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The five languages of love—and how to speak them

If you read the title of this post and imagined you'd have to sign up to a night class in French conversation, or take out a small mortgage to fund a subscription to your local florist, you can relax. The language of love is actually a rather simple one to master, and no irregular verbs or muddled tenses in sight.

That's according to US marriage counsellor Gary Chapman, whose latest manuscript, The Five Love Languages, The Secret To Love That Lasts, is based on the theory that misunderstandings in relationships arise when two partners have different ways of communicating their love for one another.

Getting on board with each others' preferred language, and learning to weave it into your own, is critical, says Chapman, to your relationship's longterm success. Thankfully, there are only five languages to learn, so without further ado...

 

1. ACTS OF SERVICE

Doing the grocery shopping, ringing the metre reading into the gas board, making sure there's enough petrol in the car... It may not be the stuff of Hollywood rom-coms, but to the gal or guy who speaks this particular love language, it's all the proof they'll ever need that you really, genuinely care.

So if your other half is operating at maximum capacity, offer to share the load, and your relationship—as well as the amount of time you've to spend together—will benefit no end. If you sense that your potential partner speaks this particular language, simply ask what you could do to help them get through a busy period, and don't shirk on the date-planning front. 


2. PHYSICAL LOVE

We're not just talking sex here, apparently. For anyone who speaks this language of love, holding hands, hello and goodbye kisses and snuggling up on the sofa is oxygen to the flame that keeps their relationship alive.

If you're not the touchy-feely type, beware the effects of starving your partner of their need for regular and frequent affection. 


3. WORDS OF AFFIRMATION

If you're a 'shower' rather than a 'teller' when it comes to love, you might be flabbergasted upon discovering that your partner has been feeling neglected or even doubting your commitment to him or her. 

That might be because their love language is one of spoken words of affirmation. You can shower them with red roses and a million kisses, but unless they're accompanied with a heartfelt "I love you", there could be trouble ahead.

Don't worry—you don't have to become a walking, talking reincarnation of Keats to win over this type of love linguist; a sloppy text here, a thoughtful message in their birthday card there—it can go a long way.


4. QUALITY TIME

What's that noise that keeps distracting you from the latest episode of Love Island or getting to the next level of Candy Crush? If it's the sound of your partner huffing and puffing, you're likely dating a quality timer, who wants your couple time to be, well, just that.

So switch off the TV, put down your phone, and let your other half know you're all his or hers until the alarm goes off and the kids start demanding breakfast.


5. RECEIVING GIFTS

Make no mistake—this type of love linguist isn't the material sort who hankers after expensive and indulgent presents. The motto they live by is 'It's the thought that counts' and nothing makes them melt quite like seeing that you've spent time thinking about what they'll be opening under the Christmas tree.

So forget about Amazon vouchers and selection boxes. Invest a little time in creating a CD mixtape or something equally unique and personal, and watch your relationship blossom.


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Author: Rebecca

Rebecca lives in London with her husband, daughter and dachshund. She hopes her dating blogs for Flame Introductions will inspire you to seek out the best London and UK locations for brilliant dates, and discover some tips along the way to help you find your perfect partner.