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Q&A: What Are The Five “Love Languages” – And What Do They Mean?

If you’ve spent much time in communities discussing relationships, friendships or even parenting, you may have heard people discussing something called a ‘love language.’

The idea of them was popularized by a very famous book called ‘The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts’, and as the name implies, there are five of them in total. Essentially, they are the five different ways that people feel that they are loved by others. While all of them will make you feel loved in some way, the author believes that each one of us has a ‘dominant’ love language that reigns above all others.

So, if you can figure out what somebody’s dominant love language is, you unlock the key to their heart – helping them feel loved by you, and building the connection between the two of you to be stronger than ever.

In this article, I’ll break down a brief overview of the five different love languages, so you can perhaps identify which one sounds like you – and which one might be the dominant love language in other people as well!

Note: These Are Not Fixed!

One thing I’d like to point out of course is that love languages are not completely ‘fixed.’ People feel love in plenty of different ways, and just because one love language may be more dominant in a person’s life right now, it doesn’t mean that it will be that way forever.

Life experiences, current struggles, mood, your relationship with that person – these can all cause the way they feel love to morph over time.

Anyhow, let’s start out with the first love language, physical touch.

The Five Love Languages

1. Physical Touch

If physical touch is someone’s love language, they feel their most loved when they are physically touching their partners, or whoever they’re trying to connect with. Touch plays an important part in bonding, but it’s particularly important for those who have physical touch as their primary love language.

They may find sex to be a particularly important part of building intimacy, and may have a much greater need for things like holding each other or cuddling. In fact, a perfect date night might just be snuggling up on the couch and watching a movie while the two of you hold each other.

Of course, it’s just as important to focus on little touches as well. Grabbing their hand while you walk with them. Brushing their shoulder when you approach them. Playing with their hair. Kissing their cheek. These actions go a long way towards helping them feel loved.

2. Acts Of Service

Next up – and these are in no particular order by the way, we have acts of service.

People with ‘acts of service’ as their love language feel particularly loved when people go out of their way to help them, or to make their lives easier. If someone is an avid believer that actions speak louder than words, acts of service are a great way to show them that you care about them.

This can be as intimate as bringing them soup and taking care of them while they’re sick, to small tasks like loading the dishwasher or making a call on their behalf.

3. Quality Time

The third love language is quality time spent together. And it really is about quality – not just quantity.

People want time focused on them, making memories together and having shared experiences that are not only positive, but memorable.

Watching TV and chatting while you browse social media on your phone isn’t quality time. Watching something you’re both interested in, being fully invested in it, and sharing your thoughts and ideas afterwards may be, however.

People with quality time as their love language want your full, undivided attention either towards them, or towards your shared experience. They want to know that you’re not only spending time with them, but you actually care and enjoy it as well. This means eye contact, active listening, and again – no cell phone.

4. Gifts

Gifts is a pretty straightforward love language.

Now when you hear this, it might seem like someone with ‘gifts’ as their primary love language is greedy, materialistic, or otherwise just wants things from you. But this couldn’t be further from the truth.

In fact, if ‘gifts’ are your primary love language, you probably care far more about the symbolic gesture or the meaning behind the item, rather than the monetary value of the item itself. Something that reminds you of an experience you two had together, or a cheap little trinket that represents an inside joke will probably mean far more than jewelry or expensive clothing, for example.

These gifts will be kept and treasured forever, and the length you went to get it – and the time you spent thinking about it, shows that person that you really care.

5. Words Of Affirmation

The final love language is words of affirmation.

People with this love language feel particularly loved when you go out of their way to praise or compliment them. When you take notice of the good things they do, and you acknowledge them for it. When you say things just to make them feel good, even when there wasn’t anything that called for it.

They love verbal encouragement, hearing you directly tell them that you love them, and receiving cute little messages from you throughout the day.

They love feeling understood, appreciated, and recognized for the positive things they do, or the positive traits they exhibit.

Something as simple as “you look good in that dress” or “I’m really proud of you for doing that hard thing” go a really long way.

Closing Thoughts

Maybe one of these love languages stood out to you – or maybe it didn’t. This of course is just a brief overview, and going through the book in its entirety can really help you not only understand the love languages on a deeper level, but gain an intuitive sense of the love langauges of other people.

Remember that most people need all of these, to some degree. Just because someone’s love language is acts of service doesn’t mean they don’t also need physical touch as well. Just like gifts don’t make up for quality time with someone, either. It’s all a spectrum, and it can change over time.

I hope that this article has helped, and if you’d like to support the blog, please consider joining my Patreon. Even the smallest tier goes a long way towards helping me provide free education to everyone.

Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day!

~ Lexi


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