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Love Languages and How it Affects My Relationships

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

Love languages are the way that you express or enjoy receiving love. Ideally, you would want someone who has the same love languages as you or at least understands them. The love language that you use to express your love towards others may not be the same love language that you would prefer to receive your love with. You can also have different love languages for the different relationships in your life.

The five different love languages are: Words of affirmation, physical touch, quality time, acts of service, and giving/receiving gifts.

In my romantic relationships, I’ve always loved expressing my love through words of affirmation and physical touch. When my partner and I first started seeing each other, I would write them letters every month and give little random notes about what I liked about them. I did this consistently for about 2 years. Sometimes I felt as if my notes were extremely repetitive, but I was also under the impression that everyone enjoyed receiving love the way I loved to express it.

This was not the case for my partner at all. When we first started talking, they absolutely hated words of affirmation and physical touch. They had the mindset that people can say a lot of things, repeatedly, and make it sound so nice, but not actually mean any of it. I did not understand that. The two of us would get into arguments and debates about it. I would cry and say that I did mean every word that I said but they did not budge. I would also ask for the same type of love back but never received it. I never got cute love letters and I never got randomly told that I was beautiful. It sucked. But it sucked because I assumed that they loved the way that I did.

After learning about the different love languages, I took a step back and tried to analyze them. (Jk, I had them take a love language test.) It turns out that my top two love languages were their bottom two love languages. The way that they were loving me was through acts of service and quality time. Which, if I paid attention to the little things, would have been obvious. They would drive from Kailua to Waipahu pick me up every day to bring me to school. They would buy me breakfast and bring me home after classes. My partner also bought me anything practical that I needed. For example, if I had mentioned in a conversation that I couldn’t find a pencil and had to use a pen instead, I would have received a pack of wooden pencils, a mechanical pencil, erasers, and a pencil sharpener the next day.

Once I learned and understood each and every love language, I used that information to learn how to love my partner better. I continued with the love letters because that’s how I loved to express my love, but I also tried to spend more time with them. I would also combine their two love languages. If I had errands to run or an event to go to, I would simply ask my partner, “Hey, do you want to go with me to the store?” or “Could you please drop me off here? It’s very important.” When I started to do this, we became happier. I was no longer begging for words of affirmation, and they could express their love naturally.

Fast forwarding to today, there’s been a plot twist. My love languages are now acts of service and quality time and my partner’s love languages are physical touch and acts of service. You could say that we rubbed off on each other. I love how easy it became to love them when I understand the way that they love.

As for my platonic relationships, I was always a quality time kind of gal. Always have been and always will be. However, now that I’ve got big girl money, I also love to give gifts!! But that’s how I like to express my love for my friends. When I receive gifts from friends, I feel so guilty that they would even think about spending their hard-earned money on me. I feel like sometimes it creates a bit of tension, because in any type of relationship, people want to reciprocate. You do something for them, they do something for you. You buy someone a gift; they buy one back for you. It’s just how humans work. I have a few gifts sitting in my room untouched right now because I really feel horrible about people buying me gifts, but I don’t know how to express that. I also know that some of my friends’ love language is gift giving, so who am I to deny their love?

With quality time being my love language for friends, I sometimes feel like that is not appreciated enough. I have a group of friends that I’ve been with for most of my life. And since I moved away from them, I don’t see them quite often and it sucks. It sucks a lot. My schedule is usually packed and accounted for from morning to night, so I don’t have the opportunity to spontaneously visit them or hang out with them. So I see them maybe once every two months. And the time that I spend with them is extremely important to me. It could range from 5 minutes to 7 hours and I’d still cherish every second. But their love languages seem different from mine. Sometimes I feel like they get upset with me if I need to leave after seeing them for a little or they want me to hang out more. And as much as I’d love to, because my schedule is so packed, I give them as much time out of my schedule as I can. But it still feels unappreciated. This is an example of how the different love languages can cause a strain in my relationship.

I’m hoping that this is just temporary and a part of the growing up process. I love each and every person in my life in a different way. I will go grocery shopping with my partner, watch a movie with my friends, buy gifts for my coworkers, and tell my siblings how much I love them.

Aloha everyone! I'm Mary Joy, born and raised on the island of O'ahu. I'm a senior majoring in Business Management. On my free time, I enjoy finding new places to eat, spending time with friends, and taking naps :) I enjoy writing for HerCampus and showing everyone what I love about the island!