What Are The 5 Love Languages?

GinaMarie Guarino, LMHC GinaMarie Guarino, LMHC

Published on July 15th, 2021

What Are The 5 Love Languages?

The 5 Love Languages is a concept that was developed by Dr. Gary Chapman in 1995. It is a concept that is often discussed in different settings. The 5 Love Languages are often used in couples, marriage, and relationship counseling. It may also be used in family counseling, communication, and life coaching. 

The 5 Love Languages have helped improve the quality of different types of relationships. The following types of relationships can all benefit from understanding the 5 Love Languages:

  • Friendships
  • Romantic relationships
  • Family relationships
  • Marriages
  • Co-parents
  • Relationships with neighbors
  • Career and office relationships

When you understand your and other people’s love language, you can recognize acts of love. You also learn how to express your love to others in a way that they can understand. Each relationship will have elements of all or most of the 5 Love Languages. Some languages will stand out and be more appreciated than others, depending on the individual.

The following are the five types of love languages:

1. Acts Of Service

A person who has a love language through acts of service feels most loved and appreciated when another person does something nice for them. To them, an act of service is an act of appreciation and gratitude. Acts of service do not need to be grandiose to be recognized and appreciated by someone whose love language is acts of service. Small things, like chores, thoughtful acts, and acts of care can communicate that they are loved and appreciated.

Because acts of service mean a lot to a person with this kind of love language, they can often be found expressing their appreciation for others through kind acts. To them, an act of service means they love and appreciate the person they are acting for. It gives this kind of person self-pride and sentiment to do things for the people in their life. It is their way of saying “I love and appreciate you.”

2. Quality Time

People who prioritize quality time acknowledge the love that comes from spending time with their loved ones. Committing time and attention to a loved one is important to someone whose love language is quality time. For a person to appreciate quality time as a communicator of love, the ability to focus on quality time with a loved one, and have that same quality time given to them in return is deeply valued. 

Committing to quality time does not only mean spending time in the same space as a loved one. It also involves presence, active listening, eye contact, and the ability to ignore distractions. To a person who communicates love with quality time, giving time and receive time means that they are loved, valued, and appreciated. 

3. Words Of Affirmation

Words of affirmation feel good to hear but are not the most important to all people. Hearing words of affirmation are more important to people whose love language is words of affirmation. A person who communicates love with words of affirmation enjoys words that help them feel loved, appreciated, validated, and seen. They appreciate hearing and reading messages of love. They appreciate words of encouragement and praise, especially for the things they work hard on and do well.

Because people who communicate with words of affirmation value messages, they send their love and appreciation in this way as well. A person with a love language of words of affirmation will communicate their love and appreciation for others through thoughtful messages, notes, and other sentiments. They will express their love and appreciation through words, and acknowledge the hard work of others by stating it out loud.

4. Receiving Gifts

For a person whose love language is receiving gifts, tokens of love and appreciation are most important. Gift-giving and receiving are valued for such a person, but that does not mean that extravagant tokens are desired or expected. People who appreciate receiving gifts often feel the sentiment behind those material objects. It is not so much about the price tag as it is the thought. To a person with a love language of receiving gifts, it’s the thought that counts. 

Because people with this love language value gifts, they often give gifts to show appreciation. For them, it is a way for them to say, “I was thinking about you today.” They value the idea of having someone on their mind and being on someone’s mind. They express this through tokens of appreciation.

5. Physical Touch

Physical touch is a love language that is communicated through physical signs of affection. Hand holding, cuddling, hugging, kissing and other signs of physical affection are important for those who communicate with this language. 

People who communicate love and appreciation with physical touch value contact and closeness with others. This can be the case in most relationships, but the need is often strongest in romantic relationships. A person will feel most loved when touched, caressed, or held. In return, they communicate their love through similar signs of affection.

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