What Are The 5 Love Languages? Knowing Yours Can Help You Be A Better Partner

By
Share
Ad failed to load

Love. What a loaded word we use to describe about a million different things. It's something that can felt from miles away and meaningfully expressed in the most mundane gestures. But if you've ever been left confused as to why you or your bae aren't feeling the love, even though you know you both really care about each other, it could be because you're simply not speaking each other's language — your love language. There are five love languages, to be exact. The five love languages were first discussed by Dr. Gary Chapman in his New York Times bestseller, The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate.

In his book, Dr. Chapman reflected on over 30 years of couples counseling, which led him to believe that pretty much all of the ways we express love for the people we care about can be grouped into five main categories: words of affirmation, quality time, acts of service, receiving gifts, and physical touch. Although they all might sound appealing in different ways, according to Chapman, of these five different love languages, most people value one or two of them more than the rest.

This concept may very well explain many of the less-than-perfect situations couples find themselves in at one point or another. Maybe your partner tells you they love you every day and gives you extravagant gifts from time to time, but they work crazy hours, meaning you don't get to spend much quality time that you crave together and aren't having as much sex or physical contact as you'd like. Despite their efforts, you're left not really feeling the love, and they're left feeling confused as to why their gestures are going unappreciated. This is a classic case of a couple who may simply be speaking different love languages. The good news is, with a bit more observation and communication, there's no reason you both can't make simple adjustments that will leave both your love tanks filled to the brim.

Ad failed to load

So here's a little bit more about each love language. As you read through each one, investigate which one(s) align most closely with what your partner would respond to. Once you know, you'll be better able to tailor how you show your partner love to the language they speak.

1. Words Of Affirmation

Ad failed to load

For some of us, there's nothing that gets us going like hearing our partner verbally express their feelings of love and adoration. If you or your partner's love language revolves around the spoken word, then it'll be clear that giving them compliments and telling them you love them goes a long way. On the flip side, people like this may be particularly sensitive to insults or criticism. So when communicating with them, it's important to always be aware of what you say and how you say it.

2. Quality Time

Ad failed to load

Baes who value quality time above all else might not be so taken with verbal affirmation and are likely more concerned with ensuring you both have time alone together. With people who speak this love language, it may be necessary for them to feel like they are getting plenty of your attention, so be sure to block of plenty of date nights and weekends spent together to ensure they're feeling the love. Rescheduling dates or constantly being glued to your phone might leave this type of lover feeling under appreciated.

3. Acts Of Service

Ad failed to load

These lovers are the ultimate believers in the ol' saying "actions speak louder than words." When it comes down to it, those who love acts of service love when their partners lend a helping hand whenever possible or do something kind for them. This might mean bringing lunch to their office on your day off or running errands for them when they're drowning in work. They probably won't be feeling the love with partners who don't stick to their commitments or whose thoughtlessness results in more work and/or stress for them.

4. Receiving Gifts

Ad failed to load

I mean, who doesn't love a bae who knows how to treat them? Personally, I've made a point of letting every guy I've ever dated know that if they want to be my forever boo, at some point in our relationship, I expect to open a beautifully wrapped box with a puppy inside.

Although those who love receiving gifts may have a bad rap for being materialistic. But according to Chapman, this isn't always the case. Some people's experience of love is more intertwined with symbolism, meaning that receiving a physical token of their bae's love leaves a lasting impression.

5. Physical Touch

Ad failed to load

Last, but not least, we have the cuddle monsters. These lovers simply can't get enough of that physical TLC — and this doesn't necessarily mean just sex. Kisses, hand holding, you name it. For some, physical contact with their loved one reigns supreme. Any misuse of physicality or hostile body language is likely to leave this type of lover feeling both rejected and unloved.

At the end of the day, the best way to figure out which combination of love languages you or your partner most identify with is to observe how they (or you) naturally give love. People who value quality time are typically those who aren't afraid to plan romantic dates and would appreciate if you took the reigns occasionally as well. Thoughtful and frequent gift givers are likely to enjoy receiving meaningful gifts as well. You get the idea. In the end, if you're still not sure, it never hurts to simply ask. Asking someone how they want to be loved might not feel like the most intuitive or romantic thing to do, but chances are, they'll be super appreciative of your effort to be the best partner to them you can be.

