The 5 Types of Love Languages

When it comes to relationships and how we express love, all people are different. Some shower you with gifts, others touch you at any given time. Understanding one’s love language is going to help you build a stronger bond with them. Knowing your own love language is pretty interesting as well. We may do things without even realizing we’re doing them. So if you’re curious about love languages just like the Flure team is, continue reading!

What is the meaning of a love language?

What does a love language mean? Before we dive into the details and intricacies of the theory, let’s look at the definition of the love language.
The term love language refers to a number of ways in which we perceive and express love in our romantic relationships. It’s the specific things we do or say that signify our feelings towards the other person.

The backstory of the love languages theory

The theory about love languages was introduced by Gary Chapman, a Baptist pastor, about 30 years ago. It immediately took the world by storm, with thousands of people looking for insight about themselves and their partners.
Chapman collected the data from 10 000 people who were quizzed online, and defined the 5 main types of love languages:
  • Words of affirmation
  • Quality time
  • Acts of service
  • Physical touch
  • Receiving gifts
The love language concept is considered a powerful instrument in strengthening relationships because it helps improve communication and emotional connection. If you know what your boyfriend considers to be a demonstration of love, you can do more of that to show him he is valued.
The key benefits of considering love languages in your relationship include:
  1. Increased empathy
  2. Deeper intimacy
  3. Stronger connection
The theory has been widespread ever since its inception, but some believe it has little to do with reality, as there is not much scientific proof to support it. But you know what? If the theory works for you, and it makes your dating life better – then who needs proof, right?

The 5 love languages with examples

Words of affirmation

This is a verbal love language where a partner would express their love, gratitude, and affection through compliments, kind words, little cute texts and notes, and words of encouragement.
Examples of words of affirmation love language:
  • Sending your girlfriend a supportive text on her first day of work.
  • Complimenting your partners’ look or features, such as the gorgeous new trench coat or their beautiful eyes.
  • Leaving a heart-warming post-it note on the fridge before leaving for work.

Quality time

The quality-time love language is all about.. well, spending quality time together. If your partner prefers this love language, it means they want to be with you more, but not like you both staring at your phones in one space, but doing something meaningful.
Here’s what quality time can look like as a love language:
  • Having a dinner where you both are fully immersed in the conversation and not watching TV or scrolling Instagram.
  • Going on long walks or visiting new places together to share these experiences.
  • Focusing on the person you’re speaking with, making eye contact, actually listening to what they’re saying.

Acts of service

The acts-of-service love language means doing things for your partner to show them you care. It doesn’t have to be the Kanye-style grand gestures, but the little things that make so much difference in real life.
Examples of acts of service as a love language:
  • Taking part in the mental load and helping with groceries and other chores without being asked to do it.
  • Putting gas in your partner’s car if you see there’s not much left, even when you’re almost done using it.
  • Cooking a meal for your lover when they have a long day.

Physical touch

Physical touch goes far beyond the bedroom. In fact, it often has little to do with sex and a lot with touching your partner in seemingly casual situations.
Examples of the physical-touch love language:
  • Holding hands while on a walk
  • Cuddling on a couch after a long day
  • Giving a massage to help your partner wind down

Receiving gifts

Giving and receiving gifts is a love language for many. Some consider it selfish or greedy, but it really is not. With gifts, the important part is not how expensive or prestigious the gift is, but how thoughtful it is. It’s all about listening to your partner to know what they like and watching them to understand what they might need.
Here is what gift-giving and receiving as a love language looks like:
  • Buying a quality pillow and a weighted blanket for your partner because they mentioned they struggle with falling asleep or feel crappy when they wake up.
  • Bringing your girlfriend’s favorite sweet snack when you come over.
  • Getting someone a pair of warm pajamas if their apartment is cold during winter.
  • Buying this jewelry piece your partner said they always dreamed of as a kid.

Magalit as the new love language

Magalit is a Filipino word that means feeling angry or upset. It’s been recently added to the love language world and symbolizes standing up for yourself when a partner is saying or doing something that hurts your feelings. Although it may sound weird, the introduction of magalit is a good thing and is a green flag in your relationships. It promotes healthy relationships and communication where you’re not letting the partner walk all over you, but make them respect your boundaries, feelings, and everything else.
Ps – there are more variations to the five love languages theory these days. For example, there are seven love languages that grew out of the original five. They are: active, appreciating, emotional, financial, intellectual, physical, and practical.

How to know your love language type

If you’re reading this article and wondering “What love language am I”, there are many tests and quizzes online, but you don’t have to do them to know what’s up.
Looking at the five love languages and reading about the examples should already put you in the right direction. Did your heart start beating faster when you were reading about physical touch? Or did you go down memory lane as you’ve looked at the examples of quality time?
Take a minute to remember what made you the happiest in relationships in the recent past. Also, there might be a few things you enjoy and consider a sign of love, such as words of affirmation and receiving gifts. It doesn’t necessarily have to be just one love language.

Criticisms of love languages theory

Just like any theory, especially when it has to do with love and relationships, Chapman’s five love languages received a fair share of criticism over the years.
Firstly, although it’s not fair to blame the pastor in our opinion, many people started using love languages not as a way to understand others, but to demand a certain type of action from their partners. Chapman preached the importance of knowing what your lovers want and how catering to their needs and preferences can bring the couple even closer. That somehow got twisted in some people’s minds.
Another common criticism is that love languages are not black and white. Some of us may want all five types of love language to be thrown at us, others believe there are more types than those originally described. Also, the theory is said to be over-simplifying things, and ignoring cultural differences, past traumas, sexuality, and differences between the relationships.
All criticisms are valid, but the bottom line is – love is not maths or physics. There’s no formula for relationships, so it makes little sense to treat love languages as a scientific fact. Instead, it can be a fun and insightful theory that can improve your partnership. But you shouldn’t rely on it to perform a miracle or be 100% correct all the time.