What precisely is a love language?
We all express and receive love in various ways, and those variations may cause how sometimes sentiments and good intentions are misunderstood.
For instance, you could spend weeks searching for the most incredible gift imaginable for a partner, only to hear them say on their birthday, "I would've been content simply ordering in and then cuddling up on the sofa together."
It's not always the case that they're unappreciative or you made a mistake. They only express their love in a different way or in a different love language.
Understanding how you and your spouse prefer to receive and give love may result in more considerate relationships and a strong relationship, not to mention fewer violent birthdays and Valentine's Day celebrations.
What kind of love languages are there?
Dr. Gary Chapman, a marriage counselor, initially described the five love languages in his book "The 5 Love Languages," published in 1992.
There are five main types of love:
1. Words of affirmation
2. Quality time
3. Physical touch
4. Acts of service
5. Gift giving
Simply so you know, love doesn't just exist in romantic relationships. They can also be beneficial in your platonic interactions. (We'll talk about it more shortly.)
1. WORDS OF AFFIRMATION
Words of affirmation are valued by those who identify them as their preferred method of communication. This includes frequent "I love you's," compliments, expressions of gratitude, vocal encouragement, and often occurring digital interactions such as texting and social media use.
If these things make you happy, this could be one of your love languages.
- Hearing "I love you,"
- Receiving affirmation frequently, and
- Receiving words of appreciation
The secret to utilizing words of affirmation is to be genuine and use them frequently. Send an SMS or a letter if you have problems expressing yourself verbally. What important is that you tell your appreciation to them in words.
For a relationship, this can entail expressing your affection for them more frequently or calling them periodically during the day to let them know you are thinking of them. Words of affirmation for a buddy may take the form of a text message saying, "You'll be fantastic!" before a job interview or praise on their attire.
You can use the following phrases to express affirmation in platonic or romantic relationships:
“I adore you.”
"I value our friendship very much,"
"You can do this,"
“I'm happy for you.”
Words uplift you when positive affirmation is your love language. You thrive on verbal adoration, adulation, inspiration, and flattery. You may be bothered for a long time by harsh remarks and criticism.
2. QUALITY TIME
When their spouse actively wants to spend time with them and is always down to hang out, those who express their love via quality time feel the most cherished. They adore it especially when the partnership prioritizes active listening, eye contact, and total presence.
One of your love languages may be spending quality time if:
- When you don't spend enough time with a spouse, you feel distant.
- Your libido is impacted by not spending enough time with your spouse or partners.
- You put a lot of effort into scheduling social time.
Everyone has a different idea of what quality time is. Some individuals enjoy having some time set aside to unwind with one another at the end of the day. Others define quality time as making time for shared activities.
When spending quality time, it's important to be fully present and free from outside distractions.
Here are some instances of how to show your love by spending quality time:
- Before getting out of bed every morning, spend some time cuddling.
- consciously planning a dating night once a week.
- No matter how busy you both are, make time to get out with your best friend.
- putting your phone away when you're talking or engaging in a shared activity.
- establishing a ritual, such as taking a stroll after supper or gathering for lunch once a week.
3. PHYSICAL TOUCH
Your favorite means of expressing and receiving love include holding hands, kisses, embraces, and other physical contacts. While appropriate physical contact may elicit feelings of warmth and security, physical neglect can cause tension between you and your spouse.
A person who expresses love primarily via physical contact experiences love through physical affection. They experience feelings of love other than sex, such as when their spouse holds their hand, strokes their arm, or gives them a massage at the end of the day. This individual could consider snuggling on the sofa with a glass of wine and a nice movie to be the ideal date. They only want to be physically near their lover.
Here are some instances of how physical contact may be used to show love:
- Kissing a companion goodbye and hello.
- Being open to receiving love, even in front of others.
- Lingering in bed with a partner before and after sleep.
- Scheduling sex, even if you have to prioritize it.
- You may reassure them by touching them, holding them, or putting your hand on theirs.
Again, permission is required. Use these examples and don't touch anybody until they've made it clear they're welcomed and accepted.
4. ACTS OF SERVICE
You respect it when your mate goes above and beyond to make your life simpler if acts of service are your partner's love language. When you're unwell, someone could bring you soup, make your coffee in the morning, or pick up your dry cleaning after a long day at the office.
