The five love languages started out as a book written by Gary Chapman in 1995 where he illustrates the five ways we express and experience love through words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch. You can also take a quick test online to find out what your love language is.
How is this important to your relationship? It’s good to know how you want to be loved. Not to be needy but to better understand yourself, your partner, and the dynamic of your relationship.
In an email I received about my own results, they highlighted, “It’s romantic to think your partner should just know how to love you—but it’s also a bit unrealistic, and can even be unfair to expect something from your partner if you’re not willing to tell him/her how you prefer to be loved and appreciated in your relationship.”
When I first took the test four or five years ago, my primary love language was quality time. Recently, I thought I would take it again to see if it changed. And to my surprise, it did, to physical touch with quality time coming in second. People who have this love language are described as, “Not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder or face—they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love.”
It also also notes that, “Physical presence and accessibility are crucial.” After reading the description, it started to make more sense to me that physical touch is my love language.
Curious, I asked my boyfriend to take the test too to see how he wanted to be loved. And, surprisingly as well, his is words of affirmation with acts of service as a close second. We both found the result unexpected but he said, “Maybe because I can always rely on physical touch and quality time because we see each other often.”
That’s a fair assessment but after taking some time to think about it, he is the type of person who needs a little encouragement once in awhile. Yes, he believes in himself but he appreciates it when I throw compliments here and there. He is also the type of person who likes things to run as smoothly as possible. Delays and change can stress him out so as his partner I always try to do everything I can to prevent those or remedy problems.
Now knowing what our love languages are, I think our relationship can only get better. We have a better understanding of what we look for and how we can help each other with open communication and trust at the center.
Art by Lara Intong
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