Love Languages, What’s Yours?

 

Words by Ambar Ramirez

 

I know you don’t need me to tell you this but relationships, platonic or more, require a lot of work. Everyone expresses love differently and those differences can either make or break a relationship. Which is where best-selling author Gary Chapman comes in. In 1992, Chapman first revealed the term “love language” in his book “The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate.” Love languages is just a fancy term for how partners experience and express love. But it’s a term that’s truly changed how people navigate the complexities of relationships. 

 

The great thing about love languages is that, like love, it’s fluid. You may find that you resonate with one love language, all of them or none at all. Recognizing your love language, or even realizing what it isn’t, can contribute to effective communication, fortifying relationships, and gaining a deeper understanding of yourself. And yes, this applies to platonic relationships as well. 

 

WORDS OF AFFIRMATION

Do you love “good morning” texts? How about being told you’re doing a good job? Do you ask your partner or friend if they love you at least three times a day? If any of these sounds like you, odds are that your love language is words of affirmation.

 

Those whose love language is words of affirmation thrive on verbal expressions of love, appreciation and encouragement. Simply hearing “I love you” or “I appreciate you” means the world to those who resonate with this love language. 

 

Navigating this love language, however, is not always straightforward in any relationship, whether it’s romantic or platonic. The key lies in being genuine and expressing verbal affirmations with depth and sincerity. In essence, effective communication becomes your greatest ally. Whether you’re in a relationship with someone whose love language is words of affirmation or you’re the one who values such expressions, it’s crucial to convey your needs and listen to theirs. If your words seem to miss the mark, it’s likely that you might be expressing the wrong sentiments.

 

ACTS OF SERVICE

Some believe actions speak louder than words. And if that’s your mantra, your love language is probably acts of service. Rather than simply being told by your other half that they love you, you prefer it when they show it through actions. It’s a show-not-tell sort of situation. 

 

Before you let yourself get worked up and start envisioning outrageously extravagant dates, it’s important to understand that acts of service is a straightforward love language. It revolves around the simplicity of little gestures. For instance, imagine knowing that your partner typically comes home to handle the dishes or other household chores; in this case, you take the initiative to complete those tasks before their arrival. Alternatively, it could involve something more elaborate, like planning and preparing their favorite meal. The essence of acts of service lies in paying attention to your partner and conveying your care through actions. It’s about doing things without them having to ask.

 

RECEIVING GIFTS

People who love receiving gifts in relationships usually get a bad rep. They’re often labeled as greedy when in reality, this love language isn’t about elaborate or expensive gifts. It’s about the meaning behind the gift, not the price tag. 

 

Similar to acts of service, the love language of receiving gifts places a premium on thoughtfulness. To express love to someone whose love language is centered around receiving gifts, consider offering tangible tokens that serve as reminders of your consideration. This could take the form of bringing home a bouquet of flowers — bonus points if you personally pick them up from the side of the road — bringing their favorite candy or pastry on your way back from work or showcasing your creativity by crafting the gift yourself!

 

Selecting and exchanging gifts that capture inside jokes, shared memories, and significant events adds an extra layer of significance to the “gifts.” This practice not only makes the gifts more special but also enhances relationships that include individuals with the love language of receiving gifts.

 

QUALITY TIME

Do you feel elated when planning dates with friends or loved ones? Do you have a ritual like going for walks after dinner? Do you value time spent with those you care about without the distractions of phones or shows? Your love language is most likely quality time. 

 

Quality time looks different for everybody but at its core highlights setting aside time to be with that special someone, free of any distractions. 

 

Going on hikes together, cooking a meal as a team, hitting the gym side by side — any activity that allows you to tune out the busyness of the outside world and tune in to that special someone is an effective way of expressing love through quality time. Even dedicating just 15 minutes to an hour of your day to be with someone who values quality time can significantly strengthen the bond in your relationship.

 

PHYSICAL TOUCH

Surprise, surprise—physical touch is a love language. Also (perhaps unexpectedly) some individuals don’t appreciate physical contact, and that’s perfectly OK. However, if you happen to be someone who feels most loved through physical contact and relishes public displays of affection then your love language is … (not to be redundant) physical touch.

 

Expressing your love for someone through physical touch can be as innocent as hugging and holding hands or as intimate as kissing and s e x. Whoa, I know. But it’s important to note that even if somebody’s love language is physical touch, consent is a must. Consent is always a must. 

 

Set aside some time to cuddle, kiss your partner good morning and goodnight, or even get frisky in the sheets, whatever the physical contact may be, you’ll be on the road to a healthier relationship. 

About Ambar Ramirez

Flipping through magazines for as long as she can remember, Ambar Ramirez has always known she wanted to be a journalist. Fast forward, Ambar is now a multimedia journalist and creative for Folio Weekly. As a recent graduate from the University of North Florida, she has written stories for the university’s newspaper as well as for personal blogs. Though mainly a writer, Ambar also designs and dabbles in photography. If not working on the latest story or design project, she is usually cozied up in bed with a good book or at a thrift store buying more clothes she doesn’t need.