By actions, I mean providing the other with thoughtful, unselfish acts. Keep in mind that these don't have to be romantic; they may also strengthen bonds with friends and family.
These are some indications that your love language may include acts of service:
- When a spouse assists you with a task without having to be asked, you are over the moon.
- You are the friend a friend needs when they are having a rough day.
- You are constantly willing to step up and take action on behalf of the people you care about.
Anything your lover does voluntarily to lighten your load is an expression of their love for you. When your spouse vacuums before you arrive or surprises you with breakfast, it makes you feel loved. On the other side, keeping your word or being lazy might make you feel insignificant.
Here are some examples of how you can show others love by doing acts of service:
- Without being requested or for a particular occasion, taking them out to supper.
- Making a bubble bath for a lover without any sexual expectations.
- Offering to watch the children for a friend so they may take a well-earned vacation.
- Let them pick the movie they want to see, even if it's "Star Wars," which you despise.
- Buying them preferred flowers, soap, wine, chocolate, or whatever else they like just because.
5. GIFT GIVING
Gifts are a very simple love language to understand: When someone gives you "visual tokens of affection," as Chapman puts it, you feel cherished. It is the symbolic meaning underlying the object that matters, not its monetary worth. This personality type understands and values the gift-giving process, including thoughtful consideration, the purposeful selection of the item to symbolize the connection, and the emotional rewards of receiving the gift.
When you express your affection in this way, a thoughtful present will let you know that you are valued. The reverse is true for generic presents and missed special occasions. Receiving your favorite snack after a difficult day might fulfill this love language; it need not be materialistic.
They will know you know them if you take the effort to choose a present just for them. Because it has such an impact on them, people who use this love language frequently recall every tiny present they have gotten from their loved ones.
Giving presents is someone's love language, therefore here are some methods to express your affection for them:
- Picking up their preferred treat on the way home.
- Surprise them with flowers, whether they are picked up off the side of the road or purchased from a store.
- sending them a sympathetic card for no particular reason.
- Bringing a memento of your earliest friendship, such as a photo from your first road trip, to your best buddy.
- Selecting presents unique to your connection. (Consider an inside joke, a common recollection, or an occasion.)
Picking out the best gift for your partner
How love languages may strengthen your bonds with others?
Most of us have one or two favorite love languages, which are frequently distinct from that of our partners. The likelihood is that if you use your partner's favorite love language, it will go undetected.
Say that you frequently surprise your lover with meaningful presents because it is your love language. How does it make you feel when they only give your thoughtful gift a cursory glance? Your companion, on the other hand, doesn't value presents much but cherishes deeds of service. If you helped out around the house instead of giving them gifts, it would mean the world to them. Does your lover feel loved by you?
Learning to converse in your partner's native tongue may significantly improve your relationship.
Each of us has varied ways to give and receive love. Having a clear understanding of such distinctions might significantly affect your relationship. This technique is one of the simplest methods to enhance your relationships, according to Chapman.
Here are some more benefits that it could provide.
Couples who commit to practicing the love languages develop their emotional intelligence and learn to prioritize the needs of others over their own. They learn how to communicate in a language that their spouse can comprehend rather than using their love language.
Regular communication between partners may lead to greater understanding and, eventually, closeness in a relationship. They develop deeper and more meaningful connections as well as learn more about one another. Their connection seems closer when this occurs.
Love is shared in meaningful ways.
The things that couples do for one another become more thoughtful and meaningful when they begin using each other's love language. They are expressing their love to their spouse in ways that make sense to them, which plays a part in this. Their lovers experience satisfaction and happiness when they do it.
Love language you critique should take into account
The five love languages offer a wonderful foundation for comprehending your relationship(s) and those around you, but they don't always accurately reflect how everyone wishes to express their love.
There's a good chance that you, your partner(s), and other family members have a deep connection with more than one of the love languages.
Since the love languages were initially described, gender and cultural standards have also changed significantly, which has had an impact on how we express our love and how we wish to be loved.
We all have our methods of showing our love, and they may not always neatly fit into one of the five predefined categories that were established during a period when males were generally better prepared and women were traditionally more likely to serve in the military.
Although love languages might help us connect and express ourselves to one another more effectively, they shouldn't serve as the only means of achieving pleasure. Instead, it ought to serve as a springboard for a journey toward a deeper connection and more self-control between partners. However, the effort shouldn't end there.