The 5 love languages: types and meaning

The 5 Love Languages: Types and Meaning

Each of us expresses affection and tenderness in his own way. Someone gives useful or luxurious gifts, someone spares no time for his beloved, and someone – with kind words. Which language of love do you speak?
Sometimes it seems that the life of a couple is built on nothing but misunderstandings, and communication between man and woman is like a dialogue of the deaf. Why is it so difficult for two people in love to find common ground? Gary Chapman, author of “The Five Love Languages. How to express love to your companion,” believes that it is because we speak different languages of love to our loved ones.

He identifies five ways in which people express their love-the five languages of love. Which language we speak depends on a number of factors: upbringing, parental family patterns, and character traits. We tend to “inherit” the language of love, getting used to express ourselves in it and expecting the same understandable love formulas in return. But what if the partner follows a completely different love code? If we want him to feel our love, we have to tell him about it in a language he understands.

Love Language #1: Words

Simple sincere words of encouragement and praise are something many of us lack. People who weren’t praised enough as children have an urgent need for their partner to not only appreciate and respect them, but to be able to say so openly. In addition, all of us from time to time we doubt ourselves, whether we can achieve success. Words of support from a loved one can encourage and give confidence, encourage us to start doing what we want to do, but for which we do not yet have the courage.

Love speaks the language of kind words. To love is also to be able to ask for forgiveness and say “I forgive.” Love doesn’t demand it, but it asks. “I love your specialty pie so much, I wish you’d make it again,” instead of “everyone else’s wife cooks, but have you forgotten?” And remember, it’s not just what we say, but how we say it. The same phrase can be said in completely different ways.

Tip: If this language is foreign to you and you are not distinguished by eloquence, but you feel that it is spoken by your partner, pay close attention to what people around you say. If you hear a friend complimenting his wife, take note, your boss praising you – listen to the words he used, movie characters declaring their love for one another – this too can go into your vocabulary for your loved one.

Bonus: When people say nice words to us, celebrate our successes, we feel gratitude and are very likely to be willing to do something nice for our partner in return.

The 5 love languages

Love Language #2: Time

Spending time with someone means giving them your full attention. Time is a precious resource, and when we give it freely to another person, we give them a part of our life and ourselves. To be together and to be near are different things. To be together is to look at each other, to talk, to hear, to understand. Sitting next to each other on the couch and watching TV is not the same thing as talking at breakfast while reading the newspaper or boring away at your computer.

What is the fundamental difference from the first language of love? In the language of words it is important to tell your partner how valuable he is, in the language of time it is important to listen to him, to understand, to feel. It happens that when the partner shares his troubles, thoughts, the events of the day, our first impulse is to give him advice, to solve the problem. This is especially characteristic of men with their pragmatic approach to life. But this is not what a woman needs, if her love language is time. She needs to be listened to, to feel important and meaningful, she needs sympathy and understanding, the feeling that you love her and believe in her, no matter what happens in her life. And then she can easily cope with their own problems.

Tip: When you spend time together, look your partner directly in the eyes, this will allow you to make contact and convey the feeling that you are really ready to hear and understand. Don’t be distracted by your business and phone calls, put them off for a while or take care of them beforehand. Learn not to interrupt. Instead, observe your partner, his facial expressions, intonations, gestures, this will allow you to feel him better. Make an effort and try to share your partner’s hobbies. Do you like rock and your partner loves classical music? Well, go with him to the concert, even if childhood memories of music school make you cringe. You may never be able to tell the difference between a symphony and an aria, but you can learn to love your partner.

Bonus: When you do something with your partner, you share memories. And they, in turn, can be an inexhaustible source of joy and help cement the union.

The 5 love languages: types and meaning

The language of love #3: Gifts

If to love is to give, then gifts fit that definition perfectly. A gift is a visible embodiment of love. Perhaps this language is one of the easiest, and it’s not hard to learn. Gifts can be bought or handmade, it is important that in the process you think about the person and choose what you think can make him happy.

Tip: Material expenses are not the main thing in this language of love. The gift should be appropriate for your financial level, but no more than that. Besides, a touching gift can always be made with your own hands. If you don’t know at all what to give your loved one, you can take the advice of their friends or relatives, and there is nothing shameful about it, because what you want is to make nice, to show your love in a way that it is understood.

Bonus: A gift is something that stays with a person for at least a while. A gift is your embodied thought or feeling that the person will think of for a long time, “She remembers me” or “He thought of me when he chose this gift.” Looking at that gift or picking it up, your partner will remember you with gratitude and love. Thus, the gift you gave will boomerang back to you, reinforcing your feelings with your partner’s gratitude.

