When it comes to cultivating and maintaining a healthy relationship, communication is the foundation. A healthy relationship can’t exist if both partners don’t feel comfortable expressing themselves. This means sharing with one another, free from judgments. Of course, there are times we don’t know exactly what we’re trying to express. This is where the 5 love languages come in handy.
The Five Love Languages is a book by Gary Chapman, first published in the early 90’s. He found, through his clients sessions, that many couples didn’t feel their partner “showed love” in the way they expected them to. These expectations weren’t always the same between partners. Chapman found that these expectations fell into 5 primary categories, now known as the Five Love Languages.
What Are The Love Languages?
The expectations Chapman found regarding the expression of affection fell into these 5 categories:
Words of affirmation
The primary need of this category is to hear sincerity through words, verbal and written. Someone with this love language may need reassurance from their partner. This can be as simple as saying “thank you” or “I appreciate you”. It can be expressed through whispering sweet nothings or a text message that says “I was just thinking of you”. As long as the expression is sincere and kind, it will be valued.
In this love language, undivided attention is the primary need. This means creating time frames that are distraction-free. It doesn’t have to be long periods of time. 15-30 minutes a day will still make a difference. These time slots should be daily, or as frequent as possible. During these time slots, being present in the moment is valued, so make sure there are no mental distractions as well.
This is not to be confused with being superficial and wanting to be showered in gifts. Someone with this love language simply appreciates tangible signs of affection. These gifts don’t have to be expensive or even store bought. They just have to be meaningful. The goal is to spend time on the gift, rather than money.
Acts of service
In this love language, the value of affection is easing the burden of responsibility. This is when a partner does something that will make life easier for the other person. This can be anything from finishing a daily chore to assisting in a bigger project or task. It may not always be obvious what someone might need help with, so it doesn’t hurt to ask.
This love language is all about physical connectivity. Touching is one of the best ways to demonstrate affection. Those with this love language appreciate even the smallest gestures, such as hand-holding or a pat on the back. Any type of touching is going to make them feel valued and loved.
How Can You Make The Most Of Your Love Language?
The best way to use your love language is to get on the same page as your partner. Take Chapmans quiz together to see what each of you need in the relationship. By doing this, you’ll be able to demonstration your affection for one another and ensure that you each feel valued in the relationship.
If you’re not with someone, you can still take the test. You’ll benefit by learning more about yourself and re-evaluating what you should look for in a future partner.
Of course, it isn’t just romantic relationships that benefit from knowing what your love language is. You can use this information in personal relationships, such as family and friends. You can also use your love language to maintain strong professional relationships.
It is always beneficial to know what we need in order to feel appreciated as individuals and as romantic partners. Knowing what other people need is a valuable skill as well.
No matter what your love language is right now, it is important to note that it won’t always be the same. Each relationship, professional or personal, is unique. You won’t always have the same love language in these relationships.