The Five Love Languages: How To Express And Receive Love

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5 love languages list

Understanding how to express and receive love is an integral part of any successful relationship, and it is on that note we will take an in-depth look at love languages. Amongst the numerous secrets that aid a relationship to be successful, you cannot eliminate love languages from that list.

What are love languages? What do they do in a romantic relationship? How should they be used in a romantic relationship? Can I and my partner have one or more love languages? And the list goes on and on. However, these questions aren’t strange.

When you search the internet, these are the most frequently asked questions about this topic. Other times, even in our little groups, we ask some of these questions to get more clarity on the subject, especially if we really want to please our partners and show them that we genuinely love them.

Having established the fact that it is not unusual to ask questions about love languages, let’s explore the five languages of love and some other vital things on this subject.


What Are Love Languages?

the five languages of love

The phrase “love languages” was first introduced to the world by author and pastor Gary Chapman in his book “The 5 Love Languages.” The book was first published in 1992 after noticing a pattern of challenges in the couples he counselled.

From his findings, he understood that those he had sessions with misunderstood each other’s needs in their marriages, which often led to the challenges they faced in their marriage. Gary Chapman’s 5 love languages solved a huge issue plaguing marriages.

What would your definition look like if you were asked to define love language? Love languages refer to the various ways in which people express, receive or experience love. In his book “The Five Love Languages,” Dr Gary Chapman explains the five primary love languages. They are words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch.

Each person typically has their preferred love language, and recognizing this can help build a firm relationship. Also, it can assist in enhancing communication for happier relationships.


How Do You Identify Your Love Language?

How many love languages are there? Before we go into how many love languages there are and discuss what they stand for, having briefly explained love languages, do you know your love language?

Better yet, do you know your partner’s love language if you are unsure about yours? Things we classify as unimportant are not in any way. As we progress, I will tell us why we need to know our love language and that of our partners.

Identifying your love language often involves reflecting on how you prefer to give and receive love. So, if I may ask, in what ways do you like to give or receive love?

For further clarity, pay attention to what makes you feel most loved and appreciated and how you naturally express love to others. You can also consider which gestures or actions from your spouse or loved ones resonate most with you.

If you are still unsure, we will provide more insight at the end of this article with our love language quiz. So, let’s explore the five types of love languages now.


1.  Quality Time

love languages

For people with this love language, they will feel loved more when you spend time with them. This is why it is vital to know the love language of the person you are dating.

Herein lies the problem of many couples. I have seen instances where one partner speaks their own love language to the other and expects that to drive home their point. Unfortunately, this will not make sense to them.

On the other hand, I have talked with people who didn’t have the slightest idea how their partners want to receive love. Sadly, for some people, when you recommend they take the love language test, you can almost tell how unwilling they are because of their silly excuses. Yet, they are puzzled by the failure of their relationship.

Knowing and understanding your partner and their love language is not optional when it comes to having a successful relationship. Success in any area of life does not happen by luck.

Or did you become successful in your career by luck? If it took intentionality and dedication, why do we think that relationships will magically become successful on their own?

We must be willing to learn and do those things that make our partners feel loved. Isn’t that what a relationship is all about? There are people who stopped learning about their spouse the moment they began dating. That’s strange and sad, but it is a reality that I have seen unfold countless times. Many couples stopped dating the moment they walked down the aisle.

Quality time as a love language emphasizes the importance of spending meaningful, undivided attention with your partner or loved ones. This also means being fully present and engaged during shared activities or conversations. It is mainly about telling your partner via your actions, not just words alone that you love and cherish them.

If you have noticed that your significant other feels more loved when you spend time with them, then that is their primary love language. So, distractions should be eliminated while at it so your partner can feel your presence since that is all they want from you.

Likewise, if you express love by devoting time and attention to those you care about, it is safe to say that that is your love language. So, create memorable experiences together, and make efforts to deepen your connection through shared moments.


