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Wellness > Sex + Relationships

Love Languages: How To Better Understand Love

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

There’s a lot we need to cover ya’ll, so get ready.

When I was 17 years old, I learned so much about myself. I learned about my body, how it was changing and adapting. I learned about my sexuality (and the cons that it came with it) but most importantly, I learned what I liked in a relationship. More-so, I also learned what I didn’t really like in my relationships.

I didn’t realize it then, but those Do’s and Dont’s for me were more than just understanding my boundaries. I was on a journey understanding my love languages and figuring it which one(s) were really for me. And once I figured these things out, I had a better understand of who I am as an individual.

What are the love languages?

To be straight forward: love languages are the way we want to express and appreciate our love for others. It can also be the way we feel our partners should show their affection in order to feel loved. Everyone has at least one love language they show and at least one they want to receive.

But what exactly are they?

1. Words of affirmation

Words of Affirmation is when you express to your partner how you feel about them verbally in order to make your partner feel appreciated. This love language in particular can be the hardest for some, due to the fact that one has to be vocal.

But giving your partner compliments doesn’t have to be seen as a scary or complicated thing to do. As someone whose love language is Words of Affirmation, as long as the compliments are genuine, then they can be short and simple, while still being effective!

Here are some examples of what this can look like:

“You look amazing today! I really how that outfit looks on you.”

“I am so proud of you, you’re doing great.”

“I am so very lucky to be with you.”

Giving your partner a compliment can really make their day if this is their love language. This could also be used with your friends, family, and/or children! Telling someone positive things about them or how you feel about them really helps with getting closer.

2. Gift Giving

Now, I know what you’re thinking: Isn’t this kind of materialistic??

No. This is actually a misconception. This love language simply means that thoughtful and/or meaningful gifts makes your partner feel loved. This could be as simple as giving your partner their favorite hot chips because they were craving them Or giving your partner flowers when they have been feeling down.

The emphasise is the meaning behind the gift rather than the materialistic value of it. When the gift is planned out, the gift can make your partner feel heard and appreciated.

3. quality time

This love language can look like A LOT OF THINGS but it means spending time with each other. And no, I do not mean just sitting next to each other but giving each other undivided attention. When you have a partner who has Quality Time as their love language, they want to feel like you appreciate and value them through your time. They want to do things with you without external distractions (like your phone).

This can look like cuddling and watching movies. This can also look like going out having dinner together with no distractions like tv or your phones! It all about taking in and living in the moment.

To this partner, you are witnessing that you appreciate them by making sure you are giving them the right of amount of attention for a period of time.

4. physical touch

If you or your partner realize that you value physical expression over verbal compliments then your love language is most likely physical touch!

Now this isn’t just about sex, this could be other physical romantic gestures like a hug or a handhold. These expressions could be just as romantic than a grand gesture to your partner that has this love language. This love language is great because this can be an a place where you or they can explore what feels comfortable. Reminder: there are non-intimate and intimate ways to touch someone that can show you really care about them.

5. acts of service

I have a best friend in my life that when we hang out, they serve me food and they cook for me and they also give me water. It may not seem like it, but that is their way showing they care for me.

That is what Acts of Service looks like. This love language basically means that your partner shows they care by doing something they know you would like. This could look completely different for everyone: it could be cooking, cleaning, watering plants or warming up the car. This love language is unique and can appear small but it can also look like large gestures. It depends from person to person but it ultimately takes time!

The wrap up…

At the end of the day, people express their love for one another in different ways. Whether we understand it or not, everyone has a love language we give and receive.

Want to see what your love languages is? Take this quiz!

Christina (Chrissy) is an independent social media analyst in the Pilsen and Little Italy area of Chicago. She specializes in helping small BIPOC businesses and community organizations improve their brand image through media platforms such as Tiktok and Instagram. She's a first generation college student and is currently a Senior at UIC studying Communication and minoring in Public Health. She is planning to graduate in the Fall of 2022!