A comprehensive guide to the love languages

Charlotte Airey explains the different types of love languages and what it means for your relationships.

Charlotte Airey
13th December 2020
Love languages and how they can improve communication in relationships only came onto my radar recently and since learning about them and how they work, mine and my friends relationships have improved after doing the quiz and having productive conversations with our partners.

The love languages work in the premise that you value a particular aspect of a relationship more than others, and if your partner does the actions that displays the love language that you align with, you will feel more secure in the relationship, as well as happier and valued. The five love languages are: Acts of service, words of affirmation, quality time, physical touch and receiving gifts. 

Something that I have also found out which is interesting, is that once you find out your love language, you’ll find that the one that you prefer is what you do to your partner! It therefore explains why you may get upset if they don’t react in the way you want (it’s probably because it’s not theirs!) 

Acts of Service

The ‘acts of service’ love language is all about what someone DOES. This could be something dramatic and completely spontaneous, or something minor, like for example offering to wash up after dinner, or making them dinner. If your love language is acts of service, you basically feel loved by your partner doing things for you. A good way to communicate this is using phrases like “I’ll help” etc. This is a good way for them to know you care. Something to avoid, is putting other peoples needs before your partners, as that would have the opposite effect and make them feel unloved.

Words of Affirmation

The ‘words of affirmation’ love language is about words. It’s about someone valuing the words you say to them, so someone that appreciates encouraging words, affirming them, frequently saying ‘I Love You’, appreciating them and listening to them. A way to make them feel loved and appreciated would be doing something like sending an unexpected text to them, or a card etc, this would help as it lets them know that you are thinking of them, and by outwardly displaying this – they feel most loved. If your s/o’s love language is words of affirmation, then not appreciating effort they are making, or not reminding them by saying odd things has the potentiality to upset them or make them feel unvalidated. 

Physical touch

The next love language is ‘physical touch’. This is when someone feels most loved by non-verbal communication and touch. The best way to make your s/o feel appreciated if this is their love language is to be close with them, with examples such as touching them often in public to show that you are there and supporting them – like a leg squeeze or putting your arm around them or even offering to give them massages etc. Something to avoid if your partner has this love language is physical neglect and not showing physical attention to your parter as this would mean they are more likely to feel alone.

Receiving gifts

The ‘receiving gifts’ love language can sometimes be seen as materialistic, but rather than initially seeing gifts and assuming that it is about spending money, it is about giving things that have thought behind them. It doesn’t always have to be huge gestures and a large amount of $$$, it could be simple as making them a Spotify playlist and sending it them or getting them something from the shop just because you thought of them. How to show this and what to do if your s/o has this love language is being thoughtful and making your spouse a priority which you can do by not only giving thoughtful gifts, but by expressing gratitude for one when your s/o gives you one. Something that is not helpful if your partners love language is receiving gifts is missing special occasions and forgetting important milestones and also unenthusiastic gift giving is a no.

Quality Time

The ‘quality time’ love language is about un-interruption. It is about focusing on your partner and giving them focused one on one time and conversations. If your s/o has this love language, then they value you putting your time and effort into them. Therefore, this is why you should consider taking actions such as putting your phone on silent when with them and creating individual moments like small things and dates, so they feel appreciated. Something that should definitely be avoided is focusing on other people when you’re together, like phoning someone else, and spending long periods apart would also most likely be detrimental. 

Featured Image: Andrew Seaman (unsplash)

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AUTHOR: Charlotte Airey
Politics Student @ NCL Uni

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