What Are the 5 Love Languages?

There was a lot to love in the 1990s. Kate and Leo in Titanic. The cast of Friends. The Spice Girls (girl power!).

The ’90s also introduced a whole new way of looking at love. Marriage counselor Gary Chapman’s relationship self-help book, “The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts,” said people give and receive love in five different ways.

If you show love in a way that doesn’t match the way your partner receives it, your partner may not be feeling loved, despite all your effort. But once you and your partner learn each other’s love languages, you’ll live happily ever after. (OK, that last part is a bit of an overstatement, but it’s true that you may be happier.)

You’ve probably heard of love languages before. On social media, the term has become a popular catch-all for things that bring joy (i.e., “My love language is tacos.”). But, cultural popularity aside, recent research suggests that romantic partners who express their feelings based on love languages have better quality relationships overall and more sexual satisfaction.

Read: Good Sex with Emily Jamea: Finding Your Sexual Flow >>

The same study found that figuring out your partner’s love language doesn’t necessarily just happen with time. You have to put in some effort to learn about love languages and see if this knowledge helps you connect.

What are the 5 love languages?

LGBT+ and lesbian couples. Love is love

iStock.com/Julia Martyniuk

Love languages can apply to all relationships (romantic and otherwise).

According to Chapman’s theory, the
five love languages are:

  1. Acts of service: Doing nice things for your partner. This can include unloading the dishwasher, picking up medications from the pharmacy and taking that Amazon package you’ve been staring at to the post office.
  2. Physical touch: Making a connection through (appropriate) touching. Physical touch can be anything from holding hands to giving massages to having sex.
  3. Quality time: Being together and being present. That means undivided attention (ahem, no smartphone) or doing something you enjoy together, whether that’s an activity or just hanging out.
  4. Gifts: Offering tokens of love. From flowers to Fendi, gifts small and big show thoughtfulness and effort.
  5. Words of affirmation: Giving verbal compliments, praise and encouragement. This can also include texts, emails and notes.

What is my love language?

Colleagues Connecting Jigsaw Puzzle Together On Sunny Background


Most of us have more than one love language, according to Chapman, but rely on one more than the others.

To find out your love language, ask yourself which description makes you feel the most loved, appreciated and happy. For example, does a hug or holding hands make you feel the most loved? Then your primary love language is probably physical touch.

There’s also a love language quiz designed by Chapman you can take to determine your love language.

To speak your partner’s love language, ask them to do the same evaluation and/or quiz and see what they say makes them feel the most loved. You may be surprised by what you learn (and you might save some money if you’ve been thinking it was gifts all this time).

Who knows? Defining your love language might make your relationship better — but either way, you’ll always have tacos.

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