You've probably heard the tern "love language" thrown around for the past few years. The 5 Love Languages refers to a book written by Dr. Gary Chapman that has sold over 11 million copies. That's probably why you've heard about it at least once. These 5 languages refer to how you show or express love to your partner (and also in platonic relationships). They include: words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch. It's true that one person can have more than one language, but the key is finding the most dominant one.
How to find your Love Language
One option is to read the book. That's the route that I took. In fact, both my husband and I read the book and I feel super Oprah's book club. It was really cute. That being said, we also discovered that we have very different love languages. It was enlightening to say the least.
There's also a quiz that you can take that's more of a personality test.
More than anything, you need to ask yourself, honestly, when do I feel most loved and how do I show people that I love them?
If you say...
I feel most loved when my partner encourages me, compliments me, or when I hear those three magical words (I ordered pizza... jk) "I love you" Then your love languages is probably Words of Affirmation.
"Encouragement requires empathy and seeing the world from your spouse's perspective. We must first learn what is important to our spouse. Only then can we give encouragement. With verbal encouragement, we are trying to communicate, "I know. I care. I am with you. How can I help?" We are trying to show that we believe in him and in his abilities. We are giving credit and praise.”
“Write a love letter, a love paragraph, or a love sentence to your spouse, and give it quietly or with fanfare! You may someday find your love letter tucked away in some special place. Words are important! 6. Compliment your spouse in the presence of his parents or friends. You will get double credit: Your spouse will feel loved and the parents will feel lucky to have such a great son-in-law or daughter-in-law.”
If you say...
I feel most loved when my partner goes the extra step and washes the dishes, or cooks dinner, plans a night out without prompting then your love language is probably Acts of Service.
“Our most basic emotional need is not to fall in love but to be genuinely loved by another, to know a love that grows out of reason and choice, not instinct. I need to be loved by someone who chooses to love me, who sees in me something worth loving. That kind of love requires effort and discipline. It is the choice to expend energy in an effort to benefit the other person, knowing that if his or her life is enriched by your effort, you too will find a sense of satisfaction—the satisfaction of having genuinely”
If you say...
I feel most loved when I have my partner's undivided attention, when we block out the rest of the world-- phones off, no computers-- and are just together, then your love language is probably Quality Time.
“Quality time does not mean that we have to spend our together moments gazing into each other’s eyes. It means that we are doing something together and that we are giving our full attention to the other person.”
“Some husbands and wives think they are spending time together when, in reality, they are only living in close proximity. They are in the same house at the same time, but they are not together. A wife who is texting while her husband tries to talk to her is not giving him quality time, because he does not have her full attention.”
If you say...
I feel most loved when my partner shows they love me with some sort of token. I like when they give me gifts, and even though they don't have to be expensive or lavish, I like knowing that they were thinking of me, then your love language is Receiving Gifts.
“When your spouse’s emotional love tank is full and he feels secure in your love, the whole world looks bright and your spouse will move out to reach his highest potential in life.”
If you say...
I feel most loved when my partner holds my hand, rubs my back, or simply strokes my hair. I just like feeling them next to me, then your love language is most like Physical Touch.
“Camp out in the living room. Spread your blankets and pillows on the floor. Get your Pepsi and popcorn. Pretend the TV is broken and talk like you used to when you were dating. Talk till the sun comes up or something else happens. If the floor gets too hard, go back upstairs and go to bed. You won’t forget this evening!”
“Something in our nature cries out to be loved by another. Isolation is devastating to the human psyche. That is why solitary confinement is considered the cruelest of punishments.”
Why are Love Languages Important?
They're important because no matter who loudly you speak, or how clearly you enunciate, if you're not speaking in a language that your partner can understand, all of your attempts will fall on deaf ears.
My love language is Acts of Service. I enjoy making 3-course meals, packing lunches so that my husband has one less worry during the week, planing holidays or surprise date nights, cleaning the house, and doing anything I can to make things easier and smoother for him. My husband's primary love language is physical touch followed by quality time. So while I'm running through the house sweeping, and mopping, and marinating meats, all he really wants is a long head massage, or an uninterrupted chat.
I know my language, now what?
After you read this book, and discover your language, the next step is making sure you speak your partner's language.
Now, since I know that my husband's language is physical touch and quality time, I make an effort to put the phone away, carve out time for just us, and be still (and present). On the other hand, when I come home and the sink is empty, and the floors are recently mopped, I swoon. Why? Because I see that I'm not carrying all of the weight on my own, and I feel loved and valued.
This book was written in 1995, and has been a best seller ever since. Naturally, there's no cure-all to relationships, but no one is perfect, so there's always room to grow and explore. Take a few hours, and read this book... you may learn something that will change the course of your relationship for the better!
Already know your Love Language? Tell us below!
Danni, Community + Content Director at Las Morenas de España, is a twenty-something, Chicago native currently residing in Madrid. Lover of language, words, and travel, she's managed to combine all of her passions through her work. In her free time, you can find her exploring the winding streets of Madrid, hunting down good flight deals, planning her next adventure and writing & researching for LMDES. Danni loves spicy food, natural hair, music and of course, her wonderful husband. If you need to find her, she’s the girl with huge hair and her face buried in her Kindle.