by Brianna Allison
This article was written by The Zillennial Zine’s fall editorial intern Brianna Allison. Find her on Instagram at @ballison7. If you would like to share an article with The Zillennial, send us an email at email@example.com.
To have better relationships in your life, it is crucial to understand your love language. Doing so allows you to know the way in which you prefer to give and receive love. Now, this isn’t just for romantic relationships, but all relationships- family, friends, coworkers, etc. Recognizing and understanding your love language enables you to better communicate what you want out of the relationship. Same with your partner, family and friends. If you acknowledge their love language, then you’re able to give them love in a way they best receive it. Is your love language acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, words of affirmation or physical touch?
Not sure where to start with discovering your love language? Let’s break them down, and you can see which one resonates the most!
What are the 5 Love Languages?
I’m sure that you know someone who may show love and affection a little differently than you do. For example, you may prefer your partner to randomly bring home flowers for you, while someone else would rather have their partner share how much they appreciate and love them. This example exemplifies the various ways people experience love and give affection differently.
Here are the five different love languages in which people express and communicate love to their partner, family or friends:
Acts of Service
Is your love language acts of service? If your actions speak louder than your words, your main love language just might be. Oftentimes, this may mean you show love by doing your partner’s laundry, making your partner meals, or even filling their gas tank up. Even though you may not always say ‘I love you,’ you show it through your actions.
If you think your partner prefers to receive love through acts of service, try to do little things for them that will make their day easier. You don’t want them to feel like their needs are being overlooked because they do a lot for you, and you don’t do the same for them. By acknowledging their love language through your actions, you will make them feel loved and appreciated even more than you already do.
If you like to get little presents for your partner, you may express love through gift giving. Gift giving can be a great way to show your partner you love them and are thinking about them even when they’re not with you.
If your partner’s love language is receiving gifts, try to give them meaningful, little gifts that represent your love and commitment. Don’t just choose arbitrary objects with no sentimental value – make sure you’re putting time and effort into the gifts you get your partner. It doesn’t need to be anything expensive or big, but just something that you know will bring a smile to their face. Let them know when you saw the gift, you immediately thought of them because you listen to them closely and truly understand who they are.
A partner may be left feeling unloved if their partner can never think of a gift that’s perfect for them or if their gifts are superficial and meaningless. This could make them believe their partner doesn’t listen to them or think about them when they’re not around.
When you crave your partner’s undivided attention while you’re together, your love language may be quality time. For instance, you may be offended if your partner is more focused on their phone than on spending time with you after you’ve been apart all day. Instead, you want a partner that engages with you and actively listens when you get to spend time together.
If your partner’s love language is quality time, put away your phone and turn off the tv while you’re together. Plan fun date nights. Run errands together. Cook dinner with each other. Just spend time together, listen intently and ask questions when they tell you about their day.
Avoid ignoring your partner or focusing on other things while they’re talking to you. Never make it seem like you have something better to do because they really cherish the time they get to spend with you disconnected from everything else in the world.
Words of Affirmation
Do you find telling your partner how much you love or appreciate them as the most important way to communicate your love? If so, your love language may be words of affirmation. You likely can’t stop thanking your partner for everything they do, complimenting them or telling them how much you love them.
If your partner’s love language is words of affirmation, it’s important to be extremely vocal about your feelings and appreciation of them. Overuse I love you. Compliment their outfit or hair. Leave them cute notes or text messages telling them how much your relationship means to you or how proud of them you are. They find your praise and compliments uplifting and essential to your relationship.
Avoid being silent about how much they mean to you. Since words are extremely important to how they perceive themselves and your relationship, try not to say something you’ll regret because they will be extremely hurt and may become distant.
Your love language may be physical touch if you can’t get enough of your partner. You always have to be cuddling, holding hands, or receiving some form of physical affection. Sometimes you might even feel like you physically can’t get close enough to your partner.
If your partner’s love language is physical touch, try to be physically present anytime you’re together. That could mean putting your arm around them at the grocery store, cuddling while you’re watching a movie or giving them a massage if they’ve had a rough day.
Try to avoid long spans without intimacy or being physically distant. Your partner may feel disconnected from you if you don’t give them physical affection while you’re in public, with friends or even alone. Also, don’t let them constantly be the only ones to initiate physical affection or they can feel unwanted.
Find your love language
Now that you have a better understanding of the different love languages, do you know what yours is? If you’re still not sure, that’s okay! Dr. Gary Chapman, a well-known marriage counselor, speaker and author, created a short quiz to help determine your top love language(s).
After you answer some questions about what you find meaningful in your relationships, a graph will show what love languages are most important to you. You probably will not have just one love language, but a percentage of each of the five. Regardless of your love language, it’s important to learn yours and your partners so you can understand what makes each of you feel loved and appreciated.
How we like to give and receive love is one of the most important parts of any relationship. Ignoring someone else’s love language can be detrimental because it can create distance and lead to miscommunication. You may think that you’re giving your partner, family member or friend so much affection and attention, but if their love language differs from yours they probably feel like they’re not receiving love. They might be looking for the affection in another way that you’re not fulfilling. So make sure to communicate in your relationships. Ask what your partner’s love language is and share yours with them. Make the extra effort to love them the way that they most appreciate. Allow your love language to positively impact your relationships.
So, I’ll ask you again, is your love language acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, words of affirmation or physical touch? Make sure you take the Love Language Quiz and comment below to let us know your love language!