Does an act of kindness make your heart flutter? Or is it a special gift that makes you think, “Wow, my person is the best!” These are all very different amongst relationships, and there’s actually a sort of science, if you will, to it. According to MBG, “the five love languages are five different ways of expressing and receiving love: words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. 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, Ph.D., in his book The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts, where he describes these five unique styles of communicating love, categories he distilled from his experience in marriage counseling and linguistics. “
Knowing more about your partner’s expression of love is very well akin to a great relationship. You and your special someone might feel the most loved in very, very different ways. So what are the five love languages? Keep reading for more.
The Five Love Languages
Give us all the compliments, yes! For some, words of affirmation are the key to their heart. The ones who feel the best with this love language are usually those who want to feel understood and appreciated. Couples’ psychotherapist Fariha Mahmud-Syed, MFT, CFLE told MBG, “People with words of affirmation as a love language value verbal acknowledgments 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.”
Maybe a little bit of time well spent together is your thing. These are the types of couples who do everything together, and rarely need to spend time apart. Running errands, hanging out, hiking, just the act of quality time is enough to make them feel super loved and connected to their partner.
MBG says, “if your love language is acts of service, you value when your partner goes out of their way to make your life easier. It’s things like bringing you soup when you’re sick, making your coffee for you in the morning, or picking up your dry cleaning for you when you’ve had a busy day at work.” It’s simply the act of caring about someone so much that you are helpful in some if not all parts of their life. How nice is it when you can kick back, have your partner cook and run errands, and relax? There’s nothing sexier!
Surprisingly enough, this is not the most popular showing of love! Physical possessions do not garner too much attention, but those that are thoughtful and done with care are. According to Well+Good, “Of all the love language types, receiving gifts may seem the easiest to satisfy, given the nature of the holidays, but that’s often not the case. That’s because those who prefer to receive love in the form of the gifts specifically appreciate items given with thought that are tailored to them and their needs. Without significance, a gift becomes just another item in a pile of many.”
The one thing that we actually can’t do right now, sadly. A touch is a beautiful form of physical expression to almost everyone, but some really find it to be comforting and super intimate. The importance of touch varies from couple to couple, but according to Well+Good, “People of this love language often favor physical signs of affection, like a hug or a kiss, to be a meaningful way to convey love. “Obviously this depends on the boundaries of your relationship,” says Marter, “But if it’s an intimate relationship, gifting someone with a massage, or even romantic favors may be more appreciated than buying them something super-expensive from a store.”
While you’re here, check out our couples’ gift guide that really shows your special someone how much you care.