Love languages are a concept created by Dr. Gary Chapman in his 1992 book which has differentiated the ways that people like to receive and give love ever since.
Ahead of Valentine’s Day on Monday 14 February, honing in on the set of five love languages and deciphering which one fits your partner and yourself may help make the day even more memorable.
Knowing your partner’s love language can also help you choose how to plan and spend your Valentine’s Day, whether a more extravagant gesture would be appreciated or if keeping things sweet and small is what’s best. Whether your’e a new couple or have been together for years, love language tests can unlock new things about yourself and your loved one.
What are the five different love languages?
There are five love languages, as defined by marriage counselor Dr. Gary Chapman in The Five Love languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate (1992):
- Words of affirmation
- Acts of service
- Receiving gifts
- Quality time
- physical touch
You are not simply limited to being one love language, however, you will have one overarching language that is key for a good relationship for you. These can be useful to know as not everyone communicates love in the same way and people have different ways that they prefer to receive love.
How can you celebrate each love language?
For Valentine’s Day, and in daily life, each love language can be expressed through different actions.
For gift giving, you may want to set aside a budget and nail down a gift with one for every year that you have been with your partner, or something that you know that they love. Intriguing gifts can include treasure hunts with romantic clues, and throwing in themed balloons and decorations to make the set up extra special.
Party decoration expert Jess Martin from Ginger Ray suggests heart-shaped confetti balloons or balloon arch kits for something more commercial for Valentines Day, but a little different from your usual box of chocolates and roses.
For acts of service, if your partners appreciate the actions where you show them you care and can make the extra effort then they may appreciate being cooked up their favorite meal. Small actions like making sure that you have prepared the bed and made the house look clean and tidy can go a long way.
For quality time, this is the most resonating love language for men and women as people are keen to spend downtime with their loved ones which simply requires your presence. Your partner may appreciate you dedicating a full day to spend with them, or at least a whole evening without distractions. This can be done for Valentine’s Day with a classic film and comfort food night.
For words of affirmation, although actions do speak louder than words, a majority of people still prefer to hear how their partner is feeling. This can be done in creative and thoughtful ways that show that you took your time and mean what you say. A Reasons why I love you jar gives space for you to put your thoughts written down into the jar for your loved one to find. Date night boxes can also allow for you to schedule some quality time whilst using affirmative words to show your partner how much you care.
For physical touch, this also requires some quality time – however, it means that you are in close proximity to your partner and not apart by the length of a full table. Simple ways to execute this including giving a home massage, or doing an online dance class together. You can also make playlists of your favorite songs and add candlelights to create a romantic atmosphere for your time together.
How can you tell someone’s love language?
If you like to give out compliments or are mostly moved by hearing sweet nothings, then your love language is likely to be words of affirmation. This is the only love language where you are telling someone something instead of showing them with actions.
If your partner knows their love language, they will be able to express to you what they need or they will show you by how they choose to show their love for you.
There are also online tests that you can take to decipher your love language, such as IDRLabs test, and other commercial forms of the test including psychology, 5lovelanguages and Buzzfeed.