The 5 Love Languages and Their Influence on How We Understand Our Partner’s Emotional Needs

Have you ever felt that you and your partner express and receive love in completely different ways? Do you ever find yourself not knowing how to meet his/her emotional needs? If so, you most likely speak different love languages.

Love Language is a concept coined and interpreted by renowned marriage counselor Dr. Gary Chapman. In his best-selling book, he identifies 5 love languages which serve to explain how individuals perceive and experience love.

The 5 Love Languages

Acts of Service– Going out of your way to do nice things for your partner without being asked. Acts of Service may include running errands, helping out around the house, cooking romantic dinners, anticipating ways to make life easier for your significant other, etc.

Physical Touch– This person feels love by being physically intimate with their partner. They interpret holding hands, kissing, cuddling, massaging each other, embracing, and making love as displays of emotional connectedness. Ultimately, those who value Physical Touch as their top-ranked love language may feel distant from their partner without it.

Words of Affirmation Giving compliments, using affectionate words, and verbally expressing love for your partner are components of this love language. Conversely, critical and harsh comments may deeply injure someone who speaks this love language.

Quality Time This involves not only being physically present in the room with your partner but also giving them your undivided attention. Making eye contact, listening intently, and responding appropriately can accomplish this. Of course, individuals who cherish Quality Time can feel hurt or rejected if their partner is unavailable or disinterested.

Receiving Gifts– A tangible expression of love that shows your partner that you are thinking of them. Typically, the monetary value of the gift is not as important as the gesture.

The Importance of Knowing Your Partner’s Love Language

How a person receives the message of love from their partner is a very important thing to consider when romantically involved as it may prevent misunderstandings from occurring. For example, “She just doesn’t appreciate the thoughtful gifts that I buy her. Even so, she still continues to question my love for her.” This individual is experiencing frustration because he/she perceives giving gifts as showing love but his/her partner, on the other hand, may need more quality time as an indicator of love.

So, how do you discover what your partners love language is? Observe how they themselves show love, as this is a strong indicator of how they wish to receive love. Pay attention to what they ask you to do more of and less of. Simply ask your partner and/or recommend taking the love language assessment together to increase shared intimacy.