Ad failed to load

Must Reads

3 Important Red Flags To Watch Out For When You're Dating Someone Older Than You

My first serious relationship was with someone almost ten years my senior. We got together during my first semester of college (after meeting through mutual friends) and I'd be lying if I said our breakup didn't have anything to do with our significa…
By Sydnee Lyons

These "Millennial Cruises" Will Make Your Next Friend Group Vacation So Lit

If you're a millennial right now, consider yourself lucky. If you're a millennial with the travel bug, consider yourself luckier. I know, you might be thinking, "But... money!" Trust me, I get it. Plane tickets and hotels can get expensive as you cou…
By Amanda Fama

5 Trends From The '90s Are Making A Serious Comeback, So Somebody Page Cher Horowitz

I was born in the '90s and my childhood was one Caboodles train case packed with scrunchies and butterfly clips after another. If you could believe it, early '90s fashion is already considered vintage (I officially feel old AF) and according to sprin…
By Stephanie Montes

5 Social Things You Can Do To Feel Less Lonely If You’re Single

Being single and being lonely don’t have to go hand-in-hand. Just because you don’t have a significant other, doesn’t mean you aren’t surrounded by wonderful people who love and care about you. But once in a while (especially if you’ve been single fo…
By Veronica Lopez

6 Subtle Red Flags That Could Mean You’re Sleeping Way Too Much

Have you ever woken up after an unusually long night of sleep and felt, well, kind of awful? Whether you roll out of bed feeling super dehydrated, nursing a throbbing a headache, or you simply feel stiff as a board, there are reasons why your body mi…
By Annakeara Stinson

These 6 Workouts Can Be Done Right On Your Couch, & Yes, They Do Count As Exercise

Ever have that feeling when you're watching the Olympics like you should be working out, or at least stretching, but in reality you're just laying around eating chips? Yeah, me neither. But if you do ever feel that pull to work out when you're just l…
By Annakeara Stinson

10 Things You Should Say To Your Partner Every Day To Keep The Love Alive

When it coms to love, falling into it is a lot easier than maintaining it. There’s a reason, after all, that it's called "falling" in love, because it's mostly out of your control — the heart just takes over. Because those emotions come so easily and…
By Rachel Shatto

Science Says These 8 Foods Can Help You Live Longer, So Eat Up

If you're looking to live forever, or at least for an appropriately long amount of time, then the best way to get started on your journey toward immortality is to think about what you're putting into your body for fuel. Think of your diet as the batt…
By Caroline Burke

I Live In London & When Guys Find Out I'm American, They Only See Me As A Fling

I first entered the world of dating apps during a semester abroad in London, and I had zero idea what I was getting myself into. I was 21, had only ever dated boys I'd met through work, school, or mutual friends, and my appreciation for romantic come…
By Genevieve Wheeler

Here's Exactly How You'll Fall In Love, Based On Your Astrological Sign

One of my favorite things about learning about my zodiac sign and others' is learning patterns about my behavior that I can acknowledge and use to my advantage. As a Scorpio sun sign, I know I'm typically described as mysterious, drawn to loyal peopl…
By Elana Rubin

These 8 Red Flags Might Mean You're Pushing Yourself Too Hard In Your Workouts

If you live by the motto "no pain, no gain," or you frequently exclaim that your HIIT circuits "hurt so good," you're probably the type of person who challenges yourself to the max during your workouts. And while this isn't necessarily a bad thing, i…
By Georgina Berbari

These "Awkward" Proposal Stories Show There's No One Perfect Way To Get Engaged

There are a few adjectives people use to describe proposal stories that tend to be a bit more common than the rest. You know what I mean. How many times have you heard someone describe their marriage proposal as "magical" or "romantic" or — my person…
By Candice Jalili

This $20 Toy Simulates Pimple Popping, So You Can Save Your Face (But Still Lose Your Dignity)

As a self-proclaimed popaholic, I am not ashamed to admit that I love watching pimple popping and blackhead extraction videos. Call me gross, but I find it immensely therapeutic and satisfying. To all of my fellow weirdos, we’ve been blessed with a n…
By Ariana Marsh

Meghan Markle Uses This $13 Natural Wonder To Grow Her Eyebrows Back & You Can Too

Meghan Markle is the world's new go-to celebrity for all things fashion and beauty — she's marrying a prince after all, so she must have some tricks up her sleeve. Meghan Markle's beauty routine is just as intricate as mine, because that's how real s…
By Alison Turka

7 Foolproof Things To Do Every Day If You're Tired Of Being Lazy AF

Being lazy can be oh-so-lovely. Until you start letting life pass you by, and not living to your full potential, then suddenly, it's not so good anymore. Don't get me wrong, I love my weekends when I can stay snuggled up in bed just a bit longer. Hit…
By Marisa Casciano

This Is How Long Most People Wait To Say "I Love You," Science Says

If I had to choose one word to describe saying "I love you" to your partner for the first time, I'd have to go with... hmm, exciting? Nope. Thrilling? Hardly. Terrifying? YES. Exactly. Saying "I love you" for the first time is terrifying. What makes …
By Candice Jalili

6 Reasons To Travel Abroad With Your Boyfriend Or Girlfriend In Your 20s

Traveling can be many things: hectic, expensive, and definitely stressful. But with the right people or person beside you, all those troubles kind of just melt away. That's why there are some solid reasons to travel abroad with your boyfriend or girl…
By Alani Vargas