Lasting relationships, like anything worthwhile, take intentional commitment over time. But when you’re just not on the same page, keeping your love alive can feel intimidating – or even impossible. Relationships grow better when we understand each other. Everyone gives and receives love differently, but with a little insight into these differences, we can be confidently equipped to communicate love well.
What are the Five Love Languages?
Words of Affirmation
These are verbal expressions of care and affection. Think: “Thanks for putting the kids to bed” or “You looked really nice today.” Conversely, insults can be particularly upsetting to people who favour words of affirmation.
Tangible and intangible items that make you feel appreciated or noticed. Going to your partner’s concert, for example, is as much of a gift as flowers or that pair of shoes you want. To individuals who favour this love language, the absence of everyday gestures or a missed special occasion are particularly hurtful.
Acts of Service
Doing something helpful or kind for your partner. Think: Waking up with the baby in the middle of the night or doing the dishes so your partner can relax. For someone who favours acts of service, ambivalence or a lack of support are more damaging than anything else.
Engaging in an activity together, particularly one you both enjoy, like a walk after dinner or watching a movie. If this is your love language, having a distracted or distant partner that makes you feel unseen or unheard is the biggest pitfall.
Physical expressions of love, whether sexual or more platonic, such as holding hands, a back scratch, a hug, a kiss, or being intimate. The absence of such can leave these individuals feeling isolated in a relationship.