Understanding the 5 Love Languages
I wish he would just bring me flowers once in a while.
–Does he know how much you would like that, or what your favorite kind of flowers are?
No, but it should be obvious–who doesn’t want flowers? And anyway, I don’t want to tell him to do it, that ruins it!
If you haven’t said or heard some version of that last line, you won’t get much out of this post. You might just want to check this out instead.
If you’re still reading, I imagine you can completely relate to wanting your partner or the person you’re dating to read your mind.
The ‘bring me flowers without me asking’ is the classic version of a communication issue that most, if not all, couples encounter:
They speak different love languages.
Yep, love languages are a thing (there are 5 of them) and understanding what your primary love language is can be as helpful as the name is cheesy.
The best part of discovering your love language style? The more you understand the different ways people show love, the more likely you are to notice those gestures and feel loved. When you start to give and receive love in a way that’s more personalized, it engenders an even deeper connection between you and your boo.
The second best part is obviously that there’s a quiz involved.
The third best part is that you can parlay this knowledge into all your relationships–your family, your employees, your friends, your babysitter–it applies to everyone.
Before you take the quiz to figure out what your love language is, here’s a brief run down of all 5:
#1. WORDS OF AFIRMATION: If this is your primary love language, you like to hear a lot of acknowledgement. Hearing statements like these would probably make you really happy: You seem especially relaxed and happy today–you’re so easy to spend time with. / I appreciated the way you de-escalated the tension in that meeting, we’re lucky to have you on the team. / What’s in this soup you’ve made? It tastes fantastic!
#2: GIFTS: This isn’t about being materialistic at all. It’s about receiving something tangible that reminds you that your partner thinks of you when you’re not with them, wants you to be happy, and is ready to give. If your love language is gifts, there’s nothing you love more than giving well thought out ‘just because’ gifts and spoiling those you love on special occasions. On the flip side, when you don’t receive what you consider to be a quality gift, it can feel as though your partner doesn’t think of you as much as you think of them, or that they’re not interested in celebrating how special you are.
#3. ACTS OF SERVICE: If this is your love language, you are over the moon when your partner has called your grandma to check in on her or made an early morning Starbucks run for you, knowing you have a big day ahead. When you get home from a stressful work trip and that one spot in the apartment that’s always cluttered has been de-cluttered, you feel really cared for. And don’t even get me started on what happens when your partner knows you’ve had a long day and walks your dogs for you. (Am I making it too obvious that this is my love language?)
#4: PHYSICAL TOUCH: Most people think of sex with this category (and it’s definitely not excluded), but physical touch has so much more to do with regular, everyday gestures of affection. It’s a foot massage while you’re watching tv, having your back gently scratched before you fall asleep or when you’re driving and your partner reaches over to rub the back of your neck, that kind of thing. If physical touch is your language, it is so soothing, so warm and so assuring to be touched. If your partners doing all of the above, you are definitely feeling capital L Loved.
#5: QUALITY TIME: If your partner’s primary love language is quality time, they feel completely adored when they have your undivided attention. A three hour dinner while you’re intermittently looking at your phone means nothing in comparison to 15 minutes of eye-contact, highly engaged, ‘no distraction’ time together. Quality time can also mean just physically being in the room with someone, no talking or eye contact needed. If your partner likes quality time, they’ll feel so relaxed and content that you’re both working on your respective projects in the same room, even if you never say a word to each other.
The thing to remember is that we all typically give love in the same way we like to receive it, and this is where things get messy. Give your partner what they want, not just what you would like to get. When you recognize that your partner is demonstrating their love language for you, try and appreciate the meaning imbued in their gestures, presence, touch, words, or special gifts. The more you notice, the more you appreciate, and the more you’ll naturally be inspired to give and receive all different types of love yourself. Quadruple win.
Know anyone who likes taking 5 minute relationship quizzes? Send them this post!