Just like there are personality types to identify the kind of characteristics we have, there are also categories that describe the way that people express their love.
There are five separate love languages: words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch. It's perfectly normal to lean towards more than one love language. In fact, you probably express several of them to different degrees. But, the love language you utilize the most is usually identified as your love language. Here's a break down of each of the five love languages.
Words of affirmation are all about verbally communicating your love. This can be done through compliments, saying "I love you," and telling someone how much they mean to you. A lot of people label this love language in a relationship as reassurance. It definitely doesn't hurt to remind your S.O. that they're your one and only, and that no matter what happens, they will always be important to you.
Acts of service involve doing things for your partner, like making the bed, cooking dinner, and plugging their phone in so that it will be charged by the time they leave the house. The point of this love language is that you're making an effort. You're expending time and energy to make them happy. They notice when you go out of your way for them.
Receiving gifts is as simple as it sounds. It can mean buying your S.O. their favorite Starbucks drink, making them a cute DIY present (like a photo book), or ordering them something cool on Amazon. When you give them a gift, it lets them know that you were thinking of them.
Quality time means setting aside some time, even when you're super busy, to hang out with your partner. But quality time goes even further than a few dates and hangouts. It involves setting aside distractions. You can't have quality time with the person you love if you're texting nine of your friends while you're watching a movie with them! Quality time also means giving them your full attention.
Physical touch isn't always necessarily sexual. Maybe your partner wants you to cuddle them often or likes that you hold their hand every time you walk somewhere together. However, it's more than likely that having sex with you makes them feel emotionally closer.
People tend to both express love in their particular love language and desire to receive love in that same way. But if you and your S.O. have different love languages, this might be a tricky situation. However, it's not the end of the world, and it doesn't have to be the end of your relationship either. In order to get over this obstacle, you are going to have to learn to compromise and try to understand the way that your partner expresses love.
When their love language is: words of affirmation
When their love language is: acts of service
Maybe you're not that perceptive. Maybe you can't remember what kind of detergent they need at the store, can't cook for your life, or would rather be blatantly told what your partner needs. Here's the thing: You can always ask your S.O., "Is there anything I can help you with?" Even if they say no, they'll notice the fact that you asked and were willing to do something for them. If they happen to say yes, you can work alongside them with whatever they're having trouble with, which is a lot less complicated than figuring something out by yourself.
When their love language is: receiving gifts
When their love language is: quality time
This one is pretty straightforward. If you haven't been making your S.O. a priority, you're going to have to start doing so. Something cute that you both can do is send invites to hang out on Google Calendar. They'll get an email that says something along the lines of: "Ashley invited you to 'dinner at Olive Garden' at 5:00 p.m." Make it a habit of being open about when you're free and when you have things already planned. It's all about communication and balance.
When their love language is: physical touch
Let's say, for example, your love language is words of affirmation. One thing you can try is to translate a phrase into a touch. Pretty simple, right? Three squeezes can mean "I love you." Maybe a leg touch can mean "I'm worried about you." And stroking their back can mean "everything is going to be okay." It's going to take some mental training to remember what all the specific touches say, but after some time, this can bridge the gap between your love languages.