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  • Writer's pictureLarissa Velasco

5 Love Languages: Understanding how we give and receive love

Love is a language that we all speak, but did you know that there are five different love languages that people use to express and receive love? Understanding these love languages can help you better express your love to those around you and how they express their love to you.




According to Dr. Gary Chapman, a renowned marriage counselor and relationship expert who developed this theory, people use five different love languages to express and interpret love. These are Acts of Service, Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, and Physical Touch. Each language represents a unique way in which individuals express and interpret love. Some people may feel most loved when their partner spends quality time with them, while others may prefer verbal expressions of love and appreciation. To improve our relationships, it is important to understand these languages and how they can be used to better communicate our love for one another.


Below listed are the different types of love languages according to Dr. Chapman: 


  1. Words of Affirmation - This language is all about using words to express love, caring, and appreciation to others. For those whose love language is words of affirmation, hearing positive words is essential to feeling loved and appreciated. Examples of this type of love language could be a spouse telling their partner how much they love and appreciate them or a boss telling an employee how proud they are of their hard work.

  2. Quality Time - This love language is all about giving others your undivided attention and spending time with them. Those whose love language is quality time feel the most loved and appreciated when the people they care about take the time to spend with them. Examples of this love language could be going on a hiking trip together, playing board games as a group, or having a date night with your partner.

  3. Receiving Gifts - For some people, receiving gifts is a way to feel valued and appreciated. It's not necessarily the cost or the size of the gift but the thought and effort that went into the gift. Examples of this love language could be when your partner brings you your favorite candy as a surprise or when a coworker brings you back a souvenir from a trip they went on.

  4. Acts of Service - This love language is all about doing things for others to show them that you care. People whose love language is acts of service feel most loved when others do things for them, like cooking dinner or helping them with a project. Examples of this love language could be cleaning the house when your partner is sick or helping a friend move apartments.

  5. Physical Touch - This love language is all about using touch to express love and affection to others. People whose love language is physical touch feel most loved when they are hugged, kissed, or held by others. Examples of this love language could be holding hands with a partner or family member or hugging your friend when they're upset.

How do we discover our love language? It can be done through observation and reflection. Think about what makes you feel the most loved and appreciated by others. Take note of what activities or behaviors make you feel loved and appreciated by your partner, family members, friends, or coworkers. This information can help you to determine what your primary love language is.

It's interesting to note that, often, our primary love language may be strongly influenced by the kind of affection we received during our early years. There's no steadfast rule to this, but it's common to find that we tend to express love in the same way that it was conveyed to us in our early relationships. However, it's important to remember that our love languages can also change and evolve as we experience different relationships and life events.


Although individuals may identify with a primary love language, the concept is not necessarily definitive. Just as we can speak and comprehend multiple languages, we can also express and perceive love in various ways. The primary love language is simply the one that resonates with a person the most. However, this does not imply that other forms of expression are unimportant or ineffective. It is about comprehending and utilizing the subtleties of our emotional languages to cultivate more satisfying relationships.


Understanding your own love language is important for being able to communicate your needs and preferences to others effectively. It can also help you understand why specific actions or behaviors may not make you feel loved and appreciated, even if the other person has good intentions. Knowing your love language can also help you better understand and appreciate the love languages of those around you, making it easier to show them love and appreciation in a way that resonates with them.


Do we change our ways of showing and receiving affection during our lives? Yes, it's possible to change your ways of showing and receiving affection during your life since our love languages can shift as we grow and change. For instance, someone who previously valued receiving gifts as their primary love language may shift to valuing quality time as they develop more profound relationships. As we age and our relationships transform, we must continue reflecting on how we express and receive affection because our needs may alter.


How can we identify compatibility? Identifying compatibility can be done through understanding your love language and understanding the love language of those around you. It's important to express your love in a meaningful way to the recipient. For example, if your partner's love language is physical touch, hold their hand or hug them to show your love. If you're unsure of someone's love language, simply ask them how they prefer to be shown love and appreciation. By understanding each other's love languages, we can build stronger relationships and deepen connections with those around us.


Learning about the five love languages can help us better understand how we give and receive love, which in turn can improve our relationships with others. By understanding your own love language and the love language of those around you, you can deepen your connections with others and achieve greater relationship satisfaction. So take the time to explore the five love languages and start using them to express your love to those around you today. Like in a mirror, we both recognize and repeat those expressions that were most familiar to us. For instance, if physical touch was a significant part of your family's interaction, you might naturally lean towards this love language in your adult relationships. By understanding all this, we can better appreciate our unique ways of expressing love and feel more connected to our loved ones.

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