You may have been hearing “The 5 Love Languages” buzz around the internet for the last couple of years. But really, what are the love languages.
Everyone gives and receives love in different ways. So, the goal of this article is to help couples gain a deeper understanding of what are the love languages and their differences and boost communication.
The love language test applies for couples or for singles who want to understand what are the love languages they need from a relationship. The test also applies to men who want to succeed in life, for children and teens, and even for those in military service who face unique relationship challenges.
So what are the 5 love languages, and what’s the point in finding out more about them?
Table of Contents
What Are the 5 Love Languages?
1. Words of Affirmation
You need to hear your partner express their love for you verbally. This can include romantic affections, expressions of appreciation, and simple manners.
2. Acts of Service
Having your partner help you out around the house or do something to make your day a little easier (like making you breakfast or shoveling the snowy walkway) means more to you than a bouquet of flowers ever could.
3. Receiving Gifts
Don’t mistake receiving gifts with being spoiled! This only means that you feel the most loved when your spouse surprises you with a gift that lets you know they were thinking about you.
4. Quality Time
You need to spend time with your spouse doing something that doesn’t involve watching television or playing on your phone. You receive love when you get undivided attention from your spouse.
5. Physical Touch
You receive love when you are hugging, kissing, caressing, holding hands, and being sexually intimate with your partner. It connects and refreshes you in a way that nothing else can.
Why We Need the 5 Love Languages
A husband showers his wife with gifts and quality time, but she continues to tell him that she doesn’t feel loved.
Why does she feel this way? The husband comes to discover that his wife’s love language is “acts of service.” She is feeling burnt out with work, raising children, and tending to the house.
The husband had great intentions with his gifts, but what his wife really needed was some help around the house.
Similarly, a wife who’s love language is “physical touch” may regularly be affectionate and intimate with her husband several times a week. So, when he tells her he is feeling unappreciated, she is beyond surprised.
What else can she possibly do to make him feel special? After taking the what are the love languages quiz, she realizes that his love language is “words of affirmation.” So, while sex is a great way to connect as a couple, what he needs from her is a verbal assurance of love or admiration.
This is how not knowing what your spouse’s love language is can affect your relationship.
Can the Love Languages Improve Your Relationship?
We all like to think we know our partner better than anyone else, but sometimes we only see what we want to see. This is where learning the 5 Love Languages comes in so handy.
Learning what are the love languages, how they give, and prefer to receive love enhances our relationship with our partner. Also, we develop a deeper understanding of what their needs really are – not what we assume they are.
Here are just some of the ways that learning your spouse’s love language can strengthen your relationship.
How to Strengthen Your Relationship with the Love Languages
1. Communicate with Your Partner
If you’ve ever gotten relationship advice from any long-married friends or family, you have probably heard the age-old adage, good communication is the key!
Communication is the key to conflict resolution, a happy marriage and a great foundation for a relationship.
A study published by the Journal of Marriage and Family reports that couples who communicate are more satisfied with their relationship. The research also suggests that couples are more positive and exhibit less negative behavior with one another, regardless of gender.
Tips for great communication includes:
- Making a habit of daily conversations
- Not interrupting your partner when they are speaking
- Actively listening
- Removing distractions (cell phones, television blaring in the background, etc.) from your conversations
- Being calm and respectful when voicing opinions
- Looking at things from your partner’s perspective
- Not assuming you know everything about your spouse
- Talking often about things both big and small
- Not only does better communication do away with unnecessary arguments and deepen marital friendship, but it can also do wonders for your sex life.
Studies show that communicating about your intimate needs boosts overall relationship sexual satisfaction, quality, and results in increased orgasm frequency in females.
When you learn what are the love languages of your partner, you understand how to communicate with them on a much deeper level than you ever knew possible. After all, now you’re ‘speaking their language.’
2. Learn How to Empathize
What is empathy? Simply put, you can put yourself in your spouse’s shoes. When they’re stressed, you can sympathize. And when they’re happy, you’re ecstatic!
On the other hand, whenever the people around you are sad, you feel distressed. Do you see the pattern here?
Empathy is understanding someone else’s feelings. Having empathy is a great quality in a relationship, but not everyone is born with the magnetic ability to sympathize with others.
