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Author: Maya Maria Brown, M.A. Counseling Psychology, Relationship Expert

Have you ever wondered: what are love languages? How many love languages are there? What are the different love languages? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.

How to use the 5 love languages in your relationship

IN THIS ARTICLE, YOU WILL:

Learning about the love languages is a great first step when it comes to loving and feeling loved by your partner. There are also ways we can build on the love languages, and things we can explore to feel the kind of love we long for in our relationships.

So, we’ll look at some love languages examples, how to know your love language, and how to love and be loved by your partner in all the best ways. Stick with me, because this could transform the way you and your partner feel in your relationship for the better.

Imagine what it would be like if all you ever wanted was a hug from your partner, but they just keep saying they love you from a distance. Or if you plan an amazing date for your partner, but they are just waiting to see what gift you got them.

 

Sound familiar? We’ve all been there. It almost feels like you and your partner are speaking different languages. News flash: that’s exactly what it is. But learning each other’s language is easier than you think.

 

What are the five love languages? They are a way of understanding how we naturally give and feel love. They are:

  1. Physical touch
    The physical touch love language is about feeling most loved by your partner when you’re in physical contact with them. This could include things like holding hands, hugging, snuggling, and being sexual.
     

  2. Gifts
    The gifts love language is about feeling loved when getting a present. This could be more traditional gifts on holidays and birthdays. But it could also be small things, like your partner bringing home your favorite dessert or flowers, or a little souvenir from a trip they took.
     

  3. Quality time
    Quality time is time spent together in a meaningful way. It’s not just about being in the same place. Quality time could be working on something together, exploring something new, being playful, or focusing on a shared interest (Netflix counts!).
     

  4. Acts of service
    The acts of service love language is when your partner doing something kind that makes you feel loved. An act of service could be a chore or task around the house, running an errand, or something that makes your life easier.
     

  5. Words of affirmation
    Words of affirmation is about your partner saying things that make you feel loved. It can be spoken or written, direct or indirect. It doesn't have to only be the words, “I love you” - it can be any words that express positive feelings towards you.

 

The concept of the love languages was created by Gary Chapman, who wrote the book The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate.


He says that every person has a "love tank" within them that fills up when we feel loved, and that we all have a primary - and often a secondary - love language. His “what is your love language” quiz helps you figure that out for yourself.

What is my love language?

  • Learn about the love languages - what are they, and what is yours

  • Understand why the love languages can be important

  • Explore how to go deeper with the love languages

  • Find out how you and your partner can feel the kind of love you want

What are the love languages?

So let’s get down to it. We’ve answered the “What are the 5 love languages” question with the love languages list. Now you might be wondering how to find your love language. A 5 love languages quiz is a great place to start.

 

You can find a lot of places that have a love languages test, but the official one is the five love languages quiz run by the creators of the first 5 love languages test. Their quiz will explore the different types of love language, and help you find out: what is your love language?

 

To begin with, a quick and easy way to do a five love languages test is to read about the love language types in the 5 love languages list above. Now, think about these questions:

 

  • When do I feel most loved by my partner?

  • Which of these five ways of showing love is my favorite to receive?

  • Do any of these love languages not have a big effect on me?

  • Have I found myself showing love in any of these ways and my partner doesn’t seem to really feel it or appreciate it?

 

How do I know my love language? For me, I didn’t have to take a five love languages quiz to know that when my partner tells me nice things, I completely melt - words of affirmation is my love language, through and through.

 

My partner on the other hand is all about acts of service. If I take care of something so he doesn’t have to, he feels super loved by me. He appreciates the visible and invisible labor I do in our relationship.

 

On the other hand, if I told him nice things or wrote him a love letter, he would probably shrug and not feel much. He’s not a words of affirmation guy, that’s for sure.


But here’s the interesting thing: it’s not enough to know your love language. Research shows that it’s important to know your partner’s love language, so you can offer them love in a way that they understand. But I’m jumping ahead - more about that later.

Why the 5 love languages can be helpful

Knowing which one is our primary love language can be crucial when it comes to giving and receiving love in our relationships. 

 

Why? Because our love language is the main way we feel loved, and how we naturally give love as well. Picture these scenarios:

 

  • You feel like your partner rarely shows you affection, but really, they’re giving you lots of love in their own love language and you’re missing it.

 

  • You try hard to show your partner love, but you’re doing it in the language that’s most comfortable to you. So, your partner doesn't feel loved by all the effort you’re making.

