Love Languages 101: What They Mean & Why They Matter
Have you ever been in a relationship and felt like you and your partner were constantly butting heads or misunderstanding each other? Maybe your love language is “acts of service” and you’d like your partner to be more helpful around the house, but she rarely does chores. Or maybe “words of affirmation” really hit that sweet spot for you, but you almost never get those sweet compliments from your partner. As you can imagine, this can create a lot of issues and friction. Once you know what your love language is, however, you can be vocal about it to your partner, and it can go a LONG WAY in smoothing things out between you.
Feeling kinda lost? Let’s break down what love languages mean, and how you can take advantage of them!
There are five love languages, which were initially presented in a 1992 book called The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate by author Gary Chapman. He explained that most people have a particular “love language” that guides them in relationships, whether romantic or platonic. Love languages are basically just different ways of receiving and expressing your love. Your love language can inform the way you express love to romantic partners, friends, and family! So, what are they?
Acts Of Service
If you appreciate your partner doing things that make life a little easier (like taking your car to get washed, doing the laundry, calling customer service to get you that refund, etc.), your love language is most likely acts of service. You appreciate the little things that your partner is willing to do for you, especially those frustrating, annoying things that we ALL love to put off.
If you wholeheartedly believe that “actions speak louder than words,” acts of service is definitely your thing. You will more than appreciate your partner going out of their way to make YOU feel good and comfortable.
Words Of Affirmation
Babe, you LOVE compliments. Who doesn’t, right? Well, you especially appreciate them because they give you that warm, fuzzy feeling and make you feel loved. You also need to hear “I love you” a little more frequently than someone with a different love language.
You also most likely really feel appreciated through words of encouragement. Whether these words are spoken or written, they will never fail to make you feel good and valued.
People whose love language is physical touch need to get physical attention from their partners on a regular basis. No, this doesn’t just mean sex. Naturally, sex is important, but in this love language touches like hugs, random shoulder massages, kisses on the forehead or head, hand holding, cuddling etc. are all highly valued and appreciated.
If your partner’s love language is physical touch, you can make them feel important by casually giving them hugs, making sure to cuddle on the couch while bingeing a new show, holding hands when walking, and more similar actions.
Here’s a love language that many people can probably relate to! Who doesn’t crave regular, quality time with their partner? It’s kind of the whole basis of a relationship, after all. However, if this is your love language, you need quality time more than the average person. Not only do you need to spend a lot of time with the one you love, but that time has to be meaningful. You most likely appreciate your partner taking the time and initiative to plan something interesting and fun for the two of you to do. For example, if you enjoy fine dining, your partner may make a reservation at one of the top restaurants in the city. Planning a trip or weekend getaway is also a great way to spice up quality time!
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that people whose love language is gifts are materialistic or shallow. That’s not the case at all! People with this love language appreciate any type of gift (it doesn’t have to be a $5k watch or anything, babe), including handmade ones that you put a lot of thought and effort into! If your love language is gifts, you probably also enjoy giving gifts to your loved ones, and you most likely put a lot of thought into what to give them, taking into account what types of things will make them especially happy. It’s always a good idea to get to know your love language and perhaps even have a discussion with your partner (if you have one) to see how you can use this information to improve your relationship!
Love Languages Quiz
Let’s find out what YOUR love language is! Answer each question honestly (go with your initial gut response if you're not sure), then jot down the letter of each answer you get. At the end, the more letter you have, the more likely your love language corresponds to that letter (refer to answer guide at bottom). If your responses present you with two love languages, don't worry! It's possible for people to have more than one love language or be between languages.
1. It’s your birthday, what would you like to receive from bae?
A. A piece of jewelry or that dress you’ve had your eye on forever
B. A well-planned out night of fun activities
C. A sensual, candle lit massage followed by sexy times
D. A scavenger hunt where the clues are bae’s fave things about you
E. A day of self-care where they handle all your chores and errands
2. You had a really tough day at work, how can your partner make it better?
A. By taking you on a fun shopping spree
B. By canceling their plans and spending all day doing whatever you want
C. By cuddling with you while you watch your fave TV show
D. By letting you vent for, like, two hours straight
E. By drawing you a luxurious bath then making you dinner
3. What’s something that always upset you in your last relationship?
A. Bae never putting any thought or effort into your birthday or anniversary gifts
B. Always having to chase bae or force them into spending time with you
C. Having to practically make a schedule for sex because they were never into it
D. Bae never complimenting you or willing to listen to you vent about what was bothering you
E. Always being the one to do the chores around the house or taking care of any problems that arose
4. What is your #1 deal breaker in a new relationship (romantic or platonic)?
A. When someone always talks about their own problems and never asks after yours
B. When someone is always late or cancels plans last minute
C. When they’re super jealous or possessive
D. When they keep you a secret from friends and family
E. When they’re unwilling to meet you halfway in accomplishing relationship goals
5. It is more significant/meaningful to you when your partner or friend…
A. Gives you a small gift or token of appreciation
B. Plans a short trip for the two of you
C. Holds your hand or puts their arm around you
D. Tells you they are proud of you
E. Makes you lunch or takes your car to get serviced (so you don't have to!)
If you got mostly As, your love language is Gifts.
If you got mostly Bs, your love language is Quality Time.
If you got mostly Cs, your love language is Physical Touch.
If you got mostly Ds, your love language is Words of Affirmation.
If you got mostly Es, your love language is Acts of Service.