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  • Writer's pictureAngeli Zhao

The 5 Love Languages: Different ways of expressing your love

A guide to understanding the love language of your partner

Though it may come as a surprise, not everyone communicates love in the same way. We tend to make too many assumptions in our relationships, expecting our partners to appreciate our gestures of love, therefore synonymously overlooking the fact that they may have their own. Since our perceptions of love are deeply rooted in our environmental, societal and personal experiences, everyone differs. To prevent misunderstanding a partner’s needs, it is eminently important to identify their love language. Developed in his book, The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts, PhD. Gary Chapman categorises and describes these five unique styles of love.

1. Words of affirmation

This love language is all about expressing affection through spoken words. Praise, appreciation and validation through encouragement, kind words and gratitude are especially meaningful to recipients of this language of love. On the other hand, insults can be especially upsetting for those who favour this form of love language.

Examples include:

  • Speaking genuinely from your heart

  • Saying ‘I love you’ frequently

  • Words of appreciation

  • Writing meaningful messages through letters

  • Complimenting them

2. Receiving Gifts

No, this isn’t being materialistic. People whose love language is gift-giving cherish the symbolic language of love and affection translated through gifts. However, the effort behind the gift is equally as important as the gift itself. For instance, picking out something specifically for them conveys how you really know them. Special occasions are also particularly important.

Examples include:

  • Leaving behind intangible gifts in the morning or when you know they don’t feel their best

  • Giving gifts that symbolize moments, experiences or feelings

  • Planning out a surprise weekend holiday, especially on important occasions

  • Putting thoughtfulness in gift-giving

3. Acts of Service

For these people, doing helpful or kind gestures will make them feel loved and appreciated. Them seeing you ease their workload by actively helping them out can be very touching. Conversely, ambivalence or a lack of support is incredibly damaging.

Examples include:

  • Showing action, rather than just telling

  • Following through with what you say you will do

  • Running errands for them

  • Assisting with stressful or time consuming tasks

4. Quality Time

Every relationship requires quality time together to establish a strong bond, and for those whose love language is “quality time”, your undivided (phoneless) attention is all the more important.

Examples include:

  • Making eye contact with them when speaking

  • Turning off your device when conversing with them

  • Focus on what they are saying

  • Ask thoughtful questions during a conversation

  • Being empathetic about their thoughts

5. Physical Touch

This doesn’t just include intercourse. Aside from that, they feel love through other physical forms of affection, as they simply want to be close to their partner. Appropriate touching is their preferred way of receiving love because it conveys warmth and safety. Physical wedges can be very harmful to those who put emphasis on this.

Examples include:

  • Hugging them from behind when they’re doing the dishes

  • Giving them small pecks of kisses throughout the day

  • Cuddling whilst watching a film

  • Holding their hands in public

  • Giving them a massage in the evenings

  • Initiating intimacy

Putting your partner’s love language into practice can enhance your relationship tenfold. Making sure you know each other’s love language in a relationship results in a myriad of benefits, while simultaneously helping you in conceiving a happy and fulfilling relationship. It’s important to always remember that healthy relationships do not foster naturally, but rather are developed through much effort.

Take a quiz and find out your love language on:


Disclaimer: The information provided here is for general informational purposes only. Please do not use the information provided here as a replacement for therapy or professional advice. For the full disclaimer policy, please refer to

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