Love Language Fluency: A Simple Guide For Communicating With Your Partner

by Sean Johnson

Two hands making a heart shape. The sun is in the middle of the heart.

 

Well, Valentine's Day is right around the corner, which has me thinking about spending way too much money...er, I mean, "love languages". If you're like me, you've probably heard the term but have yet to look into what they actually are. When someone says something like "garlic bread is my love language,"—using context clues isn't exactly a sound strategy.

Only recently did Sierra tell me what the actual categories are. I didn't even know that there were categories! I was especially curious if garlic bread was one of them (spoiler: it's not).

 

four hands shaped to spell LOVE


So, what's the basic definition of a love language? A love language refers to a person's preferred and most effective way of giving and receiving love and affection. There are five primary languages: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch. Understanding and communicating in the language that resonates most with a person can significantly enhance the quality of your relationship.

cta banner with a heart shape puzzle box. Words read as It's a quickie. 70-piece mini puzzle. but the puzzle.

But here's a tricky thing about love languages: it's hard to be "fluent" in every type. I would wager that most people aren't. In fact, your partner's preferred language(s) may clash with your personality type. Not really big on physical displays of affection? Well, that could be an issue if your partner is a hugger.

No need to worry, though, because I'm here for you. Let's look at what each language is and some suggestions on how to speak that language if it's not quite your forté.

Words of Affirmation:

A portable polaroid printer printing out a message that says I Love You

 

Let's kick it off with the power of words. Hearing "I love you" or receiving a thoughtful compliment is pure magic for some folks. Suppose your partner thrives on words of affirmation. If that's the case, shower them with verbal or written compliments. Oh, and these are the types that really love getting greeting cards.

What if you're unfamiliar or uncomfortable speaking this language?

So, expressing emotions isn't your strong suit. No worries! If your partner thrives on words of affirmation, start small. No need to write a sonnet or serenade them. Leave a sweet post-it note (or, if you're like me, a doodle) on the bathroom mirror, or send a thoughtful text during the day. The key is sincerity—let your partner know you appreciate them in your own authentic way. Gradually, you'll find your unique rhythm in articulating your feelings.

Acts of Service:

A black man cooking breakfast for his wife. The wife is on a laptop at the kitchen table.

 

Enough about words! Actions speak louder, right? Well, I sure think so because this is the language I prefer the most. If your significant other values acts of service, think of yourself as their personal superhero. It could be tackling chores, running errands, or simply being there to lighten their load. It's about showing love through meaningful actions.

What if you're unfamiliar or uncomfortable speaking this language?

Small gestures can make a significant impact. Start with some questions like: What is their least favorite chore? Do they miss any meals because they're too busy? Is there a small task that they keep putting off? The answers will let you know what action you can take. Do a load of dishes. Make a small breakfast for them. Wash their car. Your partner will likely appreciate the effort, and these actions will become second nature over time.

Receiving Gifts:

Hand of a man giving flowers to a woman's hand

 

Tangible acts of affection aren't just for holidays when it comes to this love language. Whether big or small, giving/receiving a gift serves as a way for them to feel loved and valued. If your partner lights up when receiving a thoughtful gift, try to find something that screams, "I know you, and I appreciate you."

What if you're unfamiliar or uncomfortable speaking this language?

The concept of gift-giving can feel stressful (and expensive) since it's usually associated with major milestones and holidays. But everyday gifts like stickers, cards, or some chocolate are simple and small things that can be given at any time. Oh, and sharing stuff totally counts! This love language thrives off of sentimental value, after all. Remember, your partner wants to feel appreciated, understood and listened to. Pro tip: If your partner ever says they love something, jot that thing down so that you have the perfect gift idea for major holidays later.

Quality Time:

A woman placing a facial mask on another woman

 

In our fast-paced lives, quality time is a rare gem. But for those who speak this love language, it's gold. Regular check-ins and intentional efforts to spend time together are important to them. Unplug, be present, and invest in shared experiences. It's not about the quantity of time spent together but the quality of that time. Even short, focused moments of connection can be more meaningful than extended periods of distraction or multitasking.

What if I'm unfamiliar or uncomfortable speaking this language?

Let me guess, I lost you at the word "unplug." It's ok, I panicked too. Like everything else on this list, the key is to start small. It may be difficult for you to sit down and start talking unprompted—even with your partner. Try doing a shared activity first (even if it has a screen)! Watch an episode of a show or a movie, or listen to an album with your partner. Then, discuss it afterward for that focused moment of connection and genuine conversation. The more you prioritize these moments, the more comfortable you'll get at being present.

Physical Touch:

a woman kissing a man's forehead

 

Get ready for some hugs, kisses, and gentle caresses. Those who resonate with this love language find comfort, security, and emotional closeness through physical gestures. This could be hugging, holding hands, tickling, or snuggling. If your partner thrives on closeness, embrace it (literally).

What if I'm unfamiliar or uncomfortable speaking this language?

Physical touch is about closeness and connection, but don't feel pressured to overdo it. Start with simple gestures—a hug, a hand on the shoulder, or even just sitting close to your partner. Gradually incorporating these touches will feel more natural, deepening your bond with your partner.

In Conclusion:

A couple sitting by candles looking into the sunset 

Whether you're expressing love through words, actions, thoughtful gifts, quality time, or physical touch, the key is making sure your gestures align with what resonates most with your special someone.

But it's not a one-way street. Understanding your own love language better helps you communicate to your partner how you prefer to show/receive affection. In turn, you both get the love and appreciation you deserve.

 

Which of the five love languages resonates with you the most? Hit us up on our socials (@neworiginshop on all platforms).

 

The term "love language" was coined by Dr. Gary Chapman in his book "The Five Love Languages."


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