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Love Languages and How to Identify Them in Your Partner

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I love writing about relatable, insightful articles that helps people understand relationship dynamics and how to get the love they want.


Love language is the way you communicate to show that you love someone. It also means our preferences in how we give and receive love and affection in relationships. Love Language framework basically helps us to understand ourselves and our partners better. Love languages are divided into five parts, this means that there are five ways that people express love to one another. However, the key is to learn and speak the love language of the other person. While all the love languages are great and should be a part of all relationships, there's always a predominant one which is known as the primary love language and that's the one you will likely focus on.

The likelihood that you and your partner will have the same love language is rare. This is why it is so important that we learn how to speak one another’s language. When we don’t make an effort to acknowledge our partner’s love language, the relationship can fall apart.

When you care for someone deeply, even if you don’t speak the same love language, it becomes crucial to you for this person to understand how much they mean to you and you’re searching for the best path towards their heart. So, if you intend to have a happy relationship, you need to know your own love language, as well as that of your partner, to be able to communicate effectively while also strengthening the bond in your relationship. This way, when you speak in your partner’s love language, they can really 'hear' you and feel that they matter.

The following are the five love languages that you need to identify in your partner, as well as, yourself in order to keep your love life alive:

  1. Words of Affirmation.
  2. Quality Time.
  3. Receiving of Gifts.
  4. Acts of Service.
  5. Physical Touch.

Bear in mind that it may take a few conversations to fully understand each other’s love languages, and it will take practice and patience to put those expressions of love into action, but the end result of feeling loved and secure in your relationship is worth the effort.


1. Words of Affirmation

Words of affirmation is expressing your love to your partner in spoken words. That is telling the other person that they are important to you. Individuals that words of affirmation is their love language feel emotionally neglected and unwanted if you don’t verbalise your emotions enough and if you stay silent about how much they mean to you. They thrive on your words as a sign of your love for them. This doesn’t mean they are insecure, but that is how they best feel love from someone else. It gives them the strength and confidence they desire, and makes them feel closer to their partner.

Words of affirmation may come in form of encouraging words which is basically just saying encouraging words to your partner, it can also come in the form of kind words, and this means that you are communicating love verbally using kind words. Not only using kind words but also watching the tone you use in speaking to them. For instance, a simple ‘I love you’ statement when said with kindness and tenderness can be a genuine expression of love.

Generally, people with words of affirmation as their love language needs your constant approval and so they love to hear you compliment them regularly, send notes or cards telling them how strong, beautiful, pretty and amazing they are, and generally just gassing them up. To them, words speaks louder than action. Therefore, your focus should be on using words that allows your partner to feel that they are appreciated, desired, and cherished. Even though they might not admit it, they enjoy hearing you compliment them and praising their accomplishments.


2. Quality Time

People with quality time as their love language seek out attention- undivided attention from their partner, which enhances their feelings of connection with the person that they love. People with quality time as their love language often feel loved when their partner pays attention to them and spend time with them doing things together. Like words of affirmation, quality time also has different forms which is togetherness and quality conversation. These are the central parts of quality time.
Togetherness in this context does not just mean proximity because you can be in the same room with someone and your attention is totally on something else. So, togetherness has to do with focused attention, it means that you are doing something together and that you are giving your full attention to the other person. When you spend time together with your partner in a common pursuit it communicates that you care about them and that you enjoy being with them, it also shows that you like to do things together.

In the same vein, Quality activities is another way you communicate love to your partner. It may include doing anything in which one or both of you have an interest. The emphasis is not on what you are doing but on why you are doing it. The purpose is to experience something together, to walk away from it feeling loved and cared for. To people with quality time as their love language, what matters to them is quality over quantity.

Quality conversation is also one of the ways that you show love to your partner whose love language is quality time. When we speak of quality conversation, it means having sympathetic dialogue with your partner and letting them share their experiences, thoughts, feelings, and desires in a friendly, uninterrupted way to you. Quality conversation focuses more on what you are hearing rather than what is been said. It essentially means paying attention to them when they speak and having quality conversations with them by learning to talk back when needed and also sharing your feelings and thoughts with them. Apparently, such dialogue is crucial to their emotional sense of being loved.

