You know how there are things in the world that you instinctively know. For example, as a guy, knowing what urinal to use in a public bathroom or which form to use when dapping up a bro. Love languages, at least for me, was sort of like that knowledge I already knew, but when I saw it written out for me to read, everything sort of clicked. I now knew why certain things were better received by me and some I couldn’t have cared less for when they happened. I know you have probably briefly heard about love languages, but I’ll break them down and explain why it’s essential to know your love language and your partner’s as well.
There are five love languages in total that help us better understand how we like to receive love. Of course, not everyone is the same, so you might be trying to show your love and appreciation for someone. Still, it’s not getting across how you intended because your partner’s love language is something completely different than what you are doing.
Words of Affirmation
Sometimes it is nice to hear a compliment or the words “I love you.” But going even further than that, hearing the reasons behind the “I love you” or the compliment is the best feeling ever. Words of affirmation are all about encouraging and affirming your partner’s feelings with your own words. It doesn’t always have to be a super long handwritten letter. It can be something as simple as a small post-it note or text reminding them how much they mean to you.
Who doesn’t love a hug from the person you love? When it comes to physical touch, hugs, touches on the arm, and small gestures like it are key. Someone whose primary love language is physical touch is very touchy, as the name suggests. Unlike words of affirmation, physical touch is all nonverbal, so instead of a post-it note, kiss your partner or cuddle up with them on the couch and watch a movie.
Spending your free time with someone is a significant benefit to being in a relationship. Someone whose primary love language is quality time wants to spend time with you, phones put away, the tv is off, everything else is on pause. The key is to create moments in your day-to-day life for you and your partner to be alone. For example, go for a walk together or cook a fancy meal with each other. Just make it something where your attention can be spent undivided with your partner.
Acts of Service
Acts of service aren’t about doing things out of obligation. When someone’s love language is acts of service, they want to feel partnered with you. Saying things like “let me help you with that” is magic to their ears. It also doesn’t mean that you should shoulder all of the chores to show your love and appreciation, but making your partner breakfast in bed or fixing that one slightly, but still, usable cabinet drawer will go a long way in showing them that you love them.
Receiving gifts doesn’t make someone shallow or materialistic. Not everything has to be something extravagant or expensive. If your partner’s primary love language is receiving gifts, they want to know that they are known and thought of, and getting the right gift will show it. Maybe you bought them a chocolate bar at the grocery store because you saw it, and it reminded you of them. Feeling seen and known through gifts and small gestures can feel validating and affirming at times.
Why It Matters
Knowing your love languages is a part of knowing yourself. At least for me, it always comes down to communication and expectations. How can I expect my partner to show love to me that I can appreciate without communicating what kind of love I prefer? If your primary love language is Words of Affirmation and your partner never expresses anything to you, written or verbal, then you might be left feeling neglected.
The same goes for your partner. You might have different preferred love languages, so you can’t always express your love to them in a note if their love language is Acts of Service. Showing love and receiving it is crucial in a healthy and (obviously) loving relationship, so take the time to learn your and your partner’s language. (Here’s a link to a quiz to help you get started.)