Learning what the love languages of your partner are will help you develop a deeper understanding of how they think, feel, and respond to things.
For example, you may not think anything of being off the grid with your spouse during the day (no calls, texts, or video chats).
Let’s say, you are off the grid for the day while you’re at work or out with your friends. And then, you didn’t call your wife, text her, or video chat. When you got home, she’s upset.
She knows you love her and you’re not a guy who likes to be on his phone while he’s out with other people. So, what’s the big deal? Why is she overreacting over nothing?
After taking the Love Language test, you find out that your wife responds highest to words of affirmation and quality time. Then her actions and how she feels will start to make sense.
She’s not mad because she is trying to be the nasty wife who’s wrecking your guy’s night. She’s upset because hearing from you, even if only for a couple of minutes, is what makes her feel loved.
By learning what the love languages of your partner are, you can better understand and empathize with how they feel and why they act or react to certain things the way they do.
3. Express Affection in a Way That Matters
One study examined 295 college students, 195 females and 100 males, to see how physical affection affected a relationship.
The physical affection mentioned included holding hands, kissing, caressing, giving or receiving massages, and cuddling.
The research, published by The American Journal of Family Therapy, found that:
“(Romantic physical affection) is found to be highly correlated with relationship and partner satisfaction.”
Interestingly, the study also posits that the more physical affection a couple has, the better their conflict resolution skills were.
If you spend plenty of quality time with your husband and he still seems distant, it may be because his love language is physical touch.
Consider this: he isn’t vying for sex all the time just because it feels great, he’s doing it because it’s how he connects to you.
Once you learn your spouse’s love language, you can express your feelings in the ways that will matter the most to them. And, you will argue less.
4. Connect on a Deeper Level
We spend so much of our time in relationships wondering what the other person is thinking, and this often leads to arguments and misunderstandings. The inability to talk to your spouse about both the important and the silly things in life leads to relationship devastation.
Don’t believe me? In a survey of 886 divorcing individuals, a whopping 55% cited being unable to communicate as the downfall of their relationship.
When couples learn how each partner expresses themselves, it improves communication. In turn, this gives each person the courage to speak up about relationship-issues before they spiral into resentment. In turn, it leads to an improved friendship between you and your partner.
Romance is great, but it isn’t everything in a relationship. There’s something to be said for having a deep friendship with the one you love. When you learn your spouse’s love language, you start to connect on a deeper level – romantically and otherwise.
This is good news for you because research published in the Journal of Happiness Studies found that couples who view one another as their best friend double their marital happiness.
As researchers Shawn Grover and John F. Helliwell explain,
“We explore the role of friendship within marriage, finding that in our United Kingdom data the well-being benefits of marriage are much greater for those who also regard their spouse as their best friend.”
Now that you know your partner’s love language, you will be able to express your affection in a powerful new way.
In return, your spouse now knows exactly what you need to feel loved and appreciated in your relationship.
With these news lines of communication open, you and your spouse can conquer any problem and strengthen your relationship against whatever comes your way.
What do you have to lose? Sit down with your spouse and take the 5 Love Languages test and find out the language of your hearts.
Learning what are the love languages your spouse or partner have will help you communicate better, not take things so personally, to better empathize, master conflict resolution, improve your romantic friendship, and become more observant in your relationship.
More Tips to Help Improve Relationships
- 19 Golden Pieces of Relationship Advice From the Experts
- How to Improve Communication in Relationships and Increase Intimacy
- How to Save a Marriage That Is Falling Apart
Featured photo credit: Vince Fleming via unsplash.com
|NCBI: Does Couples’ Communication Predict Marital Satisfaction, or Does Marital Satisfaction Predict Communication?
|Research Gate: Romantic Physical Affection Types and Relationship Satisfaction
|Research Gate: Romantic Physical Affection Types and Relationship Satisfaction
|Journal of Divorce and Remarriage: Reasons for Divorce and Openness to Marital Reconciliation
|Springer: Journal of Happiness Studies
|SpringLink: How’s Life at Home? New Evidence on Marriage and the Set Point for Happiness
|Exploring Yourmind: Get Better Relationships by Learning How to Express Yourself