What are the love languages?
We all give and receive love in 5 different ways: words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch. These are called ‘love languages’ – a concept created by Dr. Gary Chapman through his long-time work as a marriage counsellor.
1. Words of affirmation
When words of affirmation is your love language, words build you up. You thrive on spoken affection, praise, encouragement, and compliments. Harsh words and criticism can bother you for a long time.
2. Acts of Service
Anything that your partner does willingly to ease your workload is a sign of love to you. You feel cared for when your partner vacuums before you get to it or makes you breakfast as a surprise. On the other hand, broken promises or laziness can make you feel unimportant.
3. Receiving gifts
When you speak this love language, a thoughtful gift shows to you that you are special. In contrast, generic gifts and forgotten special events have the opposite effect. This love language isn’t necessarily materialistic – it could be as simple as receiving your favourite snack after a bad day.
4. Quality time
To you, nothing says you’re loved like undivided attention. When your partner is truly present (and not looking at their phone), it makes you feel important. Failure to actively listen or long periods without one-on-one time can make you feel unloved.
5. Physical touch
Holding hands, kisses, hugs, and other touches are your preferred way to show and receive love. Appropriate touches convey warmth and safety, while physical neglect can drive a wedge between you and your partner.