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Sex + Relationships

Understanding Your Partner’s Love Language

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

I feel like most people have heard of the term “love language.” It tends to gets thrown around a lot, especially on social media. But, have you ever stopped to fully understand 1) what your love language is, 2) what your partner’s love language is, and 3) how to recognize both of these in a relationship?

According to psychologytoday.com, a “love language” describes how we receive love from others. There are five main love languages: words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch (Ma, 2020). Let’s dive into each of them, shall we?

Words of Affirmation

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Verywellmind.com states that words of affirmation are about expressing affection through spoken words, praise, and appreciation. If you feel most loved when your partner praises or encourages you through words, this may be your primary love language (Gordon, 2022). Some examples of this are your partner complimenting how well you did on your job interview, or verbally expressing the reasons they love you. 

If this is your partner’s love language, you can make them feel their best through words. Let them know when they do something you are proud of or point out the qualities you love about them. Write them a short note for them to read before work or class in the morning that lets them know you’re thinking of them. 

acts of service

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If this is your partner’s love language, they feel loved when you do nice things or errands for them. Taking pressure off of them and their to-do list for the day makes them feel appreciated. This could include loading the dishwasher, running errands, putting gas in the car, or helping them with a project. It’s these little acts of service that keep them going, and they are often found doing similar tasks for others as well. 

If this sounds like your partner, evaluate how you can take pressure and stress off them. Do they have a lot of classes or errands back-to-back one day? Make or pick them up lunch and run it to them to ensure they are able to eat in between. Are there a lot of chores to do around the house? Let your partner rest for a little while you start checking off the list. This will show them how much you care for them and how much they put into the relationship.

receiving gifts

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This love language involves receiving small and thoughtful gifts. These individuals do not solely treasure the gift, but also the time and effort put into it. They do not have to be elaborate or expensive. This love language is all about small gestures and gifts that let your partner know you had them in mind when buying or making them. 

The best way to show love to your partner in this language is to regularly buy or make small gifts to show them how much you care. For example, if you know your partner loves to read, pick out a book that reminds you of them or one of their favorite genre. Your partner will love that you chose something specifically geared to them. It is about the thought behind it.

quality time

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The love language of quality time means that someone feels most loved through undivided attention from their partner. People who fall under this love spending time with their partner, whether that be running to the grocery store together, or going on a vacation just the two of them. 

If your partner’s love language is quality time, make an effort to set aside time to spend with one another each week. This means without distractions, so put away your phone and actively listen to your partner. When your partner senses you are present and focused on them, they feel the most seen and loved. It is more about the quality of time more so than the quantity. Take a small road trip somewhere or spend time doing a fun activity with your partner. 

physical touch

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Physical touch as a primary love language means that the person feels loved through physical affection. This is any kind of touch, so it could be holding hands, hugging, kissing, or engaging in intimacy. This type of person craves to be physically close to their partner. 

If this is your partner’s love language, be sure to incorporate natural physical touch into your relationship dynamic. When you are walking somewhere together, grab their hand. When you say goodbye, give them some hugs and kisses. For a date night, cuddle on the couch with some wine or snacks and watch a movie together. 

How To Benefit Your Relationship Through Love Languages

In my opinion, knowing my love language and my partner’s as well has helped our relationship strengthen. I am all about physical touch and quality time. He loves quality time as well, but not physical touch as much as me. I’ve brought my needs up in conversations with him, and we were able to openly speak about what each of us wants in the relationship. From there, we were able to compromise and come to a deeper understanding of the other person. I think it is so important to be able to hold vulnerable conversations like this. I know they can be uncomfortable, but you need to feel secure enough in the relationship that you can openly declare your needs. For example, if you are a person who loves acts of service, let your partner know so they can better understand how to make you feel loved and secure. In this way, they can have this information in the back of their mind when they’re going throughout their day.

Only then can they start to practice ways to make you feel loved because, ultimately, they should already care for and love you. 

5 love languages quiz

Here is the most well-known quiz for finding out your primary love language(s). I love this quiz because it was created by Gary Chapman, the author of the book The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts. I love this quiz because it gives you percentages at the conclusion of the series of questions to break up which are your most prominent languages. For example, my results were 33% quality time, 27% physical touch, 20% words of affirmation, 17% acts of service, and 3% receiving gifts.

Click here to take the quiz!

References

Gordon, S. (2022, January 23). What are the five love languages? Verywell Mind. Retrieved February 6, 2022, from https://www.verywellmind.com/can-the-five-love-languages-help-your-relationship-4783538.

Ma, L. (Ed.). (2020, September 28). What are the 5 love languages? Definition and examples. Psychology Today. Retrieved February 6, 2022, from https://cdn.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/click-here-happiness/202009/what-are-the-5-love-languages-definition-and-examples.

Northfield Publishing. (n.d.). The love language™ quiz. The 5 Love Languages®. Retrieved February 6, 2022, from https://www.5lovelanguages.com/quizzes/love-language.

HCXO, Rachel

Rachel Ritchey

Millersville '22

Rachel Ritchey is a senior public relations major at Millersville University. Rachel is involved in Her Campus Millersville (social media director), the All Campus Musical Organization, PRSSA, and Navigators. She is passionate about type 1 diabetes awareness, social media management, music, mental health, and self-care. ♡
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