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3. Receiving of Gifts

Giving gifts is a great way to show someone you love them. Gifts are visual symbols and expression of love and to some that is all they need from you to feel loved. This is because visual symbols of love are more important to some people than to others. That’s why you would see that different people have different attitudes to gifts. Although, at first glance, most people assume that the only way to get these people to love you is to get them expensive presents, to take them out to fancy dinners and, basically, to buy their love. Therefore, they assume you can forget about dating someone with this love language unless you’re filthy rich. But the truth is quite different because receiving gifts actually doesn’t have anything to do with money or anything materialistic. It is not a vanity or greed thing, but more of an ‘I saw this and thought of you’ act.

Hence, the cost of the gift you give them does not really matter to them as they only bother about the action of you getting a gift for them. It tells them that you are actually thinking of them and that you constantly have them in mind to get them a gift. In fact, what they hate are ‘random’ presents without any deeper meaning.

If receiving of gifts is your partner’s primary love language, they would place great value on the gifts you give them especially if you put in a lot of effort into surprising them and putting a smile on their face. They will also be greatly moved emotionally by other gifts that you give them through the years. They see gifts as an expression of your love to them and without gifts as a visual symbol to express or show them love, they may question your love for them.

Beyond the giving of gifts and money, there is also the gift of self or the gift of presence, this literally means to be present when your partner needs you, especially in the time of crisis. This speaks loud and clear to your partner when their love language falls into receiving of gifts. It tells them that you care for them and you place them to be an important person in your life. Apparently, your physical presence is the most powerful and greatest gift you can give to them.


4. Acts of Service

Acts of service is showing someone you love them through an action. Someone whose love language is acts of service doesn’t give much of a damn about what you say. They won’t fall for your words and you can go on and on about how much you love them but if they don’t see you showing them your love through your actions, you won’t have a lot of luck getting into their heart. When you want to win their heart and mind over, your actions have to match your words. This basically means doing things you know they would like you to do. You seek to please them by serving and helping them. You express your love for them by doing things for them.

People with this love language feel loved when you show them love through your actions rather than saying it out loud. They don’t want to hear, ‘I love you.’ They usually want to see it through your actions. Actions such as cooking, grocery shopping, washing the dishes etc. This does not mean that they want you to be their slave and do chores for them, they just want to see that their well-being and comfort are important to you.

In anything you do for them, you do it to show them that you care for them and you want them to relax. Which is why it is essential that whatever you do for them to show how you love them must be done in the order of how important that action is to them. You have to literally show them that you care.


5. Physical Touch

Physical touch is showing others that you love them through human connection and touch. For some individuals, physical touch is their primary love language. When you hear that someone’s love language is connected with physical touch, the first thing you have in mind is that they must be a player who only wants to get laid. You also think that if getting physical is the only way they can feel the depth of another person’s feelings, there must be something seriously wrong with them. However, it is nothing like that, instead, they crave intimacy on more than one superficial level. So, when your partner’s love language is physical touch, your words may mean little to them, but your physical touch will communicate that you care.

Hence, if your partner’s primary love language is physical touch, they need to literally feel your presence when you are together. Your touch is a very direct way to express love to your partner and can be quite effective when delivered with tenderness and care. Partners like this are very hands on. They’re always willing to cuddle, hug, kiss, and generally just continuously be in physical contact with your body.

In general, running the hand through the hair, giving a back rub, holding hands, embracing, sexual intercourse all of those and other ‘love touches’ are the emotional lifeline of the person with physical touch as their primary love language. However, it is essential to note that, since physical touch is a way of communicating emotional love it’s important to delineate between sex versus affection. Therefore, it is vital for a person with this love language to understand their own needs and boundaries around touch, and then communicate them to their partner.


How to Identify You and Your Partner’s Primary Love Language.

To fully identify you and your partner’s primary love language. There is a need to ask yourself or your partner the following questions:

  • What makes you feel really loved? What do you desire above all else? If the answer to those questions does not leap to your mind immediately, perhaps it will help to look at the negative use of love languages. What does your partner fail to do or say that hurts you deeply? If, for example, your deepest pain is from your partner’s lack of attention towards you or not spending time with you. Then perhaps your love language is ‘quality time.’
  • What does your partner complain about most often? The complaints of your partner are the most powerful indicators of their primary love language. When they say to you, ‘I don’t think you would ever touch me if I did not initiate it,’ they are revealing that physical touch is their love language. When you go on a business trip and your partner says, ‘You didn’t bring me anything?’ they are indicating that receiving of gifts is their love language. The statement, ‘We don’t ever spend time together,’ indicates the love language of quality time. In general, all their complaints reveal their inner desires. You just have to pay close attention when they give this complains.
  • Another way to recognise your primary love language is if your primary love language is used negatively by your partner- that is, if he/she does the opposite of what you love it will hurt you more deeply than it would hurt someone else because not only are they neglecting to speak your primary love language, they are actually using that language as a knife to your heart.
  • Think and look to how your partner expresses their love to you and others, this is because often time what and how we express love and desire is often what we want reciprocated. Which means that, how your partner express love can also offer you some insight on their primary love language. An example of this could be. If your partner is regularly doing acts of service for others, this may be their love language. If they are consistently verbally affirming people, then words of affirmation is likely to be their love language.