 

Not ideal, right? When we’re showing love, the idea is for it to be felt by our partner, not missed.

 

So here’s the big idea. Knowing your partner’s love language means you can translate the love you want to give into their language, so they can feel it directly.

 

Consider this: remember that my love language is words of affirmation, but my partner’s is acts of service. When I feel the urge to read my partner a sonnet to demonstrate how much I love him, sometimes I’ll choose to do a chore or set up something nice for him instead.

 

Well, I’ll be honest: usually I’ll do both because I can’t help but express myself with words anyway.

 

But the point is, I make sure I show him love in his primary love language instead of mine, so he can sit back and feel my love without missing it, or having to translate it himself. According to research, feeling that your partner is loving you with your love language promotes relationship satisfaction.

3 ways we can go deeper with the love languages

Here’s the thing: the first 5 love languages book was originally written in 1992. There are many places where you can take a free love language test. You could also read books and resources to learn about the different love languages.

 

We think we can go a little deeper. Our experts have come up with three things that we’d like to explore more when it comes to the love languages:

 

  1. Finding your kind of love - how your partner can use the love languages to show you the kind of love you want to feel. We have a love language quiz (free) that can help you discover your kind of love. But more on this in a minute.
     

  2. Loving ourselves is an incredibly important piece of the puzzle. We don’t have to only turn to our partner to give us the love we need. We can practice loving ourselves so we can fill up our love tanks too. Research shows that loving ourselves is even more important than our love language when it comes to relationship satisfaction.
     

  3. People change and grow over time, and our favorite way to receive love today might not be our preference tomorrow. We need to stay curious and learn about our partners every day.
     

It all comes down to this: find out what’s important to your partner. Ask them what they need, and offer what you can. When you go through the ebbs and flows of life, let yourselves continuously re-discover how you can best love each other, and be open to what shows up.

How to use the love languages in your relationship

A “What is my love language” quiz can help us understand how we naturally give/receive love.

 

We now want to explore the kind of love we give and receive. It doesn’t matter if your partner is showing love in your love language if you’re not that into the way that love is making you feel.

 

To put it another way: let’s say your love language is words of affirmation. Your partner knows this, so they make sure they tell you “I love you” at least once a day. They are hoping this makes you feel loved.

 

You appreciate the effort, but what you really want is for them to say words that make you feel wanted by them - flirtatious, sexy, “I gotta have you” kinds of words. So even though they’re speaking your love language, you’re not feeling the kind of love you want to feel.

 

Or another example: let’s say your partner’s love language is physical touch. It probably wouldn’t be enough if all you ever do is hold hands.

 

You’re technically touching them, but maybe they’d like a big hug sometimes to help them feel safe and cozy, or maybe they want to be tickled and feel silly, playful love with you.

 

We think that no matter what your love language is, knowing your kind of love can make all the difference.

 

Once you’ve got that, you’re all set! Stay with me, and I’m going to show you how.

  1. Connected - I feel seen and understood by my partner

  2. Desired - I feel wanted by my partner

  3. Inspired - I am challenged to be my best

  4. Playful - we can be silly together and life feels easier

  5. Safe - I am comfortable and know my partner has my back

How do I know what my kind of love is?

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We’ve identified five kinds of love, or five ways love can make you feel:

Love from any of the love languages can be shown to make you feel the kind of love you want to feel.

 

Think of it this way: quality time is one of the five love languages, right? Here are five ways you can have quality time with your partner, in all five kinds of love:

  1. “Connected” quality time 
    This could be telling stories and sharing your thoughts about life.

     

  2. “Desired” quality time 
    This could be having sex and being intimate.

     

  3. “Inspired” quality time 
    This could be trying something new and adventurous.

     

  4. “Playful” quality time 
    This could be playing games or joking around.

     

  5. “Safe” quality time 
    This could be snuggling on the couch with a movie or show.

 

See how one love language can be used in all five kinds of love? Even if quality time isn’t your love language, if the kind of love you want to feel is Safe, snuggling on the couch could very well help you feel the kind of love you want.

 

So what does all this mean? You can start with a “what is your love language” test, but finding out your kind of love can be a real game changer. We’ve taken the idea of a 5 love languages quiz for couples to the next level.

 

Now it’s your turn. Take this quiz to find out your kind of love.

 

Your results from this love test will help you learn how to use the love languages in your relationship, and let you and your partner feel the kind of love you want to feel. Are you ready to feel the love of your dreams?