Whether you’re with someone long-term, only starting to date, or just friends, knowing how to communicate with a partner is an essential component to a successful relationship. In 1992, marriage counselor Dr. Gary Chapman wrote “The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts,” a book that would change how many people thought about how they express their love.
What Is a Love Language?
Love languages, as Chapman called them, define different preferences for the ways one shows affection and cares for another person. According to the five love languages theory, each person has at least one language that they prefer over the other. Understanding your partner’s language as well as your own is extremely beneficial.
The Five Love Languages
Words of Affirmation
With this love language, words speak louder than actions. Hearing words and phrases such as “I love you,” “You look great,” or “I appreciate you” makes you feel the most loved. Encouragement, kind words, verbal expression of feelings, and compliments build you up, while insults or arguments can be particularly upsetting.
Hand-holding, thoughtful touches during conversation, hugging, and kissing — all of these are great ways to show care and affection if your partner’s primary love language is physical touch. Platonic touches such as patting someone on the back or more intimate, romantic touches are crucial, while the absence of physical presence can be detrimental and leave individuals feeling abandoned in the relationship.
For those who prefer the love language of quality time, nothing is better than simply being with your partner. Whether you are engaging in a fun activity that excites you both or relaxing at home without other distractions, this is the best way to show deep and unwavering connection to your significant other. Individuals who relate to this love language can be particularly hurt by a distracted, distant, or extremely busy partner.
Acts of Service
Taking out the trash, helping them with planning family events, or doing anything to ease the responsibilities of someone who prefers acts of service as their love language will speak volumes. These individuals feel the most loved when their partner helps them lighten their mental load and understands when they’re stressed.
This love language doesn’t rely on spending a bunch of money on lavish gifts — it’s more about the thoughtfulness and effort of giving. The key gesture could be picking up flowers on your way home from work, making a pot of coffee for them before they wake up, or grabbing their favorite snack at the grocery store. These gifts and gestures make those who relate most to this love language feel appreciated and special.
What’s My Love Language?
Think about how you express love and how you enjoy receiving expressions of love. Do you value long conversations, intimate touch, small tokens of appreciation, or simply being with your partner? You can also take the official quiz on Dr. Chapman’s website to determine how much you value each love language, and to learn more about each one. Open up this discussion with those around you and begin putting that love language in practice, and you might find yourself becoming closer with your partner and feeling more connected.
[Related: Why There Is No Shame in Asking for Help]
How Does Understanding Love Languages Help My Relationship?
In some relationships, miscommunication happens when you don’t understand your partner’s love language. They can be expressing love in their own way, but without understanding which love language they prefer, you might not realize it. Most partners have different love languages, but understanding them and deciphering which one you and your partner respond to the most will help you communicate and keep a lasting, loving relationship.
Is your love language quality time, but you never seem to have enough space on your schedule to simply relax with your partner? Contact Pepper’s Personal Assistants and let us clear up that to-do list so you can create some loving memories together. Maybe your preferred language is acts of service. We can assist by taking care of household tasks, cleaning, and errands for you and your loved one.
Whatever your love language is, Pepper’s Personal Assistants is ready to help ease your mind and free your time to nurture your relationship.