2.  Acts Of Service

Among the 5 acts of love, some say they find this one very strange. Well, we are all entitled to our opinions, aren’t we? I can only imagine a Chinese man’s first meeting with an English man.

Both men probably considered the other person’s language funny and strange. But did the other person’s opinion change the fact that when a Chinese man speaks his language to his fellow compatriot, he won’t understand? Certainly not! So, in a nutshell, do not overlook the fundamental truth that people speak different love languages.

If your partner’s love language is acts of service, that doesn’t make them less of a person than others whose love language may be physical touch or quality time.

All you need to do is to learn more about this particular love language and use it to fill their love tank. However, being unwilling to learn your partner’s primary love language means setting yourself up for failure. And that means we won’t be effective communicators of love.

Intimacy isn’t a result of guesswork. Instead, it is a product of knowing each other’s desires and the willingness to do them. As simple as that might sound, this is one of the leading causes of relationship breakups.

Acts of service as a love language involve expressing love through helpful actions and gestures. Many would typically expect women to be more in this category, but I beg to differ. Many men have told me they feel more loved when their wives do things for them, especially those they never thought of.

Our society has trained men not to speak up. Men are taught not to show emotions because society has made it look like emotions are for women alone. Again, I beg to differ. As long as you are human, you are an emotional being.

So, my plea to men is to let their significant other know about their love languages. No human was designed to read minds, so if you feel more loved when your partner does things for you, open up and speak to them about it.

For instance, suppose acts of service are your primary love language; in that case, you will feel most loved and appreciated when your partner or others go out of their way to assist you with tasks or responsibilities, showing thoughtfulness and consideration through their actions.

Such people won’t feel most loved when their partner buys them a gift. Although, they will appreciate the thoughtfulness of getting them a gift. But for them to really feel loved, helping them with chores or some other responsibility will make them feel most loved. And this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give them a gift as often as possible.

Similarly, if you express love by doing things for your partner or loved ones to make their lives easier or more enjoyable, then it is safe to say that your love language is act of service.

For instance, such people receive or express love by cooking a meal, running errands, looking after the kids, or offering practical support.
So far, having briefly examined these two love languages, which resonates more with you?


3.  Receiving Gifts

dr chapman 5 love languages

Among the 5 love languages list, many people like this particular one, and I promise to tell you why. On the other hand, some other people dislike this love language. In their opinion, those who claim to have this as their love language use it to exploit others to get gifts for themselves.

Once, I had someone who told me that he felt his significant other was materialistic. I was puzzled and needed to know why he’d make such a statement about his spouse. After a bit of back and forth, he finally opened up, and to my greatest amazement, it was because her primary love language was receiving gifts.

So, he automatically assumed that she was materialistic. I humbly admit that ignorance is expensive to entertain and will cost you what knowledge should have saved you from.

Frequently, people with this as their primary love language are seen as materialistic. However, I won’t deny that there aren’t some gold diggers who have abused this particular love language for selfish reasons.

But beyond that, why deprive your spouse of how they want to be loved simply because some other person used it against you?

Another great misconception about this specific love language is that many think when getting a gift for their significant other, it must be an expensive one.

On the contrary, it mustn’t be a costly gift. But more often than not, this is what many people think – the gift must be expensive; otherwise, they won’t value it. Sometimes, I wonder how or where we get these ideologies.

Firstly, it must not be an expensive gift. Although, I am not saying that you shouldn’t get them an expensive one if you can. However, I am saying that such people with this as their primary love language are more concerned about the thought behind or attached to the gift than the gift itself.

This is how to tell the difference between a person whose love language is indeed receiving gifts from one who is just out to use you to acquire material things.

Secondly, when getting them a gift, try getting them what they love or have always wanted to have. This will further make them head over heels with you. However, if you are confused or do not know what to get them, my article, 52 Gift Ideas for Women, will help you make your choice.

Ultimately, people with this as their primary love language often feel deeply appreciated and loved when someone takes the time to choose or create something special for them.

