It’s 2022: Dating apps are the new norm, love is being modernized, and we’re all trying to figure out how to have a successful relationship. Chances are you’ve heard of the Five Love Languages. But if not, they are apparently the main five ways people receive and give love. The concept was coined by Gary Chapman in his 1992 book “The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment.” According to him, the top five methods of giving and receiving love are physical touch, gifts, quality time, acts of service and words of affirmation. If you’re wondering which pertains to you, feel free to read his book or take a short quiz. Throughout Dr. Chapman’s career, he searched for a way to simplify the meaning of love and how to easily strengthen the connection between two partners. Let’s dive deeper into each one.
One way to display love to your partner is through physical touch. And no, that doesn’t just mean sex — although that may be important. It can be as simple as prioritizing cuddle sessions with each other, like while watching a movie together or talking about your days. Physical touch may also be initiated in public places too. Holding hands while walking down the street or sitting next to each other at a restaurant are all small ways you can fulfill your partner’s need for physical touch. One of my personal favorite forms of physical touch is when someone plays with my hair…why is that always so relaxing?
Some people feel the most loved when they are receiving gifts. This doesn’t have to be anything super expensive either; it could be as small as buying a cupcake when you visit your partner’s favorite lunch spot or getting them a delicious-smelling candle. Gifts are also an amazing way to show your partner that you’re listening to them. For example, if you have noticed them wanting an article of clothing for a long time, and they’ve expressed it out loud, surprise them with that very item during your next date. Sometimes it’s not always about the physical gift, but more so about the effort you put into it.
When’s the last time you truly spent quality time with your partner? And no, I don’t mean going out to see a hockey game with a group of friends or grabbing drinks with a coworker. The key to quality time is being invested in the time you are spending with your partner: putting away distractions, listening and being present. Even in my own relationship I see the effects of not spending quality time together for a long period. Since my boyfriend and I are foodies, one of our favorite ways to spend time together is going out to dinner. Not only do we get to enjoy each other’s company, but we are also treating ourselves to a yummy meal in the process.
Acts of Service
If you’re an action-over-words type of person, then acts of service may be your thing. Whether it be helping them fold the laundry or driving during a road trip, any act of service — no matter how big or small — is guaranteed to make your partner’s belly warm. I personally love acts of service because I think in many instances actions do speak louder than words. Cooking your loved one a nice dinner, helping them clean up around the house or being the one to take the dog out for a walk are all ways that you can improve your partner’s life by making their daily to-do list that much shorter.
Words of Affirmation
The last love language, and admittedly my favorite, is words of affirmation. Society always tells you that communication is one of the most important parts of a relationship, which is essentially what words of affirmation are. It can be as miniscule as changing a “Love u” text to an “I love you.” If you’re looking for something more, explaining to your partner what they mean to you and why you’re with them will guarantee a happy smile spreading across their face.
Regardless of your relationship status, there are numerous benefits to knowing your love language. If you’re single, it can come in handy during platonic relationship interactions. If you’re not, then what’s better than knowing what you need to give your partner, and what you need to receive, for a successful relationship? Once again, this applies to any relationship, not just romantic ones. I strongly recommend checking out The Five Love Languages website and learning the ins-and-outs of your own!