Love languages: What they are and how you can use them

By in Culture

Chances are you have heard something about love languages, but you might not know what they really are or how to use them in your own life. For starters, there are five love languages, and they come from the 1995 book The Five Love Languages by pastor and marriage counsellor Gary Chapman.

Love languages are meant to bring you and your romantic partner or partners closer.

The concept of love languages is simple. Drawing from his own experiences in his marriage, and the experiences of his clients, Chapman put together this simple system to help couples show their love more efficiently. Here are the five love languages he came up with.

Acts of service: This love language is for people who want their partner to lend a helping hand. These folks appreciate help with homework, chores, solving problems and anything else. They know that their partner cares about and values them when that partner puts in the time and energy to help. If this is your partner’s love language, do not waste any time to start helping them with whatever they need.

Physical touch: This love language sounds steamy, but it is not what you think — at least not entirely. This one is for people who feel appreciated when their partner shows physical affection, such as hand-holding. Through physical touch, these people get a sense of safety. If this sounds like your partner, just make an effort to show them physical affection when you can.

Quality time: This is the love language for those who really appreciate being their partner’s main focus. They crave their partner’s undivided attention and do not appreciate a bad listener or someone who divides their attention or cancels dates. If this is your partner’s love language, put down your phone and spend an evening focusing only on them.

Receiving gifts: This love language sounds simple, and it kind of is. What makes these people feel loved and appreciated is to receive gifts. Thoughtful presents are what make these people tick, and surprises are even better. If this is your partner, surprise them with something you made, which will make them feel like you put in the time to really make them happy.

Words of affirmation: This love language is all about using words to make your partner feel appreciated. These people need to hear compliments and plenty of affirming words in order to feel like they are valued by their partner. If this sounds like your partner’s love language, make sure you say “I love you” often, and don’t forget to be charitable with your compliments.

One thing to keep in mind is that each of the five love languages is important to a relationship in its own way — and ideally, they will all be present to varying degrees.

Does this approach to relationship-building really work? According to Chapman, it does, but if you want to be sure, try it for yourself! Implementing the five love languages into your own relationship could not be simpler — just take the quiz online to see your own and your partner’s primary love languages, and you could be on your way to a happier romantic relationship.

Lyndsay Afseth / Staff Writer

Photo: Daniela Granados