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February 13, 2019

The Complete Guide to the Different Love Languages and What They Mean

88% of Americans believe love is the most important reason to get married. Though making a lifelong commitment and companionship were also highly valued as reasons to tie the knot.

Marriage isn’t always easy. While the reasons why couples divorce may vary, it often boils down to poor communication between two people. Sometimes it’s because they don’t realize they’re both speaking different love languages.

While your spouse may express themselves with touching, you may feel verbally expressing yourself is how you share love. Understanding love languages is a huge key to having a loving and fulfilling relationship that lasts.

If you’re looking to answer the question, what is my love language? Or if you just want to communicate better as a couple, keep reading. We’ll help you determine what is your love language.

The Different Love Languages

In 1995, Dr. Gary Chapman wrote a book entitled, “The Five Love Languages”. Since then, the book has become more and more popular.

Dr. Chapman believes that all five love languages should be incorporated into your relationship. However, to get the most out of your relationship, it’s important to focus on knowing what both you and your mate’s favorite action is to get the best reaction.

Let’s learn about the five love languages.

1. Physical Touch

From the moment a child is born, mothers are encouraged to place their newborns on their chest. Babies are held in neonatal units.

The need for physical touch doesn’t diminish as we get older. There are countless studies that show the physical and mental benefits from being touched by others.

Physical touch doesn’t necessarily mean over-the-top PDA that grosses out everyone else. Instead, it means holding hands, kissing, and hugging. It can even mean sitting close to your loved one.

It’s a way for couples to feel connected and safe.

However, not everyone grew up in a household where physical touch was a priority. But if they’re in a relationship with someone whose primary love language is physical touch, that person may end up feeling unloved, no matter how many gifts and words of love are used on them.

2. Receiving Gifts

Just because someone’s love language is receiving gifts, it doesn’t mean they’re a gold digger or that they only crave materialistic things to feel valued and loved.

It does mean that receiving something thoughtful and meaningful such as bringing them home their favorite candy bar after a tough week will make them feel appreciated and loved.

You don’t need to go overboard and spend a ton of money, even small gifts make them feel as though they’re on your mind. This is one of the easier love languages to learn, especially if you didn’t grow up in a home where gift giving was a priority.

3. Acts of Service

The acts of service love language is different than the receiving gifts love language. You may recognize that your partner identifies with this love language if you hear them say that actions speak louder than words.

Acts of service don’t have to be huge, grand gestures. Instead, something simple such as cooking your spouse their favorite meal, unloading the dishwasher or even picking up their dry cleaning are all perfect examples of acts of service.

All of these actions are simple, but they require time, effort, and thought. It’s the time, effort, and thought that your loved one will appreciate the most.

However, if you perform these acts out of a sense of obligation and/or make a big deal out of it, this love language will backfire on you. Instead, perform acts of service out of love and the desire to make the other person happy for best results.

4. Quality Time

The quality time love language is about giving someone your undivided attention. That means time spent with someone you love without your smartphone, the latest football game being on tv or any other types of distractions.

While you can still curl up in front of the television together to watch something you both love, the main focus should be on dedicating time together with no distractions. No friends or family allowed.

Doing so helps the person whose love language is quality time feel comforted and valued.

However, if you’re prone to canceling or postponing this together time, it will hurt your partner. And it’s not enough to be with someone physically but not emotionally.

Taking someone out to dinner and then chatting up your waiter while ignoring your loved one is not considered quality time. If you’re easily distracted, opt for quality time where there are few or no distractions such as taking a walk in nature together.

5. Words of Affirmation

Whoever said, “sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me” didn’t have words of affirmation as their primary love language. Words can and do hurt people.

You don’t need to be Shakespeare or Cyrano de Bergerac to build up your partner. In fact, it’s often the shortest and simplest words that carry the most meaning.

“You’re beautiful.”

“That color looks incredible on you!”

“I love how good you are with our kids.”

Little compliments and telling someone “I love you” goes a long way. But on the flip-side, rude, mean, insulting comments will tear down the person you love quickly.

And it will be harder for that person to forgive (and forget) those horrible words you’ve used. Choose your words wisely if you love someone whose love language is words of affirmation.

Get Help With Your Relationships

Whether you’re single or in a committed relationship, everyone deserves to have loving relationships with everyone in their lives. Learning how others express themselves and respond to love can vastly change your experiences with others. Understanding the different love languages can help you do that.

We can help too. We offer programs to help people identify their own love languages and learn how to have happier, healthier relationships with themselves and others.

To learn more about our self-help programs, click here for our FAQs.

Grant Funding

Funding for these programs was provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Grant Number 90FM0063

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