In other words, they treasure the gift itself and the time and effort the gift-giver puts into selecting it. This is worth repeating: it is about the thought and effort behind the gift rather than its monetary value.

For instance, if your significant other decides to get you your favourite snack after a tough day, what will that tell you? In simplest terms, it means they care, love, and cherish you. Isn’t that what relationships should be like? Thanks to the power of understanding and using love languages. Lastly, do not forget to give your partner the gift of your presence.


4.  Physical Touch

Did you know that a fun fact about physical touch as a love language is that it releases oxytocin, often referred to as the “cuddle hormone,” which promotes feelings of trust, bonding, and relaxation? This is the best moment for most people, especially after a rough day.

One of the most common misconceptions about this love language is that many people feel it must be sensual. On the contrary, that is just a minute fraction of what this stands for. On the other hand, this has greatly made those with this love language refrain from making it known to others. I feel the world needs to do better.

In reality, for those who speak this love language, physical touch encompasses a wide range of non-sensual gestures, such as hugs, hand-holding, and even simple touches on the arm or shoulder, conveying care, affection, and emotional closeness.

It is sad to know that many people in our world have no clue what this really means for those with this love language. Once, one husband told me how he felt his wife would love to make love multiple times daily.

His reason was that she said her primary love language was physical touch. Interestingly, to his greatest surprise, she only wanted things centred on hugs, cuddling and the like. All she wanted was for him to see her in the way she wanted to be seen. If I understood one thing from that chat with the man, it was to communicate more and be slow to jump to conclusions before asking.

To express and receive love via this love language, couples are advised to express their affection by initiating regular contact with their spouse through hugs, gentle touches, or kisses. Also, being attentive to your spouse’s needs shouldn’t be left out.

Additionally, it is exceptionally essential for partners to pay attention to cues and responses to physical touch to understand their partner’s preferences and comfort levels. Of what use is pleasure if it brings pain?

As trivial as this might be, communication is essential. We must not fail to talk about our need for physical affection because expecting your partner to read your mind automatically is like waiting for a ship at an airport.

Also, I must stress the need for us to take time to create intimate moments together, such as cuddling on the sofa after a long day or while watching a movie. Other times, a little bit of PDA won’t be such a bad idea.

In summary, aside from making love, which a lot of married folks love, a person with physical touch as their primary love language feels loved through physical affection. In contrast, while apt physical touches convey safety and warmth, physical neglect can drive a wedge between you and your spouse.


5.  Words Of Affirmation

gary chapman 5 love languages

Lastly on the love languages list are words of affirmation. Words are powerful. As such, they should be used wisely. When your love language is words of affirmation, verbal affection, praise, compliments, and encouragement are what build you up. Such persons are highly sensitive to words. Criticism and harsh words can affect them negatively for an extended period.

For such people, making them happy won’t cost much. All you need to do is have a way with words, and you will make them feel like they are on top of the world. You can make their day by randomly leaving them cute text messages, love notes or pointing out what they do well.

Most importantly, ensure that you are genuine because if they find out you were never into it in the first place, you may lose them. What’s worse than losing your partner’s trust?


Are There Other Love Languages?

Dr Chapman’s framework of the five love languages remains unchanged. However, it is not the only way to express and receive love. Other ideas like emotional security and shared experiences have been proposed as additions to the framework. Interestingly, the more we understand ourselves and what fulfils our relationship needs, the more ways we can help our spouse love us in the way we desire and vice versa.

So if among the 5 kinds of love languages, none resonates with your spouse, they are not weird. It only means they prefer to be loved differently. So that means you would have to do some research.

Remember, I said I would provide more insight at the end of this article with our love language quiz. Well, here are is it!

Have you ever wondered what makes you feel loved in a relationship? Is it when your partner says, “I love you,” or they praise you for something you have done well? Maybe it is when they surprise you with fantastic gifts, or better yet, plan a trip for just both of you or run errands for you. Perhaps holding your hand while you walk could also make you feel loved.