The 5 love languages

Love Language #4: Helping

To help is to do something for the other person, to express your concern in action. The wife cooks dinner, cleans the house, the husband buys groceries and helps deal with the wife’s car when problems arise. It’s a mutual exchange that may well strengthen the union. Helping takes effort and time. If you are happy to help your partner, you are expressing your love.

Tip: If you feel that your partner is constantly irritated, makes demands of you and probably his love language is to help, ask him to make a specific list of four items he would like to receive from you. Generally, these items are pretty simple: make his bed, don’t throw his socks around, wash the car, or occasionally put the dishes away. For two months, try to do these items, remembering that you are doing them out of your love for your date, and believe me, the results will not be long in coming.

Bonus: Even if helping language is not your love language, the occasional fatigue from work and daily chores is probably familiar to you, too. If your partner speaks this very language and you’ve managed to master it too, then at those moments when you’re feeling down and exhausted, you’ll suddenly find yourself with the most sensitive helper who will thankfully repay you with the same coin by taking over some of your obligations.

The Language of Love #5: Touch

Touch is a way to express many shades of feelings, from tenderness, care and affection to passionate desire, and for some it is the only way to feel love. Tactile receptors are located throughout the body, which gives this language many nuances and possibilities: any affectionate touch can speak of love, while even a little rudeness or sloppiness can be interpreted as the deepest insult. People who speak this language find it very important to hold a partner’s hand, to feel a hug, to be in awe of kissing, to attach special importance to sex, and to begin to doubt whether they are loved if they don’t receive it. That said, this doesn’t mean that if you are attracted to the intimate side of a relationship, your love language is touch. That love language is much broader and richer.

Tip: Our soul lives in our bodies. When you touch your partner’s body, you are also touching their soul. No two people are alike, and what makes you feel good may not feel good at all with your partner. Listen to him, explore his body, treat him with tenderness and respect, and then it can become a fascinating process for both of you. Don’t limit yourself to sex and foreplay. The fleeting touches during the day play a huge role if your partner speaks the language of touch. Put your hand on your shoulder when you fetch a cup of coffee, put your arm around your waist when you walk by, kiss your partner when you get in the car – and then he or she is sure to feel loved.

Bonus: Should we talk about bonuses when it comes to devoting more time and attention to partners’ intimate lives?

The 5 love languages


…their own.
Some people only need to run their eyes over the titles to know exactly what’s most important to them, like sharing time or touching. But it’s often not easy to recognize even your own language. There are a few tips to help you better hear yourself:

  1. If the suggested list didn’t give you a definite answer, try to abstract yourself from it for a while. Think about what usually hurts you most in a relationship with your loved ones? If the criticism of your partner is extremely painful for you, perhaps your mother tongue – the words. If you fall into despair from the fact that your partner, coming from work, dinner, household chores, asking you about your day, but never once you and never hug and falls asleep, turning to the wall, not even a kiss – you should look closely at the language of touch. If you are upset by the infrequent presence of flowers and gifts, the language of gifts will probably be close to you. And so on.
  2. Another way to recognize your language is to remember how you usually express your love to your partner. What do you do, say, to do this? Planning your leisure time and choosing where to go together on the weekend? Admire your partner so that even all your friends do not have doubts that your partner is really the best? You probably expect the same in return.

If you don’t have a lover at the moment, it doesn’t mean that there’s no reason at all to learn the languages of love. Sooner or later you will meet someone you like, and you can already start preparing for this meeting by studying yourself and imagining what languages others may speak. In this case, you may find it hard to remember what hurts you in a relationship or how you show your love. Then use your fantasy, it’s just as important a source of information about you. Try to fantasize about your ideal partner. What is he like? What does he do to make you feel his love? Does he hug you, take an active part in raising children, shower you with compliments or gifts? All of this will help you find the key to your language .


…and partner.
You can find out his language by using the methods described above. You can ask your lover and direct questions about what he expects and wants from the relationship and from you. Another trick: Listen to his grievances. Criticism is one way to declare your love, though not the most successful. Listen to what your partner most often criticizes you for.

“You never give me flowers!”, “You only have your work and you have no time for me”, “You never notice how I look today, you never praise me, but I try for you”, “I want to come to a clean and tidy house, why don’t you do it?”, “You are completely distant from me – you do not kiss, hug”.

Criticism, if not taken personally, is a valuable source of information. Instead of getting annoyed and retaliating, listen carefully and respectfully to your partner. “You’re very frustrated that we rarely get together. Let’s think about how we can find time and where we can go together?” Using this approach, you will find that your partner’s criticism will disappear and be replaced by requests, gratitude, and love.

Carolina is an experienced writer with a passion for Tech & Apps. She has written for numerous publications, and her work has been recognized for its high-quality content and engaging writing style.