In summary, answers to these three questions below would give you a sense of direction as to what your partner’s love language could be.

  1. What do they request most often?
  2. What do they complain about most often?
  3. How do your partner often express love to others?

For better clarification and further explanation, the table below would serve as some sort of template to follow in order for you to speak your partner’s love language fluently.

A table showing love languages and how to speak them

S/NTypes of love languageHow to speak it


Words of affirmation

⦁ Tell them ‘I love you.’ ⦁ Compliment them in private and in front of their friends and family. ⦁ Praise and say words of affection to them. ⦁ Give them a pet name. ⦁ Write them a love message or poem. ⦁ Give them love notes. ⦁ In everything they try to do, show them that you believe in them, even when they lose faith in their own abilities, be there to show them their accomplishments matter and that you know they can make it. ⦁ Don’t compare them to other people and make sure they know how much they mean to you at all times. ⦁ Be careful about criticizing them and carefully choose your words when you’re about to complain about their performance.


Quality time

⦁ Talk a walk with them. ⦁ Make time every day to share with each other some of the events of the day ⦁ Go on date nights. ⦁ Keep eye contact when talking to them. ⦁ Plan a weekend getaway just for the two of you. ⦁ Try out new experiences together, and celebrate anniversaries. ⦁ Spend time together doing what they love.


Receiving of gifts

⦁ Try a parade of gifts-such as, sending them a pack of candy in the morning, have a bouquet of flower delivered to them in the afternoon and giving them a shirt in the evening. ⦁ Give them a surprise visit. ⦁ Offer them the gift of your presence by been present when they need you. ⦁ Give them items with sentimental value.


Acts of service

⦁ Make a list of all the requests your partner has asked of you over the past few weeks or ask them what they would like you to do for them, Select each item on the list and do it as an expression of love. ⦁ Do a simple errand on their behalf. ⦁ Cook their favorite meal. ⦁ Give them a hand when they are going through hard times.


Physical touch

⦁ Give them simple physical touch such as: cuddling, holding hands, hugs, massages, sitting side-by-side.

Remember that figuring out your love language together is a great way to connect with your partner and a way you get to know them better. You keep learning about them always no matter how long you know them.


Marissa (author) from Nigeria on September 05, 2020:

Yes, that's what acts of service is all about-telling someone you love them with your actions. Thank you @Ink_in_disguise for reading. I'm glad you found it educative and insightful.

Ink_in_disguise on September 05, 2020:

Educative and insightful ... But I feel act of services in sense of action is generally important than words. I'm open to corrections tho.

Marissa (author) from Nigeria on September 03, 2020:

Thank you Kudirat for your kind words and for reading.

Kudirat on September 03, 2020:

Amazing and insightful ❤️❤️

Marissa (author) from Nigeria on August 29, 2020:

Thank you Kin-kin for reading.

Kin-Kin on August 29, 2020:

Thanks for this Marissa. Very informing and educative.

Marissa (author) from Nigeria on August 29, 2020:

That's so hilarious Victor, thank you for reading and I am glad you loved the article.

Obaro Emmanuel Victor from Nigeria on August 28, 2020:

One of the best thus far... I better start learning these languages now!

At least if i can't speak French or Spanish, i should be able to speak Love languages

Well done Marissa!

Marissa (author) from Nigeria on August 28, 2020:

Thank you Annie for your lovely comment and thank you for reading.

Annie on August 28, 2020:

Thank you Marissa, this was very detailed and helpful.

Marissa (author) from Nigeria on August 28, 2020:

Thank you Tayo for your kind words. I'm glad you enjoyed the article.

Tayo on August 27, 2020:

Enjoy reading the article, you really explain everything in detail,the article is very interesting and it will be effective.thanks and goodluck for the upcoming articles.

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