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The 5 Love Languages and What They Mean

Have you heard the term “love languages?” The book that sparked the new way of thinking about love, The Five Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman, was written in 1995 but has continued to grow in popularity.

Learn about the 5 love languages below, or skip ahead and take the quiz to first figure out yours.

The Love languages describe the way we feel loved and appreciated, as well as how we show love and appreciation. Sometimes the way we feel love(d) is different from how we show it. Also important to realize is, depending on our individual personality types, we may feel/show love differently than how our partner's do. Making it important to know your partner's love language, in addition to your own.

Understanding and decoding the love languages will help take the guesswork out of your partner’s expectations and needs. According to Dr. Chapman, there are five love languages: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch.

1: Words of Affirmation

This love language expresses love with words that build up your partner. Verbal compliments don’t have to be complicated; the shortest and simplest words of affirmation can be the most effective.

“That dress looks incredible on you!”

“You always make me laugh.”

“I love your hair today.”

Words mean a lot to a person with this love language. Compliments and an “I love you” can go a long way. On the other side, negative or insulting comments can hurt this person and take longer to forgive than others.

2: Acts of Service

Your partner might have this love language if their motto is “Actions speak louder than words.”

This love language expresses itself by doing things that you know your spouse would like. Cooking a meal, doing the laundry, and picking up a prescription are all acts of service. They require some thought, time, and effort.

All of these things must be done with positivity and with your partner’s ultimate happiness in mind to be considered an expression of love. Actions out of obligation and with a negative tone are something else entirely.

3: Receiving Gifts

No, this love language isn’t necessarily materialistic. It just means that a meaningful or thoughtful gift makes them feel appreciated and loved. Something as simple as picking up a pint of their favorite ice cream after a long work week can make an impact on this love language.

This is different than Acts of Service – those are purely helpful and taking work off of your partner’s plate.

4: Quality Time

This love language is all about undivided attention. No televisions, no smartphones, or any other distractions. They think talk is cheap and the type of action they want is to be your main focus.

This doesn’t mean that you don’t curl up on the couch to watch Netflix or HBO; it just means that you need to make sure to dedicate time together without all of the distractions. That will help them feel comforted in the relationship.

Every time you cancel a date, postpone time together or aren’t present during your time together, it can be hurtful to your partner.

5: Physical Touch

To this love language, nothing is more impactful than the physical touch of their partner. They aren’t necessarily into over-the-top PDA, but they do feel more connected and safe in a relationship by holding hands, kissing, hugging, etc.

If physical touch is a person’s primary love language without it they will feel unloved. All of the words and gifts in the world won’t change that.

What's your love language? Take the quiz to find out.


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