If you can’t feel the love tonight, maybe it’s because you’re not speaking the same love language...
You’ve probably heard of the five love languages: physical touch, words of affirmation, quality time, acts of service and gifts. But don’t shrug them off just yet. The key to a healthy relationship is understanding how best to express love to your partner in a way that resonates with them and fulfils their needs. When you recognise what speaks to them, you’ll have better communication and appreciation for one another. You’ll also strengthen your connection, manage expectations and prevent tensions from building up. It goes both ways – love languages are how you show affection for others and how you want to receive affection.
Not sure which love language you or your partner prefer? It’s simple – just take an online quiz or speak to a counsellor if you need help diving deeper into that. Most people will have one main love language and perhaps a secondary one. Once you understand what love language you speak, it’s easier to communicate in the same way. Let’s unpack how to apply it to your relationship.
Relationship tips for the 5 love languages
1. Physical touch
The simple act of touching one another is known to release oxytocin, which is the feel-good hormone that makes you go all warm and fuzzy inside. Being touchy-feely encourages bonding between the couple and it’s believed to help boost your immune system.
If physical touch is your partner’s love language,
- Pucker up: create a habit of smooching as a physical expression of your love. You can shower each other with kisses in the morning, just before bedtime or even when you’re taking a break from work.
- Hold hands everywhere: this little gesture signifies your connection and releases mood-boosting endorphins.
- Cuddle in bed: your partner may prefer to be the “big” or “little” spoon, so try swapping roles or facing each other to see how that feels.
- Have sex regularly: while sex isn’t everything, it’s one of the preferred ways to give and receive love for anyone whose love language is physical touch.
2. Words of affirmation
Any sincere spoken or written words can support and uplift your partner in a positive manner. Words in the form of encouragement and compliments are very much valued.
If words of affirmation are your partner’s love language,
- Show appreciation: love should be expressed through spoken form. It’s not about flattery but heartfelt thanks.
- Watch your tone: auditory people tend to be sensitive to what is said and the way it’s being said. Your tone should be one of love and curiosity, not accusation.
- Be specific: don’t keep repeating the same phrases day in and day out. Spend time elaborating on why they mean so much to you.
3. Quality Time
It’s about carving out the time to co-create pleasant memories together without any distractions.
If quality time is your partner’s love language,
- Stay away from electronic devices: put aside mobile phones and other gadgets during your date or alone time with your partner. For someone whose love language is quality time, nothing irks them more than your divided attention.
- Schedule intimate talk: there’s a time and place for everything. Springing sensitive or difficult topics for spontaneous discussion won’t go down well with them. Instead, schedule your couple discussion time (say, once a week) and let it all out.
- Make memories: they love companionship and shared interests. Make sure you have more good times together than negative ones.
4. Acts of service
Love is expressed (and appreciated!) through doing things, including running errands or managing household chores.
If acts of service are your partner’s love language,
- Receive with a grateful heart: when they do something for you, they’re doing it out of love – not just habit. Always receive their little gestures as expressions of love.
- Give willingly: they might not realise they also love receiving the same from you in return. What they do to you, do unto them, and see what happens!
- Understand that little things matter: since your partner believes love is shown in action (not just empty words), do small things for them daily. That can include cooking their favourite dishes or helping out around the house.
From small tokens to surprise deliveries, gifts are physical reminders of love.
If gifts are your partner’s love language,
- Focus on small presents: drop the assumption that presents need to be expensive. You can just as easily give them a flower as a physical display of your love, as long as it’s a thoughtful present.
- Cherish the memories: think of the gifts you buy for your partner as keepsakes – they’re precious objects associated with memorable people or events. They’re also a reminder that you thought of them at a specific place and time.
- Save up: of course, you can always put aside your coins for big-ticket items that last a lifetime.
Even if you and your partner speak different love languages, it doesn’t mean you’re not meant to be! Here are more relationship tips to keep in mind:
1. Not every couple speaks the same love language, and that’s okay
2. Understand your love language and what makes you tick
3. Express affection in a way your partner can receive it best
4. Compromise – it’s about give and take
5. Be clear about what makes you feel loved
So the next time you’re both feeling a little low in your love bank, think about these pointers and express your love for each other in your respective love languages.