Understanding Love Languages
Five Ways to Feel and Give Love

Understanding your own love language can be just as important as learning those of the people closest to you. Whether that be your kids, parents, significant other or friend, learning to love people in ways that truly make them feel loved is so important in cultivating a lasting, loving relationship. 

So, what even is a love language? A love language is a way to express and experience love. There are five categories: physical touch, words of affirmation, gift giving/receiving, quality time and acts of service. 

1. Physical Touch 

Do you enjoy hugs, cuddling, kissing or holding hands? Do those things make you feel more connected to others? Perhaps physical touch is your love language.

If someone in your life has this love language, consider making it a point to give long, meaningful hugs as a way to express your love for them. This can be hard if your personal love language is not physical touch, but making an effort to be more physical with your loved one can make them feel more loved by you. 

2. Words of Affirmation

Does hearing “I love you” or “I appreciate you” from your loved one fill your love meter? Do you hold onto handwritten notes and cards because you like to reread those special words from your loved one? If your love language is words of affirmation, you feel extra connected to your loved one when hearing verbal or written words of affection. 

Making an effort to verbalize words of affirmation to your loved one can make them feel more connected and appreciated by you. If you have a difficult time verbalizing right away, set a goal to let your loved one know you appreciate them by saying something as simple as, “You’re so good at checking in on me when I am feeling sad. I appreciate you so much.” 

3. Gift Giving/Receiving

Do you enjoy receiving small gifts from your loved one? Especially when they put in thought and effort into the gift? Maybe your love language is gift giving and receiving. 

This love language can sometimes get a bad rep because of the monetary implications, but spending money on gifts is not necessarily always the case. If your loved one has this love language, consider making them a homemade gift, baking something for them, buying a small bouquet of flowers “just because” or buying their favorite snack for them. 

4. Quality Time

Do you feel loved when having meaningful conversations, doing fun activities with your loved one or being off phones when you’re with them? Quality time as a love language means engaging in meaningful time with your person. 

It can be important to recognize that just because you are okay with being on your phone while with your loved one, your loved one might feel disconnected from you. Consider having time each night to just talk with them without the distraction of screens or planning regular date nights to engage in meaningful quality time with each other. 

5. Acts of Service

The last love language is acts of service. Do you feel extra loved when your loved one does things for you such as the laundry, making breakfast or putting gas in the car when it’s low? Performing simple acts of service can make someone feel extra loved and taken care of if this is their loved language. 

Acts of service show someone that you are taking care of them and noticing their needs. Do these things before your loved one asks you to in order to make them feel extra loved. 

Knowing your loved ones love language can be just as important as knowing your own. Have a conversation with your loved one about love languages to make sure you are loving them as best as you possibly can. There are tons of quizzes online that you can take to figure out which one suits you best! You might see a significant positive change in your relationship as a result of being more attentive to their specific needs. 

Sources: 

The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate” by Gary Chapman

About Author

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Sophia is interning this summer for RWM. She is studying journalism and English at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, where she will graduate in December.

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