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The five love languages

Have you ever tried doing something special for your partner only for it to go down differently than you had hoped? Then you may not be speaking the same love language.

The theory of the five love languages was developed by American couple’s therapist Gary Chapman. Put simply, his theory says that all people long for different things in their relationships, both intimate and otherwise. You can use your knowledge of the love languages to better understand what you yourself want from a relationship and what your partner will want.

Love Language 1: Words of Affirmation

Woman with brown hair smiles while looking at a manIf this is your love language, you long for your partner to see you, to be present and interested in talking with you about your thoughts, feelings and needs. If your partner is mentally preoccupied with something else, then you may experience this as abandonment or rejection. Speakers of this language grow and thrive through praise, encouragement and sweet words of appreciation and affirmation.

Love Language 2: Quality Time

Two people sitting on a swing on a beach while the sun shinesPeople who speak this love language prioritise spending quality time in each other’s company. Perhaps you long for your partner to make more of an effort to spend time together with you, taking a stroll through the forest or going out on date nights to dinner and a movie. You feel rejected when your partner gives higher priority to arrangements with friends than with you. To feel loved, you need your partner to prove that what they love best is being together with you.

Love Language 3: Giving Gifts

A person hides some roses and a gift behind their back while a woman sits on a sofaIf you speak this love language, gifts are crucial for you to feel loved. Gifts are visible symbols of love and for some people, these kinds of tangible items mean more than they do for others. The gifts themselves can be big or small, cheap or expensive – what matters is that you receive solid proof that your partner has thought about you and gone to the effort to find something that brings you joy. If your partner rarely or never gives you gifts, then you will find yourself longing for affirmation of their love for you.

Love Language 4: Acts of Service

A woman stands in the kitchen and chops tomatoes on a chopping boardIn the fourth love language, it is acts of service that determine just how loved you feel by your partner. An act of service means doing something thoughtful, like preparing a loving meal for your partner to come home to after a long day or offering to carry the grocery bags for your partner when you are out doing the shopping. Acts of service show that you love one another and that you are willing to go the extra mile to make sure your partner feels valued and loved.

Love language 5: Physical Touch

A couple holding handsThe fifth and final love language is all about physical contact. This might be a kiss, a hug, a gentle touch while you’re doing the dishes, holding hands as you walk down the street, a sensuous massage or sex. If this is your language, you will feel most loved when physical touch forms a healthy part of your relationship. If your partner is restrained in that area, then you will pine for that everyday sense of intimacy, quite simply because you need physical contact to feel loved.