Popularised in one of the best-selling self-help book The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts, the term ‘love language’ refers to the ways in which we communicate, verbally and through body language, in our relationships.
The author, Dr Gary Chapman, claims that there are five primary ways in which we show our affection to others, some relying more on words and others on touch. Which language do you speak?
Words of affirmation
As the name suggests, people who use this love language express themselves though their words. This means that they will tell people that they care about them rather than expressing it through actions. They value this most and, as such, like to hear affirming, validating words in return as well. On the flip side, this also means that they are easily hurt by thoughtless or negative things that their partners say.
Acts of service
Helping people is something we should all do more of, and this is an area that people who love through acts of service do well. They show that they care by helping their loved ones; doing things to make their lives easier and better. With these individuals, broken promises and laziness don’t fly, and they expect those who care about them to show them the same thoughtfulness and level of sacrifice.
While it may seem superficial, people who need to feel loved by getting gifts from their significant other really just need something tangible – to see the other person’s love in solid form. Those who show affection through giving gifts do so because they love making other people feel special, and it shows the other person that they listen and know them well enough to know their likes and dislikes.
People often complain that they don’t get to spend enough one-on-one time with their partner and, when they do, there are always many interruptions or distractions. The beauty of the person who shows their love through quality time is that they believe that making time for loved ones is their main priority, and talk can sometimes be cheap. And, a bonus – they will give their undivided attention too.
Not surprisingly, this one doesn’t need much of an explanation. People for whom physical touch is their main love language express their feelings through hugging, holding hands or affirming physical contact. This is not limited to romance, but is present in all of their close relationships. While touch can make them feel valued, they are not over-the-top with PDA, but do require it fairly frequently to feel emotional closeness with those they hold dear.
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