These questions can help you identify your primary love language. You can also reflect on what you ask for in your romantic relationship and how you express love to your partner.

Lest I forget, it is essential to note that your spouse’s love language may not be the same as yours. This can sometimes lead to misunderstandings, but if spouses willingly learn each other’s love language, things will fall in pleasant places for them.

If you are curious about your love language, you can take our fast and free quiz to learn more.


Quiz To Identify Your Love Language

the love 5 languages

1.  What’s your idea of a perfect date?

a.  Going out dancing.b. My partner cooks my best meal for dinner.
c.  Somewhere quiet enough for us to have a profound chat.
d.  I love a good Netflix and chill.
e.  My partner surprises me with tickets to my favourite musician.

2.  What is your favourite part of the holiday season?

a.  Getting extra time off to spend with my partner.
b.  My partner going the extra mile to make sure my holidays are fantastic.
c.  Getting cosy with that special someone in front of the fireplace.
d.  Getting thoughtful gifts that show well my partner knows me.
e.  Hearing the love and appreciation my partner has for me.

3.  What kind of surprise would show that your partner really gets you?

a.  Your partner takes the afternoon off work to spend time with you.
b.  They’ve left little love notes scattered around the house.
c.  They surprise you with a gift they found on their way from work.
d.  Your spouse throws you a surprise birthday party.
e.  Your partner turns on your wedding song and starts dancing with you.

4.  Which of these are you most likely to tell your partner you need more of?

a.  Deep conversations.
b.  Attention.
c.  Help around the house.
d.  Physical intimacy.
e.  Thoughtful surprises.

5.  Which of these is most likely to be on your dating profile?

a.  “If I am not your priority, don’t waste my time.”
b.  “My toxic trait is falling for a sweet talker.”
c.  “You can talk the talk, but can you walk the walk?”
d.  “power PDA enthusiast.”
e.  “It is either Prada or Nada.”

6.  If you’re working on a home improvement project, what is the best way for your partner to help out?

a.  A surprise hug from behind and a kiss on the cheek does the trick.
b.  Picking up the exact tools I need from the hardware store.
c.  Encouragement while I am working, and it wouldn’t hurt to hear how great a job I did after it was done.
d.  I love it when they are willing to get their hands dirty with me.
e.  I am happy just to have them hanging out where I’m working.

7.  What’s your ideal trip when it is time for a romantic getaway?

a.  I love a trip where we get to try new things together.
b.  Wherever it is, I want my spouse to make sure I am getting pampered.
c.  If my partner does the planning, I am happy to go anywhere.
d.  We need a private villa, if you know what I mean.
e.  Somewhere, we can reminisce about all the places we’ve been.

8.  What’s your favourite thing about being in a relationship?

a.  Having someone to share my life with.
b.  Having someone tell me how muh they love and care about me.
c.  Having someone to cuddle with before bed.
d.  Having someone who can help share my burdens, and vice versa.
e.  Having someone who knows how to surprise me when I need it the most.

9.  Which of these songs best describes you?

a.  “Stay with me” – Sam Smith
b.  “24 karat magic” – Bruno Mars
c.  “What have you done for me lately?” – Janet Jackson
d.  “I wanna hold your hand” – The Beatles
e.  “Say don’t go” – Taylor Swift

10.  When you’ve had a tough day at work, what can your spouse do to cheer you up?

a.  They’d be my hero if they took care of dinner
b.  Bring me flowers or my favourite dessert.
c.  Remind me how great a job I am doing and that they support me.
d.  Find something for us to do together that will take my mind off things.
e.  A nice back rub usually does the trick.

I hope this article on love languages was worth your time. Many more interesting ones like this await you, and to get them, click here. Other fantastic content can be found on our social media platforms. Click here to get them, and do not forget to hit the follow button. Thank you for reading, and always remember that sharing is caring.

what are the five love languages

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Author: Relationship And Life

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