In honor of Valentine’s Day, we wanted to do an extra special post on something called “Love Languages”. What is that? Well, essentially it’s the way that people give and want to receive love in relationships. This can be utilized for both romantic relationships and friendships. As Dr. Gary Chapman, the creator of this idea, explains, “there are five different types of love languages: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch”. It’s important to understand your own love language, that is how you want to be loved, before trying to determine someone else’s.
Ways to Determine your Love Language:
- How do you express love to others?
- What do you complain the most about?
- What do you request from others most often?
I found it best to take the actual assessment, which is located here. I would suggest you and your partner/friend take it. That way, you can figure out the way that you like to give and receive love and vice versa for your other person. From this assessment, you can determine which one/ones are your primary love languages. A primary love language is what the kind of love you most like to receive. For me, mine is physical touch, but for my boyfriend it’s words of affirmation. It’s essential in building a strong relationship to know each other’s love languages. That way, you can show each other love in the way that feels most comfortable and intimate to you.
Okay, now that you’ve taken the assessment, you’re ready to understand what your primary love language means!
Understanding your love language:
- Words of Affirmation: If your primary language is words of affirmation, then communication and compliments are extremely meaningful to you. Some of the most important words you like to hear are, “I love you” and “You’re important to me”. These types of affirmations can lift you up and make you feel treasured. Insults can be detrimental and aren’t easily forgotten.
- Make sure to use encouraging words. These are words that inspire you or your partner to feel inspired and courageous. Many of us suffer from insecurities (myself included!). So it’s important to take the time and make sure your partner can verbally hear that you support and encourage them to be the best they can be.
- Use kind words. This is a fairly simple, but essential component of using words of affirmation. When you say intimate things such as, “I love you”, make sure to say it kindly, generously, and genuinely.
- Use humble words. It’s important to remember in any type of relationship, that making demands can be seen as aggressive and lead to conflicts. To avoid this, make requests kindly and in a way your partner can understand. This provides them with guidance instead of demands, which will strengthen any relationship.
- If words of affirmation is your partner’s love language: Set a goal each day to give them a couple of surprise compliments or text messages/emails/phone calls to show you care and appreciate them.
- Quality Time: If your primary love language is quality time, that means you desire someone’s full, undivided attention. Life gets busy, so it can be hard to incorporate quality time with your partner. However, it is essential to make special, quality time with your partner to show how important they are to you. Here are some ideas on how to create more quality time with your partner:
- Go on long walks together (my boyfriend and I go on Pokemon-GO walks!)
- Going out to dinner
- Board game night
- Discuss books/movies together once a week
- Gardening together
- Going on a drive
- Baking cookies/brownies/cupcakes (anything sweet!)
- Going to the beach together
The key part to this is doing things together that are free of distractions, such as electronics. If your partner is important to you, show them by being there, listening, and spending time together uninterrupted.
When talking with your partner:
- Maintain eye contact
- Remain focused on them
- Listen for feelings and acknowledge that you understand them
- Observe and respect body language
- Ask clarifying questions
- Interrupt them as little as possible (this can be really hard, trust me, I know!)
- Share your own stories/worries/hopes/dreams with your partner as well
If your partner’s love language is quality time: Create a list of activities that you and your partner can do and each month do at least one of them together.
- Gift Giving: Now, when looking at this one, you may think this means that you love material goods. While this can be true for some people, it generally means that you like the thoughtfulness and care behind the gifts you’re receiving. Gifts represent your partner’s commitment and devotion to you. Gifts show that your partner is thinking of you while they’re out. These don’t have to be expensive, they can be free, just as long as they’re thoughtful and meaningful.
If your partner’s love language is gift giving: Try keeping a “gift idea” notebook with potential gifts your partner would like. Every time you hear them say, “Oh, I love that!” or “I wish I could have that” write it down. Pick gifts that you can afford or are comfortable making and don’t wait for special occasions to give them. Your partner will be thrilled with a little surprise every now and again!
- Acts of Service: If your primary love language is acts of service, that means that you feel someone else’s love most when they do things for you. This can range from household chores to helping you with homework to picking up groceries while they’re out. Some of the greatest words you’ll hear are, “Let me do this for you”. Anything to lift the burden of responsibilities off of your shoulders is amazing! It’s important that these acts of service are done with a positive attitude. Your partner shouldn’t feel like the acts of service you’re doing are forced. You should do these acts because you want to make the life of your partner easier. They should make you happy to do.
If your partner’s love language is acts of service: What is one task that your partner has been asking you to do for a long time? Once you figure this out, make an effort to go out and accomplish that for them. You’ll make your partner grateful that you took time out of your day to help them with something important. Plus, it shows that you have the ability to put your partner’s needs and desires over your own, which demonstrates how much you care for them.
- Physical Touch: Looking at this, you may think this means sexual touching. Although it’s included, if your primary love language is physical touch, it actually just means intimate touching in general. Now, intimate can vary for each person. To me, intimate touching is hugging, hand holding, massages, kissing, etc. People with this as their primary love language, feel that touching shows love, support, and care. Physical touch is a vital way of how you receive love and feeling comfortable in your relationship.
If your partner’s love language is physical touch: Take a couple minutes out of your day to think of ways that you can incorporate touch into your relationship. Some ways you can incorporate physical touch is by holding hands when you go out or giving your partner a massage after a long day.
For a person other than a romantic partner: Try light massages, hugging, pats on the back or shoulder, or other forms of light touching to show that you care about your partner. Before you do this, make sure to always ask your partner what types of touch they prefer. I know with my friends, I only really like hugs. It’s essential to ask for permission before touching, your partner will be thankful you did.
Well, there you have it! Hopefully, these tips on love languages will help you and/or your partner develop and maintain a strong relationship. For those who are curious, my primary love languages were words of affirmation and physical touch. It is possible to have one to two. Now that you know your love language and your partner’s, you can figure out how you give love.
Really think about how you’ve treated those around you. For me, I realized that my primary forms of giving love to others are words of affirmation and gift giving. A lot of times, the way that we receive and give love are different. If your love language is different than the way your partner prefers to receive love, make an effort to focus on what they want, rather than what you’re already comfortable with. Love is about pushing yourself and making an effort for your partner because they’re worth it.
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! We hope these tips will help you create and maintain strong, healthy relationships with your partners. Please like, share, and subscribe for more ways to improve your life and relationships! Thank you!