Gary Chapman was the first person to discuss these " love languages" and to work with couples to deepen their relationship through learning each other's language. So a brief run through:
Words of affirmation: Offering encouragement, saying " I love you", complimenting your partner, especially in front of others.
Quality time: Spending time together, without other people, giving your partner your undivided attention ( no mobile, TV in the background)
Gifts: this is not about the cost of the gift, but giving something thoughtful, meaningful and maybe unexpected. Showing that you know them well, and that you put thought and effort into choosing a gift for them.
Physical touch: Holding hands, kissing, cuddling are important here, not just sex, but showing your love through physical intimacy.
Acts of service: Making a cup of tea just the way they like it. Putting out the bins even though it's technically not your job, offering to be the designated driver.
What do you reckon is YOUR love language? How do you feel loved? Do you love to be surprised with flowers or a special meal? Are you a big fan of PDAs ( or do they make you cringe??!) Is this the same or different to your partner? We have all learned ways to show love and to feel it, but if the way we are showing it, isn't landing with your partner there can be tension. This is the reason " very practical" presents aren't always warmly received. If we view a present as a representation of how our partner views us... well, like my friend Anne said; " a power washer just didn't do it.". Once we know our own love language, we can turn to the love language of our partner. Maybe they have no interest in presents, maybe they hate holding hands in public... but maybe they always do the wash up, offer to drive, fix stuff around the house before you've even noticed it needed fixing. That's equally a way of showing love.
So what do we need to do here? Find a mate who shares the same love language? Nope. Teach them how we want to be shown love? Possibly... But the research actually suggests that couples who can accept each other's love language and focus on showing love in the way they know their partner best receives it, do best. There are many ways to skin a cat, and many ways to show love... off with you now!