovelanguages.com and take Dr. Chapman’s 30-question quiz called the 5 Love Languages® official assessment, to determine, what your top scoring love languages are (your primary love language and your secondary love language). I would highly recommend reading the book too.
You’ll find out what makes your partner happy
Once you know your partner’s love language, you can start making more of an effort to show them affection based on their preferences. This will undoubtedly bring the two of you closer and show that you care about what makes them happy.
Discussing your love languages as a couple can help the two of you communicate better
Samantha Daniels, author of Matchbook: The Diary of a Modern Day Matchmaker and creator of the dating app The Dating Lounge, says that discussing your love language with your partner is a simple but beneficial exercise that can make it easier to talk about your preferences.
“A lot of people have a hard time telling their partner that they wish they’d say ‘I love you’ more often than they do, or that they wish they’d show their appreciation in a different way because they’re not feeling loved,” Daniels says. “But having these set categories or ‘languages’ makes it easier for people to explain not only what they want from their partner, but how and why they feel connected to that type of language.”
Love Languages can benefit other relationships in your life
Love languages are not limited to romantic relationships. Discovering your language—and the languages of those around you—can make you a better friend, family member, roommate and team member.
P.S. As I am writing this article, I told my husband about the 5 love languages. We had a discussion and discovered each other’s love language. Since he has realized that my number one is: Acts of Service, he has without me asking or nagging–helped with dishes, cooked a meal, and swept the floor. I am loving this! 🙂