Updated: May 12, 2022
Have you ever been in a relationship with someone, romantic or not, and felt unloved or lost on how to show them that you care? Like, no matter what you do or how much you try, you can’t connect. That’s probably because you have different love languages.
Dr. Gary Chapman developed a theory that talks about five main love languages: acts of service, gifts, words of affirmation, physical touch, and quality time.
Acts of Service
This language shows love through doing something nice for someone else. Maybe that is taking out someone’s trash, cooking your friend a meal, or filling up your co-worker’s water bottle so that they do not have to.
The love language of gifts includes tangible tokens of love and appreciation. This can range from small surprises like picking a beautiful flower out of a garden and giving it to your mom, to buying your significant other that piece of jewelry they have been not-so-subtly hinting at for a long time.
Words of Affirmation
This language revolves around verbal communication. People who give or receive love through words of affirmation need to hear verbal praise, compliments, and/or expressions of care.
Those who give or receive love through this language need to feel physical touch. Kissing, hugging, holding hands, or being stroked on the arm all fall under this category.
The love language of quality time prioritizes dedicated, intentional time with someone else. This can happen through a phone call, over dinner, or a long car ride.
Whether in friendship, a romantic relationship, partnership at work, or familial relationship, every person gives and receives love differently. For example, I receive love through quality time but tend to give love through gifts, while my husband receives love through words of affirmation and gives love through acts of service.
The importance of a love language can differ based on the type of relationship we are in. For example, when receiving love in a friendship, physical touch is the lowest love language on my list; however, in my marriage, physical touch is in second place.
Knowing which love languages are important to you and the person you are trying to connect with is important because it strengthens both the quality of the relationship and communication. If you are a person who tends to show love through gifts but is trying to connect with someone who receives love through quality time, it doesn’t matter how many things you buy that person.
Let that sink in for a minute.
You will not be able to fully connect with someone unless you fulfill their love language’s need.
Will you feel offended? Probably. Will you be pushed out of your comfort zone? Yup. But in order to have someone completely receive your love, you have to fulfill their needs.
Relationships grow stronger when people take time to understand one another. By learning not only how we give and receive love, but also how someone else gives and receives love, we are able to strengthen the bonds we have with others.
If you are interested in learning more about your primary love language, you can take a free online quiz through the following link: 5lovelanguages.com/quizzes/
Thanks for reading!
Shaye Hatfield Berry