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Languages of Love

Explore the five different love languages and their importance in fostering relationships. 


By Lea Tran 


cupid shooting an arrow
Graphic By Alicia Chiang

There are plenty of ways to show you love someone besides simply saying the three big words, “I love you.” In fact, depending on the type of person you are and who your partner is, there may be even more effective ways to demonstrate your love. 


The ways people best express and reciprocate love are called love languages. These “languages” can help us better understand our partners (romantic, platonic, etc.) and allow for healthier relationships. 


The five primary love languages are: 

  1. Acts of service: Doing chores, running errands, etc.

  2. Words of Affirmation: Handwritten messages, compliments throughout the day, etc.

  3. Quality Time: One-on-one time, whether going out together or staying in.

  4. Physical Touch: Cuddling, kissing, hugging, etc.

  5. Gift Giving/Receiving Gifts: Handmade gifts, thoughtful small things, etc.


Another thing to note is that how we show our love can differ from how we want to receive it. For example, say Charlie and Ryan are in a romantic relationship. Charlie feels the best way to communicate love for Ryan is by helping Ryan with anything they need, whether running errands or fixing things around the house. However, Charlie feels the most loved and secure in their relationship when Ryan compliments them and verbally confirms their love for one another. So, even though Charlie might communicate their own love with acts of service, Charlie still may want to receive love through words of affirmation.


Depending on the type of relationship, your love languages can differ. For example, with friends, I like to show love through quality time, but with my family, I show my love through acts of service. Love languages apply to all types of love, not just the romantic kind.  


It’s important to familiarize yourself with the love languages of your partners, friends, and family. Taking the time to learn how your partner shows love and how they want to receive it makes everyone in the relationship feel more secure. Suppose Charlie only performed acts of service for Ryan when Ryan really just wanted to spend quality time together. In that case, Ryan may not be as secure in the relationship because acts of service are not the most effective way Ryan receives love. Now, this doesn’t mean Charlie should never perform acts of service again, but both parties could run errands together (spending quality time) so both feel properly loved by one another. 


Discussing love languages doesn’t necessarily have to be a super serious conversation with your partner or friend. Simply stating your love languages could help in the long run and allow your relationships to thrive by eliminating a source of doubt and insecurity.   


If you’re unsure about your love languages, take the quiz linked below, and hopefully, you can better understand how you love. 


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