What’s A Love Language? 6 Things You Didn't Know About Your Love Language
If on more than one occasion, you've found yourself putting off work to find what kind of pizza topping your ex is, you've probably already taken your "Love Language Indicator." Of course, if you're not one for personality quizzes, or have never heard of Dr. Gary Chapman, you may be wondering" What's a love language? And is Postmates an option? (Spoiler: Getting presents is!)
"Love languages where popularized in 1995 by Gary Chapman, a counselor who identified certain themes in how clients where reaching to their partner's behaviors and their assessment of whether or not their needs where being met," Shula Melamed, MA, MPH, and well-being coach, tells Elite Daily. "He came up with five: Receiving gifts, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service (devotion) and physical touch."
If you haven't yet found yours, there are dozens of free quizzes on the web to check out. And though love languages are often discussed in a romantic sense, it's important to remember Dr. Chapman developed this framework for all sorts of interpersonal connection including family, friends, and coworker relationships.
If you've found your love language but still have some questions, here are six things you should know about love languages.
1. You Probably Have More Than One
Though the title is singular, it may be more accurate to think of the purpose of quiz as finding you love languages.
"According to Chapman, individuals have a primary and a secondary love language," Melamed says. Licensed marriage and family therapist Nicole Richardson agrees that most people will have two or even three love languages. "When you take the quiz, most people find that they have at least two categories that are significantly higher than the other three. It is very common to have two. Which is great because that just gives your partner more opportunities to be caring towards you."
Having more than one way to show and feel love can be great in connecting with others, romantically or otherwise.
2. You Love Language(s) Can Change Over Time
Though you may love someone for your whole life, the ways in which you demonstrate and receive your love aren't always set in stone. "Just like anything else about a person, their needs can and often do change over time as their life and circumstances change," Richardson says. "They are not fixed, they can and do change over time."
If you used to be more drawn to presents and now feel yourself wanting more quality time, or if you never really got into affirmations but are starting to feel curious them — it's natural to notice changes in your love languages.
3. Partners Often Don't Have The Same One(s)
If you and your boo seem to really get each other, it may be surprising to learn that you may have different love languages. Of course, if you love your partner but sometimes feel like you're not totally connecting — it may be super helpful to better understand their love language. Melamed attests it's incredibly common for couples to have different ways they demonstrate and receive their love.
"The thing that people most misunderstand about love languages is that their partners are the same as their own — a lot of times there are not," Melamed says. "The thing that is so clever about the love language paradigm is that it acknowledges that loving is an active process not just a state you are in."
You and your partner(s) having different love languages doesn't mean a lack of compatibility, but rather, provides insight on how to best care for each other. Knowing the nuanced differences in the ways you and your partner communicate can help you both feel loved.
4. They Can Help Us Talk About Our Needs
Knowing the ways we feel the most loved can help us when discussing our needs with our partners. According to Richardson, love languages can provide a positive angel when talking to our partners about needs of ours that aren't getting met.
"I think it can be a constructive way to start talking about what you need that you are not getting. Most couples focus on what they are not getting in their relationship, instead of what they need," Richardson says. "Starting a conversation with something like, 'I feel so loved and special when you....' can be so much better than, 'You never.... '"
Stating when you feel loved and special can be a positive reinforcement of your needs for your partner that still shows them appreciation. If your language is receiving gifts or hearing positive affirmations, you may feel a little uncomfortable directly saying "Buy me things and compliment me more." Of course, any and all love language is valid and beautiful and it's OK to as for what you want. Still, reframing the sentence as, "I feel so strong and validated when you compliment me" or "Getting gifts makes me feel incredibly loved" may make it easier for you to advocate for your needs.
5. They Can Be Segues For Check-Ins
Another positive aspect of love language is their ability to bring up how you and your partner are feeling in the relationship. It can be incredibly difficult to address you needs with a partner, especially in a way that doesn't make them feel put on the spot. Using love languages can be a good measure of what you're both feeling you need more of.
"You can bring it up as a fun way to check on your partner and talk about what you both need and want to see more of in the relationship," Richardson says.
If you take the quiz together, or just share your results, you may gain some insight into the ways your partner shows you they love you, and the ways that you can better demonstrate your love. If you're a total positive affirmations person and you find your boo is more acts of service, it may be helpful to know that something like doing the dishes for them could communicate your love more than words ever could.
6. They May Help You Remember What You Deserve
Of course no matter who, what, when, or where, you deserve to be loved and feel supported in your relationship, in any language. Melamed attests that the love language quiz can be helpful for fine-tuning your own desires and ensuring that you're getting all you deserve from love.
"It is important to understand what you desire in relationships and a partner — It is important to understand what it feels like and looks like be honored, cherished and loved," Melamed says. "If using the framework of the Five Love Languages gives you a way of understanding that and explaining that to your partner(s) that is fantastic!"
The five basic behaviors mentioned can help you in fortifying your relationships, by reminding you what you want and how you expect to be treated by someone that loves you.
Of course, there are endless ways to show and receive love and the Love Language Indicator, like any other personality quiz isn't a steadfast dictation of your life or your love. Quiz or no quiz, checking in with yourself, being unapologetic about your wants and needs, and sharing your love for others can come in any language at all.