Everyone experiences love differently, but the key to building and bettering a relationship is to understand how best to show affection.
The concept of love languages was first discussed by Gary Chapman, Ph.D, in 1995, and was borne out of his experiences as a relationship counsellor. These five ‘languages’ outline different ways of expressing and receiving love and include:
- Words of Affirmation: compliments that are shared to build up those around you – the sentiment of the statement is just as important as the words being said.
- Quality Time: undivided time together without the distractions of everyday life – feeling like the person you are with is the most important thing in that moment.
- Receiving Gifts: the importance of small and meaningful presents as a way of showing affection – the value is placed on the thought process behind the item rather than the price tag.
- Acts of Service: focusing on actions rather than words, this sees value placed on actions – both big and small.
- Physical Touch: reinforced closeness through the act of being intimate – this can be anything from hugs to holding hands or something spicier.
These ‘languages’ are not just applicable to romantic endeavours but to all valued relationships. Learning about your own love languages and those of people around you, can really make a difference in how you approach a multitude of situations.
Understanding how those you love can best feel valued and most seen will help with communication and deepen your connection.
One of my main languages is acts of service. This manifests itself in me wanting to do things for those I care about and feeling loved when small tasks are completed on my behalf. My flatmate will always take the bins out as she knows it is a job I don’t enjoy.
Learn more about your love languages and what they mean here.