Relationships: The 5 Love Languages And What They Mean
In a relationship, communication is key. However, many times it can feel like neither of you are on the same page. According to author Gary Chapman, in order to effectively communicate it is important to understand your partner's desired language of love.
His theory states that each person has a primary love language that falls into one of five categories. Depending on their preferred love language, they will require different types of communication from their partner. Here is a look at the five love languages he defined and what each would entail.
1. Words of Affirmation
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This love language revolves around using words to expresses love. Verbal compliments that are short, simple and sweet are often the best received when it comes to this love language. Simple praise like “You look incredible today!” will go a long way.
If your partner needs words of affirmation, it means they put value in the words you say. Thus the same way positive words will reassure them, negative or insulting comments can leave deep wounds.
2: Acts of Service
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“Actions speak louder than words.”
A partner who falls under this category believes that a person's actions define them. They will truly appreciate things you do especially if you are aware that they like specific actions. For example, cooking a meal, doing the laundry, or running an errand for them.
Try to think of actions that put your partner’s happiness first and use them to express your love. Actions done out of obligation or with a negative tone may be interpreted negatively by your significant other.
3: Receiving Gifts
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This love language does not indicate that your partner is materialistic. It simply means that they truly value receiving tokens that are meaningful or thoughtful. Gifts make those who prefer this love language feel loved and appreciated.
This does not mean you need to spend tons of money to spoil your partner. Simple things like bring them their favorite ice cream or make them a handmade gift. It is important to note that this love language is different from Acts of Service because it is not the action they appreciate but the thought behind the gift.
4: Quality Time
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Those who prefer Quality Time as their love language of choice need undivided attention. This usually involves turning off televisions, smartphones, and limiting any other distractions.
It is important to set specific and dedicated time aside to focus on each other in order to meet your partner's need for quality time. The aim is to make them feel that they are the center of your attention. Similarly, they may feel hurt or unloved if you constantly cancel dates or put off spending alone time together.
5: Physical Touch
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The last group of people leans towards a love language reliant on physical contact. They find connecting with their partner most impactful when they can physically touch them.
Over-the-top PDA might not be what they need. However, they feel safest in their relationship when they are holding hands, kissing, hugging, etc. Lack of physical contact can leave them feeling unloved both emotionally and physically.