Not everyone communicates love in the same way, and likewise, people have different ways they prefer to receive love. The concept of love languages was developed by Gary Chapman, PhD, in his book The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts, where he describes these five unique styles of communicating love.
One person may express love in multiple languages, or their love language may shift depending on their current emotional and personal needs.
It's also important to note that individuals may not always express their love in the way that they prefer to receive it. For example, someone who values physical touch may not always initiate physical touch, but they still crave it as a way to feel loved.
By understanding and speaking each other's love languages, couples can strengthen their relationships and create a deeper emotional connection. This is because they are effectively communicating their love and affection in a way that resonates with their partner.
When a couple does not understand each other's predominant language correctly, communication is affected, preventing them from feeling valued, loved and accepted.
Attempting to demonstrate love through a particular language to someone who carries a different "love dialect", is the same as making a statement in Irish to someone who only speaks English.
It is also importante to notice that the 5 Love Languages also goes for other relationships such as languages of love for children, in the workplace, amongst others. Check out what these languages are:
WORDS OF AFFIRMATION
People with ‘words of affirmation’ as a love language value verbal acknowledgements of affection, including frequent "I love you's," compliments, words of appreciation, verbal encouragement, and often frequent digital communication like texting and social media engagement.
Conversely, insults can be particularly upsetting to people who favour words of affirmation.
QUALITY OF TIME
People with this love language are looking for quality over quantity. It is not about being together all the time but actually being actively present for them in every moment of the time they share with each other.
Every time you cancel a date, postpone time together or aren’t present during your time together, can be extremely hurtful to your partner as it can make them feel like you care more about other things or activities than them.
Those who have this language experience great emotions when receiving gifts. No, it is not about the materialistic things. They don’t usually care about the price tag, but it is the gesture behind the act that matters here. This love language is about thoughtful gifts as simple as a note hidden in a wallet, a candy bar after work or flowers.
They like the token of love to remember each other even when you are apart.
WAYS TO SERVE
As the saying goes, “Actions speak louder than words.” This is all about putting effort to make your partner’s life easier. Remembering to take care of the small things without asking, this is one way to show your significant other that they are loved. Doing small gestures go a long way in a relationship.
All of these things should be done with positivity and with your partner’s ultimate happiness in mind to be considered an expression of love. Actions out of obligation or with a negative tone are something else entirely.
Those who have physical touch as their primary love language feel loved when their partner shows physical affection in some way, like holding their hand, touching their arm, or giving them a massage at the end of the day. Additionally, their idea of a perfect date might include cuddling on the couch with a glass of wine and a good movie. They simply want to be close to their partners physically.
Affectionate touches will be remembered long after the difficulties have passed. However, the absence of his touch may never be forgotten.
How to identify the love languages?
Chapman proposes that we can identify our partner’s love language, and also our own, by:
- Looking at how your partner most often expresses love to you and others.
- Being mindful of what your partner complains about most often; what do they miss in your relationship?
Being attentive to what your partner asks for most often.
Or you can take a quiz, like this one
It's important to keep in mind that the love languages are not a one-size-fits-all solution, and it's important to tailor the way you express love to your partner's specific needs and preferences. The goal is to create a relationship where both partners feel valued, appreciated and loved and remember: healthy relationships aren't born, they're developed through attention and effort.
Happy Valentine’s Day!