The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
If you’ve ever taken an Intro to Psychology class or any Buzzfeed quiz, you’re probably familiar with the concept of love languages. Gary Chapman, Ph. D. is responsible for creating this phenomenon. Love languages are a way in which people can identify what their needs are in terms of expressing and receiving love and affection. In total, there are five love languages: physical touch, words of affirmation, acts of service, quality time, and gifts.
When thinking about love languages, it’s easy to associate them with romantic relationships, but they are just as useful to platonic relationships! Knowing your needs in a friendship is crucial to form long-lasting and deep bonds. Physical touch can be expressed in a platonic manner through hugs, high-fives, or even cuddles! Words of affirmation, my personal favorite, can be shown through handwritten notes, caring text messages, and even just telling them how much they mean to you in person!
Acts of service is a concept that isn’t as self-explanatory, although I translate it as something that relieves your stress. This can be anything from someone picking up your Amazon package or filling up your water when you’re in the middle of a long study session. This way of expressing your love and appreciation for others is often overlooked, but I find it to be one that makes a big difference.
Quality time runs pretty similarly when comparing how it’s expressed in romantic and platonic relationships. Having time spent together where your focus is solely on each other is essential when building a relationship of value. This can be as extravagant as going on a trip together or as simple as a bike ride together. And last but not least, giving and receiving gifts are a way to feel loved! Gifts also don’t always have to be going out of your way to buy your friend something! It can be as simple as sharing your food with them or letting them borrow your clothes.
Love languages are a way to understand yourself and the people you surround yourself with on a deeper and more intimate level, both platonically and romantically. So next time you’re with someone you care about, I encourage you to have a conversation about ways in which they can feel loved and appreciated!