What's your love language and which ones are the most popular?
When people remember things you told them and act on it, when they make time for you, or give you warm, encouraging words, they’re showing you love.
Everyone has different love languages, and according to author Dr Gary Chapman, there are five main ways we do this.
In his book he explored these avenues: words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch.
Since then, his work has sparked many conversations about how we prefer giving and receiving love.
So we asked people which ones they identify with the most and also spoke to relationship expert Bobbi Banks about what makes the five concepts so compelling.
Which language speaks to you the most?
Words of affirmation – These are reassuring words from your loved one. Like ‘you always make me laugh’ or ‘I love spending time with you’ to compliments like ‘your hair looks amazing like that’.
Acts of service – This is when people do things for you, whether to make your life easier or just to make you happy. It is the epitome of ‘actions speak louder than words’.
Quality time – This is about undivided attention from a loved one, focusing on you without distractions.
Receiving gifts – It’s less about materialism and more about a person getting you something meaningful and thoughtful to make you feel appreciated.
Physical touch – It can be a hug, a cuddle, holding hands, kissing etc. This is all about being assured physically that you’re safe, loved, and accepted.
You can do a more in-depth quiz online, available for couples, singles, children and teenagers.
My love language is words of affirmation – for a stressed, anxious person it’s nice to know that I’m liked/loved because most of the time I think I’m annoying.
Quality time and physical affection also rank highly on my list.
In terms of how I love others, I think I give what I want to receive, so words of affirmation, quality time and physical affection.
I also like giving others gifts, but I’m not too fussed about getting gifts myself.
I’m literally Yewande and Danny off Love Island. My boyfriend Jak is much more of a physical touch and cuddles kinda guy. Whereas I show my love through acts of service. I make him a packed lunch every day, make sure he has his dinner on the table, clean the flat etc.
I love doing that and that’s me showing him I love him, making sure he’s happy and well-fed!!
I’m not great at receiving physical touch and cuddles. Not sure why, when we first got together I did, but four years is a long time and it seems to have shifted. I’d prefer him to help out more or a thoughtful gift like flowers as a surprise!
Quality time and physical touch for sure, they’re a must. All the rest are bonuses for me.
I can get sh*t for myself and do sh*t for myself, and I hardly have time to even breathe during school term so a midweek date or an entire weekend during school holidays feels like another world to escape into.
For pragmatic people who are on the go, and for those who tend to overthink and worry, being present physically and emotionally is so valuable.
It makes me feel at ease and has no monetary value. All the others require money and extra effort that modern inner-city adults can’t afford.
I’ve practised mine on my parents and friends. For me it’s acts of service – this is the love language that prioritises having things done for you, whether big or small, giving a helping hand.
So with my dad, that’s hanging out his work laundry – with my mum that’s cooking (doubling up on her quality time love language).
Even for my dad (he’s 68), that can be ordering things from Amazon, booking his flights – even though he can do it himself. But it puts the biggest smile on his face.
Naturally, I think (and I’ve been told!) I gravitate towards acts of service. I will often sacrifice my own time to go on bizarre research questions to find answers to questions loved ones throw out, track down the perfect gift, surprise them by ironing their clothes or tidying their dorm room while they’re out at lectures.
With my closest family, friends and loved ones, touch is super important to me to receive. My family are big huggers as are my friends and I’ll often ask for a cuddle from my fiancé or for him to hold my hand.
My highest priority to give and receive is undoubtedly quality time.
I’ll often say that I haven’t seen or spoken to someone in forever and receive a puzzled look because I’ve spent all weekend with them in a group situation or the whole week at work.
But it’s the quality conversations, knowing the intimate details of how they really are and vice versa that I value.
I show love by spending time with people and really listening to what they like, want and then using that information to show them that they are appreciated.
As for receiving love, I definitely love quality time, spending moments with friends and partners, and physical touch to maintain the connection with people that I know and trust etc. I’m quite simple.
Bobbi Banks, relationship coach
The action of loving is different for everyone and understanding how you show and receive love is absolutely vital for a happy and healthy relationship.
It is unrealistic to believe that your partner will miraculously know how to love you the way you want to be loved.
This needs to be communicated and for that to happen you need to know yourself first.
I have found that couples who know their love languages get to build a deeper connection, resolve conflicts easier and feel more satisfied with their partner.
Having your emotional needs met in a relationship is crucial and speaking each other’s love languages achieves exactly that.
This, I believe, applies to not only partners but family and friends too. Next time you don’t feel loved and appreciated ask yourself why.
It will likely be because the other person is not speaking your love language, and this can easily be fixed with good communication and effort on both sides.
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