In relationships, there are varying things that make each one of us feel loved. Some of us love to spend time with our significant other, others love getting thoughtful gifts. All of us are individuals, and often in relationships we forget that the other person may feel loved in a different way than we do. Dr. Gary Chapman wrote a book on the Five Love Languages, and wrote many more books that have helped couples, and even parents figure out what their child’s love language is. His books essentially are about communication within a relationship, and as I’ve written before, communication is crucial in relationships. Dr. Gary Chapman breaks down five universal ways that people want to be receive and give love.
The first love language is “Words of Affirmation.” If you have this love language, people complimenting you, speaking highly of you makes you soar. You could be happy for a week on being praised by words. Hearing phrases like, “I love you,” “I am proud of you,” “I appreciate you” can make you feel loved. A person with this love language cringes from insults and can feel unimportant.
The second love language is “Quality Time.” If this is your love language, nothing says I love you like undivided attention from your significant other. If you have this love language, if your partner is late for a date, or they forget that you had plans, this can be very damaging to a person with this love language. If your partner is on time, phone away, engaged with you, you feel on top of the world.
The third love language is “Receiving Gifts.” This love language is not about being materialistic but rather the thought put into the gift. If this is your love language, a gift that says your partner knows you, and what you like makes you feel loved and comforted. To this person if their partner forgets their birthday or a special anniversary or given a last minute thoughtless gift they can be very hurt by those actions.
The fourth love language is “Acts of Service.” This love language is the opposite of “Words of Affirmation,” because this language is all about actions speaking louder than words. These people love if their partner can do things for them, like vacuuming or doing the laundry. To some that may not seem romantic, but to others, having their partner help out around the house makes them feel loved and taken care of. If their partner is lazy or breaks promises this can be very hurtful to those with this love language.
The fifth language is “Physical Touch.” This love language is not to be confused with sex. This love language is all about feeling loved through hugs, hand holding, cuddling. To people with this love language, their partners touch can show love, care, empathy and support. The person’s physical presence is key in this love language, and people can be hurt if there is neglect or abuse.
If you want to figure out your love language, take Dr. Gary Chapman’s quiz here!