The Five Love Languages

Love Languages are a very well-known concept, most people have heard of them. The basic premise is that we all feel loved differently, which makes sense right? Chapman, the founder of this concept, identified five major ways that we as humans experience love. So, what are they?


Quality Time

This one does what it says on the tin. For someone with this love language, dedicated time makes them feel loved. It’s important however, to understand the difference between ‘present’ and ‘presence’. We can be physically in the room with someone, but that’s not quality time unless we’re engaged. Both parties sitting on the couch texting/scrolling is not quality time. Having coffee together and talking without interruption is. If you have a quality time person in your life some ways to show love are:

· Ask them to go for coffee/lunch/a drink/dinner

· Ask them to go on a walk with you

· Ask how their day is and listen to the answer without distractions

· Ask them to watch a movie together with no phones




Physical Touch

Another seemingly self-explanatory one. And no, it doesn’t just mean sex. People who have this love language experience love through touch. It could be a hug, a shoulder squeeze, or a cuddle. People with this love language need a physical connection to feel love. If you have a physical touch person in your life some ways to show love are:

· A long hug

· A massage

· A pat on the shoulder

· Cuddling while watching a move





Words of Affirmation

This one is a little less obvious. Words of affirmation means kind words that show respect, appreciation, and love. People who have this love language experience love by verbal recognition of things they do well. It could be a ‘thanks for taking the bins out’ or ‘I really admire how hard you work’. It doesn’t have to be long winded or drawn out, just a regular nod to their abilities is enough. If you have a words of affirmation person in your life some ways to show love are:

· Write a list of all the things you like/admire about them and refer to it for inspiration

· Send them a nice text

· Consciously say something affirming (maybe one off your list) next time you see them




Acts of Service

This language is basically the doing version of ‘words of affirmation’. People who have this love language feel loved when you do something nice for them. Preferably something they hate doing but must get done. Again, it doesn’t have to be a grand gesture, filling out someone’s car insurance forms because they hate paperwork is enough. If you have an acts of service person in your life some ways to show love are:

· Ask them what jobs they hate doing and make a note

· Make a conscious effort to do one of them, especially if it’s something you don’t mind doing

· Tell them you’ve done it to take it off their plate




Gifts

This one can sound a bit superficial, but it’s not. Some people experience love through a talisman, and that’s what a gift is in this instance. The gifts don’t need to be expensive or fancy, it’s more that it represents you thinking of them and considering them. It could be a bar of chocolate or a $2 key ring. If you have a gifts person in your life some ways to show love are:

· Find out their favourite chocolate bar/soft drink and buy it for them next time you’re in the shops

· If you’re visiting, bring a pack of biscuits or something similar




They all sound pretty good, I mean who wouldn’t like a bit of each love language? Well love languages work a bit like a birthday cake. We have a primary language (the cake) and a secondary language (the filling). The other three operate like the sprinkles, icing and candles – delicious and important, but not much use without the actual cake. Our primary and secondary languages form the bulk of us feeling loved.




Once we discover our primary love language, we can help others show us love by telling them what we need. When we discover the love languages of our partners, friends, and family we can show them love more effectively. Many conflicts and upsets arise from not being aware someone is showing us love. Imagine Partner A with a gift love language whose partner (Partner B) is acts of service. Partner B wants to show love, so washes all the dishes because they know Partner A loves a clean kitchen. While a lovely gesture, the ‘I love you’ message is likely not hitting the mark. If Partner B had known gifts was the best way to show love, they could have saved themselves the dish washing and bought something small instead.


To find out what your love language is you can take the quiz here


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