To keep your relationship going, you need more than just the occasional fantastic date. Understanding your love language—the manner in which you express and receive love—can transform your relationships. We all express and receive love in different ways, and those variations may be the cause of how sometimes feelings and good intentions are misunderstood.
Love Language Definition
A love language is a way of expressing and experiencing love. It is a concept developed by Dr Gary Chapman, who identified five different love languages: words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch. Each person has their own unique love language, and understanding and using your partner’s love language can help strengthen your relationship.
According to Chapman’s relationship theory, each individual tends to prefer a particular love language more than others. The theory asserts that relationships will be more successful if each person understands and focuses on the love language that their partner prefers.
The term and concept have gained enough mainstream popularity that the term is now used generally. People discussing love languages often propose their own specific ones outside of the traditional five, both seriously and jokingly.
Also read: Can Money Buy Love?
The Five Love Languages
1. Words of Affirmation
This is how Chapman begins his book’s chapter on words of affirmation. It is a moving quotation that can be used to describe any kind of relationship. Appreciation is the best policy. Giving compliments is a simple approach to expressing affection in every connection, including romantic, familial, sibling, professional, and other relationships.
Here are some examples of words of affirmation you can use in romantic or platonic relationships:
- “I love you.”
- “Our friendship is important to me.”
- “You got this.”
- “I’m so proud of you.”
- “Thank you for loving me/doing all that you do/being my friend/etc.”
The secret to using words of affirmation is to be genuine and use them frequently. Send a text or a letter if you have problems expressing yourself verbally. What important is that you express your appreciation to them in words.
For a relationship, this can entail expressing your love for them more frequently or calling them periodically during the day to let them know you are thinking of them. Words of affirmation for a buddy might take the form of a text message saying, “You’ll be fantastic!” before a job interview or complimenting them on their outfit.
2. Quality Time
The main focus of this love language is undivided attention. There are no phones, TVs, or other distractions allowed. If this is your partner’s first language, they want to be the focus of your attention during this time rather than just being involved. They want their partners to focus exclusively on them.
It only means that you need to be sure to set aside time together without any interruptions. This doesn’t mean that you can’t curl up on the couch and watch Netflix or HBO. That will make them feel loved and comfortable right now.
Your partner may feel as though you are more interested in other things or activities than them every time you cancel a date, put off spending time with them, or choose not to be there.
Here are some examples of expressing your love through quality time:
- Cuddling together in bed for a few minutes every morning before getting up.
- Making a point of having a date night every week.
- Scheduling time to hang with your BFF, no matter how busy you both are.
- Turning off your phone when you’re having a conversation or doing something together.
- Creating a ritual, like meeting for lunch once a week or taking a walk after dinner.
3. Physical Touch
Everyone naturally assumes that this is the first language of love for men. It’s a little more intricate. The first point made by Chapman in the book is how infants react to physical contact. NICU parents are advised to touch their infants to aid in healing and improved growth. Parents who embrace and kiss their children are claimed to help them have a healthier emotional existence than parents who don’t.
Naturally, there is also physical contact in a love relationship. We express love by holding hands, embracing one another with our arms, and engaging in sexual activity. The concept is that your love language is physical touch if this is how you feel loved the most. A person who uses physical contact as their preferred form of communication experiences love through physical affection.
Consent is a must! Only touch someone or use these examples if they’ve conveyed they’re wanted and welcome.
Also read: Is Love an Emotion or a Feeling?
4. Acts of Service
If your significant other lives by the maxim “Actions speak louder than words,” then it’s possible that acts of service are their top love language.
This love language emphasises certain behaviours that demonstrate your concern for and understanding of your partner. Acts of service include preparing a meal, doing the laundry, and picking up someone’s medication on your way home from work. They need consideration, time, and effort.
All of these actions must be performed with good intentions and with your partner’s happiness in mind in order to qualify as displays of love. The meaning of actions taken solely out of obligation or with a negative attitude will be diminished and may occasionally even cause harm to your companion.
These are some signs that acts of service may be your love language:
- You’re over the moon when a partner helps you with a chore without having to be asked.
- You’re the person who shows up for a friend having a bad day.
- You’re always ready to jump in and do things for the people you care about.
The fifth and final love language is receiving gifts. It must be made clear that this love language is not just for the materialistic or alleged “gold diggers.”
It goes far beyond just wanting material things for someone whose love language is gifting. For this person, the significance of the present and the thought that went into it are both equally important. No fancy cars or diamonds are necessary.
Just things, both tangible and intangible, that make you feel valued or acknowledged. For instance, attending your partner’s performance is just as much of a gift as giving them flowers or the wine decanter they’ve been wanting. The absence of common gestures or a missed special occasion hurts especially for those who value this love language.
Signs that receiving gifts is your love language:
- When it comes to gift-giving, you put in the time to choose the most thoughtful gift.
- You treasure everything a partner gives you, no matter how small.
- You’re hurt when someone you love doesn’t commemorate an event with a thoughtful token.
Here are some ways to show love to someone whose love language is receiving gifts:
- Picking up their favourite pastry or candy on your way home.
- Surprising them with flowers — whether store-bought or picked from the side of the road.
- Giving them a thoughtful greeting card just because.
- Bringing your BFF a keepsake from your early friendship, like a picture from your first road trip.
Importance of Love Languages to Relationships
Love languages help you communicate love and affection to your partner in a way that they will understand and appreciate. If you express love to your partner in a way that doesn’t match their love language, they may not feel as loved and appreciated as you intended.
It can help improve the overall level of communication and understanding in your relationship. When you make an effort to understand and use your partner’s love language, it shows that you are paying attention to their needs and care about their feelings. This can help build trust and strengthen your bond.
Ineffective love and affection communication can cause misunderstandings and even arguments between you and your partner. These misunderstandings and arguments may be avoided, and you can create a stronger, more satisfying relationship, by learning and utilising your partner’s love language.
Understanding each other’s love languages promotes a feeling of closeness and intimacy in your union. You may show your love and affection to your partner more successfully when you know and use their love language. This can lead to a stronger sense of closeness and connection in your relationship.
Understanding and using your partner’s love language is an important aspect of building a strong, healthy, and fulfilling relationship. When you understand and use your partner’s love language, you are able to express your love and affection in a way that they will understand and appreciate, which can help improve communication and understanding in your relationship. It can also help reduce misunderstandings and conflicts and foster a sense of connection and intimacy. By making an effort to understand and use your partner’s love language, you can show them that you care about their feelings and needs and build a stronger bond with them.
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