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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at ASU chapter.

Every relationship has its ups and downs. Whether you’re in a serious stage of your relationship or just starting to get to know someone, it is important to communicate and set boundaries in order to strengthen and improve your relationship. There are several ways of doing this, such as having an open conversation about consent, likes, and dislikes. One new technique of communicating is evaluating each other’s love languages.

What’s a love language?

There are five total love languages that reveal how you give and receive love.

  1. Words of Affirmation – Expressing love through words and phrases that support your partner. Verbal compliments can go a long way, even if they’re simple. Examples of words of affirmation include: “I appreciate you,” “You make me smile,” “I don’t know what I’d do without you,” “You make me so happy,” “I love you,” “You’re beautiful,” etc. Shooting your partner a loving note/text/email for no particular reason would brighten their day. AVOID: negative or insulting comments to your partner 

  2. Acts of Service – Someone whose love language is acts of service appreciates it when their partner goes out of their way to help them. Unexpectedly doing something practical to help your partner out, such as doing the laundry, would show your partner that you care while simultaneously easing their stress and workload. “Actions speak louder than words” is your partner’s motto. Showing a little bit of time, thought, and effort would mean the world to them. AVOID: complaining while helping your partner

  3. Receiving Gifts – A person who prefers receiving gifts isn’t necessarily greedy or materialistic. It simply means that your partner appreciates little gifts as a token of your love. This makes your partner feel special, as you probably don’t frequently give gifts to everyone in your life. It also doesn’t require spending a lot of money. DIY projects and handwritten notes can mean the most to your partner. Surprising your partner with something small from time to time, like their favorite takeout food, also expresses your love. AVOID: only treating your partner on special occasions

  4. Quality Time– This is exactly what it sounds like. Some partners simply want to spend alone time with you. Even if it’s just the two of you lounging on the couch while watching TV, it shows your partner that you’ve prioritized spending time with them. Whether it’s casual leisure time or fancy date nights, spend quality time with your partner. Yes, that involves both of you putting your phones down so that you’re free from distractions and can focus on each other with full, undivided attention. AVOID: failing to listen to your partner, distractions, postponed dates
  5. Physical Touch – This doesn’t always mean excessive PDA. If your partner wants physical touch, then it can be as simple as wrapping your arm around them in public, holding hands, hugging, kissing, cuddling, etc. The sensation and security of physical touch helps your partner feel more safe and connected in a relationship. AVOID: lack of physical contact

Why should I care about love languages?

Dr. Gary Chapman, author of “The 5 Love Languages,” states that “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.”

Since everyone gives and receives love differently, it’s better to know your partner’s expectations and needs so you are both on the same page about what the other person wants in a relationship. Depending on individual personalities, you may feel love differently than how your partner does and should work together to establish a bond for a lasting relationship that’s more likely to survive.

How do I know what my love language is?

From reading the summaries of the love languages, you might have already figured out what yours is. If not, you can take a free love language test here. It is important to remember that you can have aspects of some or all of the five love languages. Taking the quiz will simply help you figure out which one is the most significant to you. Whether you’re single or in a relationship, knowing your love language will help you better understand how you feel loved and appreciated.

Ashlyn Robinette is an Arizona State University and Her Campus ASU alumnus. She received her B.A. in journalism and mass communication with a minor in digital audiences from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and Barrett, The Honors College.