Love Languages with Your PartnerFeb 12, 2024
The five ‘love languages’ were originally conceptualized by Dr. Gary Chapman in 1992. The idea behind different love languages is that individuals have their own preferences when it comes to giving and receiving love. Understanding the different love languages, especially the ones you and your partner resonate with, can help improve and facilitate communication and connection in your relationship.
In this article, we’ll explore the five love languages so you can understand how you and your partner want to give and receive love in your relationship while providing examples for each. We recommend reading through this article together with your partner so you can discuss it. Let’s get started.
The Five Love Languages
1. Words of Affirmation
Words of affirmation imply expressing love verbally, either through praise, compliments, appreciation, or other positive affirmations. If you resonate with this love language, you feel most seen and loved when you hear kind words and are told you’re loved and appreciated.
To implement words of affirmation in your relationship, speak genuinely, from the heart, and be specific in your words of praise. For example, if your partner is getting all dressed up for a special event, tell them how amazing they look in their outfit. Additionally, remember to tell your partner you love them every day and be there to remind them of their amazing qualities, especially after a tough day.
2. Acts of Service
Acts of service are best described as doing things for your partner that you know they will like and appreciate. Acts of service are non-verbal ways of showing your love and essentially using your time and energy to make things easier for your partner.
If your partner’s primary love language is acts of service, pay attention to the little things and think of things they don’t necessarily enjoy doing. This could mean filling up your partner’s gas tank, cooking dinner for them (especially if they do most of the cooking), refilling their hair growth products, or bringing them lunch when they forget theirs.
When it comes to implementing acts of service into your relationship, remember your strengths and play to those strengths. The idea is to do something to make your partner’s life easier. So if you’re extra handy but don’t know a thing about cooking, maybe get some takeout and fix the squeaky door instead.
3. Receiving Gifts
Many people assume those with this love language are materialistic, but this simply isn’t the case. Someone whose primary love language is giving and receiving gifts values any token of appreciation and affection. Gifts from your partner may hold a lot of sentimental value and show that they’re thinking of you. While big purchases are certainly appreciated, even something as simple as a card, buying their favorite snack, or bringing home a bouquet of flowers are simple ways to express your love.
Even if you don’t think you’re great at buying gifts, if your partner’s primary love language is gifts, it’s important to try. Look for gift inspiration in your partner’s daily life. If they hit the gym daily, maybe they’ll appreciate some new workout gear. If they love baking, get them some higher-quality versions of the tools they already own and use. If you’re absolutely clueless when it comes to gifts for your partner, have them create a gift wishlist with items you can buy and surprise them with.
4. Quality Time
Quality time means spending meaningful time with your partner and giving them your undivided attention. Spending quality time with your partner could mean doing things you both enjoy, engaging in conversations, and trying new experiences to strengthen your bond and create new memories. If you or your partner identify with quality time as the primary love language, try planning something unique to do together. When spending quality time together, ensure you maintain eye contact, limit your use of technology, practice active listening, and prioritize quality over quantity, especially if you have busy schedules.
When one partner values quality time to fill their love tank and the other doesn’t, this can be challenging. If your relationship falls into this category, consistency in your time together can keep everyone happy. Plan ahead and fit time into your schedule for quality time. This could mean having a date night every week and sitting down to have coffee together every morning.
5. Physical Touch
Physical touch is another love language with some misconceptions surrounding it. For example, people may think this love language just implies your partner wants sex. And while some parts of physical touch are associated with sexual intimacy, this isn’t the only way to express love through physical touch. Hugging, holding hands, giving your partner a massage, and reaching for your partner when out with friends are all ways to show physical connection and love.
While physical touch isn’t all about sex, if your partner’s primary love language is physical touch, sex may be an especially important part of your relationship. Suppose you or your partner struggle with a sexual disorder, like hypoactive sexual disorder. In that case, this can make it especially challenging as a couple, making the other areas of physical touch all the more crucial.
If physical touch and sexual intimacy are challenges affecting your relationship, establishing an open line of communication between you and your partner is essential. By openly talking about the issue, no matter how uncomfortable, you can alleviate insecurities, establish trust, and strengthen your bond. You can also come up with how you and your partner will navigate the issue as a team, whether this means talking to a doctor about a Viagra or Cialis prescription or consulting with a sex therapist if the issue is psychological.
Learning the languages of love
You may find that you resonate with some love languages more than others. Some may appreciate a mix of the various love languages, while others may only need physical touch or gifts to feel loved in your relationship. If your partner’s primary love language is one that you really don’t resonate with, being open to learning and showing them love in the way that they want to receive it makes all the difference in your relationship. So if your partner really doesn’t like gifts but you do, while they appreciate acts of service, do what you can to bring them their way, as they should do for you. Understanding you and your partner’s love languages can help you better understand each other and improve your relationship overall.
About the Author
Ashley Nielsen earned a B.S. degree in Business Administration Marketing at Point Loma Nazarene University. She is a freelance writer who loves to share knowledge about general business, marketing, lifestyle, wellness, and financial tips. During her free time, she enjoys being outside, staying active, reading a book, or diving deep into her favorite music.