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Five love languages: Things to know

Savannah Smithson/The Cougar

Savannah Smithson/The Cougar

How we give and receive love can be shown in ways as simple as saying you love someone or even going out of your way to do something you think they would appreciate. With the five love languages, we can better identify how we show we care.

Gary Chapman goes on to elaborate the different languages both on a website and in his book ‘The 5 Love Languages; The Secret to Love That Lasts.”

The tagline on Chapman’s website wishes to explore how people give and receive love, and I would like to think those two entities can be separate love languages in themselves; that how you give love can be different than how you want to receive love.

The five love languages include: words of affirmation, physical touch, quality time, acts of service and gifts.

Going in to what these love languages all mean and how they can be applied in your relationships is the fun part. Here is my interpretation of them all:

Words of affirmation

The general basis behind wanting to be appreciated through words can apply to not only what you partner says, but also how they say it.

When words of affirmation are a value for one person in the relationship, an important factor in that is making sure the words aren’t empty and actually mean something. Someone can appreciate it when their partner tells them they love them, but it only begins to resonate if the partner is being genuine.

How to know if you prefer words of affirmation over the other love languages is how you feel not only taking compliments, but how motivated you feel after praise and how appreciative you are of others expressing their appreciation for you.

Words are important and if your partner prefers receiving words of affirmation the most, encouraging and kind proclamations of love are the best way to give that.

Physical touch

This is not only the love language of being close to someone you care for, but one that values intimacy.

If you prefer physical touch over the other love languages, it can be a longing for feeling close to your partner, not just physically, but emotionally as well.

This love language partially shows that a person can prefer subtle gestures of love, like a touch, over saying or showing you love them any other way.

If the person you are with values physical touch, the best way to satisfy that is to ask their comfort levels and follow through with respecting how they want to feel, and this can include comforting touches to soothe or destress.

Quality time

Sometimes all you want in a relationship is to feel like someone else is there with you. This doesn’t even have to be an in-person setting, but just having your partner’s presence with you is what some value as quality time.

The essentials of quality time is, of course, spending time with the person you care for. This can be going out on dates or even just enjoying each other’s company as you do separate tasks near one another. Quality time more covers acknowledging the other’s presence.

Most who value quality time over the other love languages prefer to have a person show they love them by suggesting to hang out, talk or go do an activity together. Being shown that someone wants to spend time with them is a value.

If you are with someone who prefers quality time, then time can be invested in meaningful phone calls, well-thought out dates or even just having them tag-along on an errand run where you can be together.

Acts of service

Acts of service as a love language stems from appreciation and noticing the things that your partner needs, but does not always say.

An act of service in itself is doing a task for another person and this entails knowing what your partner likes, whether it be the decision to make them breakfast in bed, do the dishes without being asked or even planning a surprise party.

Having an acts of service preference usually means you like having another person know you so well that they know what you need. It does not go as far as wanting someone to just clean up after you all the time, but more so someone to understand when you need help with a chore or task.

If your partner prefers acts of service over the other love languages, it is best to be attentive but also observant into what your partner will appreciate someone else doing for them.

Receiving gifts

Receiving gifts is a misunderstood love language where it can be deemed as materialistic or self-serving. In actuality, gifts can be more than just wanting your partner to buy you expensive objects.

Wanting to receive gifts to feel love from someone you love can be something as small as collecting little tokens that remind you of your partner or being brought flowers on a random day to be reminded you are loved.

If you prefer gifts as a love language, you are the epitome of actions speak louder than words in that a little token of your partner’s appreciation is more than any other gesture they could do.

When your partner prefers receiving gifts, find value in handmade things or objects that have sentimental value for the two of you that can be presented to them. Surprise them with things that let them know you care.

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