The five love languages are the ways that people express and receive love. Not everyone feels the same way about certain types of affection. The five love languages spell out the five predominant ways individuals express and desire affection. In understanding the five love languages, you can then more fully understand how your partner perceives your actions. It will also help you understand what type of affection they prefer, so you can better communicate with them.
What are the five love languages?
They are quality time, physical touch, words of affirmation, receiving gifts, and acts of service. Each of these speaks to a certain way of showing and taking in affection. Some couples may struggle with feeling loved, feeling heard, or feeling appreciated. That is where understanding love languages can help. By learning which love language(s) you and your partner “speak” you can both use that knowledge to show your partner that you love them, in the way that they feel it most.
Spending time with your partner is incredibly important. Quality time is about spending time giving your partner your undivided attention, doing something where the two of you can focus completely on each other. That could look like going on a walk and talking, or having breakfast together every morning with no distractions. Quality time also means having quality conversations. Talking about what is important to each of you, your hopes and dreams, your experiences and thoughts. Anything that is more than small talk.
Physical touch can be a strong communicator in many ways. When it comes to emotional affection, the small actions of your partner touching your arm when they walk by you in the kitchen or taking your hand when you go for a walk can mean a whole lot to a person whose love language is physical touch. Sexual intimacy is also a large part of physical touch, but often is not the main core of what constitutes physical touch for someone. Physical touch is a large aspect of many cultures by way of greeting or saying goodbye (eg. shaking hands) or to give sympathy (eg. hugging). To know that this is the primary way your partner feels loved is key to improving your relationship.
Words of Affirmation
Does receiving a compliment make you feel good? I think most people enjoy hearing positive comments about their actions and appearance. For individuals whose primary love language is words of affirmation, hearing something positive does not just make them smile, it makes their heart feel good. Mentioning the things that your partner does, like having washed the dishes for example, and saying you appreciate it, can make your partner feel loved by feeling recognized and seen. It may seem small and trivial to tell someone “good job” for taking care of household chores, but it can mean the world to someone.
Gift Giving and Receiving
Gifts are tangible objects that remind us we are cared about. Whatever reason they are given to us, they often hold a special presence in our hearts and minds. For individuals whose love language is receiving gifts, being presented with tokens big or small that show their partner was thinking of them, means the world. GIfts do not need to be expensive, store-bought items. They could be flowers their partner picked as they walked home from work or a homemade card just saying that they love them and we’re thinking of them. It is not necessarily the material object that matters. Therefore, it is the thought behind the object and the feeling that someone wanted to show them materialistically how they feel.
Acts of Service
How does it make you feel when your partner has cleaned the house without you knowing? Or already has a glass of wine waiting for you when you get home from work? Acts of service encompass doing things for your partner. A person who feels loved when someone does something for them would consider acts of service as their primary love language. While doing things before being asked is not something that comes naturally to everybody, it can be something so meaningful to those who feel loved when something has been done for them. It does not have to be a surprise every week but could be an agreed-upon chore or action that takes a load off your partner’s back.
Whatever the love language you and your partner have, it is entirely possible to learn to understand them better. Therefore this will improve your communication, affection, and overall quality of your relationship.