Languages of love.
Ever heard the term “love languages”? Dr Gary Chapman coined this new way of thinking about love in 1995. Love languages help to identify the way we and others feel loved and appreciated. Our love languages change dependent on our personality types. We may feel and show love differently to our partners. Understanding these differences or similarities ensures better sending and receiving of love signals, taking the guesswork out of each other's expectations and needs. There are give love languages: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch.
1: Words of Affirmation
If you or your partner expresses love through words of affirmation it means that compliments will be common. “You make me smile!” “I love seeing you laugh.” “Your hair looks great today!” Expressing words that build up your partner is the language of love sent here. On the flip side, words mean a lot to your partner and while compliments can go a long way, negative or insulting words can hurt your partner more than most.
2: Acts of Service
Ever heard yourself or your partner say “Actions speak louder than words”? People who express this love language perform acts of service they know their loved one will appreciate. Cooking, cleaning, going out of your way to make their day a little easier and more comfortable. This language requires thought, time and effort. Acts of service are not gifts, but rather an attempt to alleviate some of the work and stress on a loved one's plate. If your partner expresses this love language, be sure to never do a task for them out of obligation or with a negative tone. Making it known you are unhappy about having to help them, or that it inconveniences you can result in feelings of anger and inadequacy. They do not want to feel like they are “too much work” for you.
3: Receiving Gifts
While on the surface people find this language materialistic, it can be much much more. Receiving a meaningful or thoughtful gift such as your favourite ice cream after a stressful week, or a hand massage after typing for hours. While diamonds may be helpful in making your partner feel appreciated and loved, this love language doesn't require materialistic symbols, rather thought out actions and gifts.
4: Quality Time
This love language is more than just spending time together. It's about quality time - undivided attention, not youtube, no games, no phones, no distractions. While watching a show together is acceptable, those who express this language will require time periods where they are the centre of your attention. They want their partners to pay attention to them and them only. Whether it’s when out at dinner making sure not to use your phones, to enjoy the meal together and lock eyes. Be present during your time with your partner, enjoy them as much as they do you. Be warned: cancelling or postponing dates or time together, or not being present during your time together can be hurtful to your partner if they express this love language.
5: Physical Touch
Those with this love language aren’t necessarily into over the top PDA, but they do feel connected through holding hands, kissing, hugging, and light touching. To people with this love language, nothing is more impactful than the physical touch of their partner. If this is the primary language, one may begin to feel unloved without physical contact. All the words of affirmation and acts of service and gifts can't change that.
What is the most common language?
While the differences are very small they are notable. However, you should never assume a partner is the same as the status quo, try out each love language and see what they respond to best, or have an open conversation and do a test together here. The most common love language is words of affirmation (23 percent), followed by quality time (20 percent) and acts of service (20 percent). Physical touch comes in fourth (19 percent) followed by receiving gifts (18 percent).