Love languages are the way in which we express and give our love. Knowing your own love language as well as your partners can really help to strengthen your relationship and ensure both of you are giving and receiving love in the best way. Many people might have more than one favoured love language or enjoy receiving affection through all of them but with a preference or hierarchy.
The 6 love languages
The love languages were initially put forward by Gary Chapman in the book ‘The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate’, which was first published in 1992. Chapman noticed patterns in the behaviour of the couples he counselled and recognised that many issues came down to one or both of their needs not being met. Love languages were introduced as a way for people to identify how they recognise being loved.
Over time, the love languages have developed. A sixth love language is now also used, to better embody how people want to be loved.
Below, we explore the six love languages and help you to find which is your preferred love language.
Words of affirmation
The words of affirmation love language relate to expressing affection through words. At Morale, we know the benefits of affirmations well. Giving someone regular words of praise or encouragement can give a huge boost to their wellbeing, as well as strengthen the bonds of your relationship.
Words of affirmation can be both spoken and written. It might be that someone appreciates it when their partner says “I love you” frequently, or says their appreciation, or gives them compliments. It could include regular communication by text, or even leaving written notes around the house expressing love.
Morale is an affirmations app that’s perfect for those whose preferred love language is words of affirmation. With Morale, you can send your loved ones daily affirmations, helping to improve their mood and let them know they are loved.
If you have a preference for the quality time love language, you’ll feel most loved when your partner spends time with them. The key here is quality time – not quantity. So, if you or your partner’s love language is quality time, you should make sure you’re being fully present when you’re with them.
It can be helpful to carve out specific time to spend with your partner, especially if you live together. Allocating time to spend together will make it easier for you both to give each other your undivided attention. You should aim to put phones away so you can stay focused on one another.
Sometimes you might want to talk together, maybe about your day or how you’ve been feeling recently, and in this case, you should engage in active listening. Sometimes, there might be an activity that you want to take part in together, such as hiking, gaming, or crafting. Whatever you do, you should make sure you’re focused on your partner and what you’re doing.
Acts of service
If acts of service is your preferred love language, you’ll feel loved when your partner does things that help to make your life easier. Often, this might be chores around the house, such as cleaning or tidying. It can also be running an extra errand for you or taking care of you when you’re unwell.
If your partner’s love language is acts of service, they’ll appreciate it when you make an extra effort for them. However, it doesn’t always have to be a big gesture. Sometimes it can be as small as making them a coffee in the morning. Whatever you do for them, they’ll notice it and appreciate it as you showing them affection.
Giving and receiving gifts
If giving and receiving gifts is your love language, you’ll prefer to show and receive love with gifts. This is sometimes also known as physical affirmations. It can sometimes be seen as materialistic, but the key here is that the gifts don’t have to be big or expensive. In the act of giving a gift, love is shown through the thought and effort that has gone into it.
If your partner’s love language is giving and receiving gifts, remember that random small but personal gifts can be a great way of expressing your love for them. Of course, celebrating birthdays and anniversaries with gifts will be important to them, but something like seeing flowers you’ll know they’ll love or an ornament that made you think of them will also be hugely appreciated.
If your love language is physical touch, you’ll feel loved when you and your partner touch. Physical affection can include everything from holding hands when walking, cuddling on the sofa, kissing, and sex.
If your partner’s preferred love language is physical touch, they’ll usually appreciate regular physical affection as they just want to be close to you. Even if you’re both busy, a quick kiss or hug while you’re doing chores can help to make them feel loved.
Feeling known is the new, sixth love language that’s grown popular on TikTok. If feeling known is your preferred love language, you appreciate it when your partner understands what makes you uniquely you. They’ll know your likes and dislikes, your quirks and your habits. Feeling known strengthens your relationship because it can make you feel much more connected to your partner.
Feeling known can incorporate some of the other love languages too. For example, you might have discussed with your partner that you had a favourite chocolate bar when you were young. They might then then go out and buy you that chocolate bar as a gift. This would be communicating through the feeling known love language, but it would also involve active listening through quality time and gift giving.
The key to feeling known as a love language is that you’re understood in a meaningful way by your partner. You’ll feel safe and accepted when your partner communicates through this language.