Lifestyle, Relationships

Analyzing ‘The 5 Love Languages’

“The 5 Love Languages” is a quiz that tells you how you give and receive love. It was developed by Gary Chapman, a counselor who wrote several books about the subject matter.

I was inspired to take this quiz after my friends asked me what my love language is. I was confused because I had never heard of this term before. I wondered if this was a new trend, similar to asking “what’s your star sign?” It certainly feels new to me because almost all of my friends had taken the quiz and knew their so-called love languages.

After learning about my love language, I decided to do more research. Based on my observations, I will break down each one:

Words of affirmation

You love giving and receiving compliments from your loved ones. If you know someone whose love language is words of affirmation, try complimenting their looks and actions often and encouraging them through uplifting words. Simple phrases such as “I love your outfit” or “I believe in you, you have what it takes,” can bring out confidence — and love — in a person.

Acts of service

Almost the opposite of words of affirmation, this love language is all about actions over words. The key isn’t giving elaborate gifts but doing everyday actions that help make your loved one’s day easier. You make them breakfast when they are in a rush or help them with tough assignments. On the receiving end, you prefer to surround yourself with people who are willing to help you out when you need it the most.

person holding a box with a necklace inside it
Gift giving, one of Gary Chapman’s five love languages. Learning about yours and your loved ones’ love languages can help you better understand your relationships and communicate with others. ILLUSTRATION BY HANNAH YOSHINAGA/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

Receiving gifts

This love language may seem materialistic at first glance, but receiving gifts just means you appreciate someone’s effort to create something special for you. In summary, it’s the thought that goes into the gift rather than the gift itself. Inversely, the key to giving gifts is making sure the gift has a personal connection to that person or is related to a memory you shared or will share.

Quality time

You enjoy spending time with others, but more so in one-on-one situations than in large groups. You prefer to give and receive attention more than gifts. To make the most out of your quality time, try to maintain eye contact and listen carefully to the person you are with. Thinking of what to do during your quality time? Try an activity you both are fond of and can do together. People who prefer quality time are usually the ones making plans, such as dates with their significant other or road trips with friends.

Physical touch

When you’re with a friend and they need comforting, your first instinct is to hug them or hold their hand. You express care for someone most naturally through physical touch rather than service or words of affirmation. Similarly, you’re happy to receive hugs and kisses from your loved ones. You’ve probably acquired small habits, such as sitting close to someone or linking arms while walking. You also might struggle to be with people who are uncomfortable with physical contact.

Knowing your love language can help you understand yourself and your relationships better. It’s a useful tool for expressing your love for someone based on their preferences. It can also help you better understand why some of your relationships fail while others succeed. Who knew love languages could tell you so much about yourself? In my opinion, they’re much better than star signs.

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