Love Unlocked: Decoding The Different Types of Love Languages

These days, we all have different types of love languages. 

For some people, it’s a cup of coffee. For others, it’s sarcasm or a weighted blanket

Ariana Grande sang a blockbuster song on her love language. 

But before we decided on the different types of languages, things were different. No one used the terms love and language together, and most definitely not as a noun. 

However, some three decades ago, a Southern Baptist pastor with a degree in adult education introduced the world to the concept of love languages. Gary Chapman was 50 years old when he wrote his path-breaking book, ‘The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts.’ 

In the book, Chapman explains that people have different types of love languages. This simply means that people prefer to give and receive love in different ways. According to Chapman to build healthy and long-lasting relationships, you must figure out the type of love language your partner speaks and communicate with them using it. 

Only if it were as easy!

The simplistic love language model has true believers across cultures. However, much remains uncovered about the theory

To help you get started, we have compiled a complete guide on different types of love languages and their meanings. We will examine the five types of love languages and determine whether there’s relevant scientific backing for the theory. Let’s dive in!

What Are The Five Types Of Love Languages?

According to Chapman, all five love languages have a place in every relationship. However, every person has a primary love language in which they like to receive love and affection. Understanding your partner’s love language can strengthen your relationship, reduce misunderstandings, and build communication. Additionally, learning more about people’s love languages can be helpful in your platonic relationships as well. 

There are five different love languages, as outlined by Gary Chapman. These include:

Let’s dive deeper into the five love languages and understand more about them.

1. Words Of Affirmation

types of love languages

If your significant other has words of affirmation as their preferred type of love language, they want to feel appreciated and valued. However, the way it’s done is essential. People with this love language prefer compliments, kind words, and compliments. They like being admired by you in front of others. 

Words of affirmation are your love language if you:

  • Thrive on words or compliments from your loved ones.
  • Like hearing ‘I love you.’
  • Appreciate receiving words of encouragement.

2. Physical Touch

different love languages

While it’s an essential part of all relationships, physical touch is a powerful form of communication for those who accept it as their primary type of love language. For these people, love comes in the form of hugs, cuddles, kisses, and all touchy-feely stuff that makes them feel giddy.

Physical touch is your love language if you:

  • You feel lonely and disconnected if you don’t receive physical reassurance from your partner. 
  • You feel loved when your partner suddenly shows you physical affection in public. 
  • You enjoy public displays of affection. 

For those whose partners prefer physical affection, the key is to figure out what gestures they love and appreciate. It’s essential to realize that your partner might love physical intimacy but may not be comfortable with certain actions. 

Therefore, you need to be vigilant about what you do. Never try to push your partner into any form of physical contact that your partner does not like. Ensure you take their consent before indulging in anything.

3. Quality Time

different types of love language

If your partner prefers quality time as their love language, they require your undivided attention to feel valued. This means that when you’re together, it’s essential to avoid any disturbances, such as phone calls, social media, etc. 

If you find your partner’s love language is quality time, be conscious about your time with them. Try to set aside some time to have a conversation with them. You can also participate in fun activities or indulge in each other’s hobbies

If quality time is your preferred type of love language:

  • You will feel disconnected if your partner does not spend enough time with you.
  • You work hard to make time for people in your life. 
  • Not spending enough time with your partner affects your sexual drive. 

The love language meaning of quality time is different for every person. For some people, spending 15 minutes of the day together is enough. Others might want to spend a dedicated weekend, plan trips, or be more extravagant with quality time. 

4. Acts Of Service

all type of love language

People who believe acts of service are their kind of love language want you to prove your feelings through actions. They want you to be selfless and thoughtful while doing something for them. From doing household chores to picking them up from work, partners with this love language appreciate the small and big gestures you make for them.

Here are some signs that acts of service might be your love language:

  • You are over the moon when your partner selflessly helps you with something. 
  • You constantly show up for your loved ones when they aren’t having a good time.
  • You’re always ready to go above and beyond for the people you love. 

Most of the time, the love language meaning of acts of service isn’t grand gestures. It’s the thoughtful and selfless gestures you undertake for your partner daily. 

5. Receiving Gifts

all type of love language

Someone who believes in this form of love language thinks that gifts are a form of love and care. They treasure not just the gifts but the ideas and effort their partner puts into them. However, these individuals aren’t necessarily looking for a piece of the moon in the gifts. More often than not, they are looking for a genuine thought. And that’s enough to make them feel valued. 

Here are the signs that receiving gifts is your type of love language: 

  • When giving gifts, you put a lot of time and effort into the process. 
  • You treasure everything that your partner gives you.
  •  You’re hurt when a significant event is not commemorated with a gift. 

The Science Behind All Types Of Love Languages

While the different forms of love language have now become a cultural phenomenon, let’s find out whether there’s any scientific evidence behind their existence. 

A paper written by Emily Impett et al. was published on scientifically verifying Chapman’s tenets about love languages. The three Chapman tenets are:

  • There are precisely five love languages.
  • Everyone has one primary love language. 
  • Speaking in the love language of your partner makes your relationship stronger.

However, Emily and the team found no scientific evidence to support these tenets. There are some correlations between love languages and the literature survey undertaken. When asked about things that make them feel loved, most people do not respond with terms like ‘words of affirmation’ or ‘acts of service’. 

The researchers concluded that trying to fit how people loved in a spectrum of five types of love languages is a lost battle. This would require a bottoms-up approach. A good idea would be to let people explain how they felt loved and cared for rather than imposing any category restrictions on them. 

Additionally, other research has shown that while Chapman’s five types of love language can be worked with, people don’t necessarily adhere to one primary love language. There’s also a growing lack of evidence on whether speaking in your partner’s love language can improve your relationship. 

Another troubling aspect of Chapman’s five love languages is the fact that all the people studied by him were white heterosexual couples. In his book, Chapman caters to sexist notions like women will stay at home while men are the breadwinners of the house. Chapman refuses to acknowledge the existence of queer individuals and says nothing about trans, poly, or bisexual people. The book is filled with misogynistic notions from Chapman that continuously demean women. 

In short, there are some things that Chapman’s different kinds of love languages get right, while there are others that he gets terribly wrong. 

How Can The Love Language Concept Be Used To Strengthen Your Relationship? 

5 love languages

There’s no scientific correlation to explain the effectiveness of speaking the same love language as your partner. That said, we believe that if you and your partner are willing to learn each other’s love language, the effort matters significantly in your relationship. 

A study by Jennifer L. Hughes found that when people believe their partners are trying to speak their love language, their satisfaction in the relationship goes up. So, if you and your partner have communicated how you want to be cared for and valued, you will eventually be happier and closer in the relationship. 

If appropriately used, Chapman’s five love languages can be useful tools for achieving stability in your relationship. His idea that you and your partner can have different ways of communicating love can be beneficial in improving your relationship.

Therefore, instead of obsessively trying to fit into Chapman’s model, try to figure out your individual preferences. You don’t have to crash diet and fit into one of the types of love languages. Don’t pay heed to those countless ‘find your love language type’ tests that want you to fit into a checkbox.

Instead, think of all the love languages as part of a healthy meal. Your relationship should have adequate quality time, physical touch, words of affirmation, acts of service, and gifts. 


Everyone has their own ways of communicating. And while the different types of love languages are not the gospel truth, you can use the idea to understand your partner better. 

Understanding how your partner wants to feel loved, regardless of whether they fit into one of the five love languages, can help you better understand their needs and feelings. Healthy relationships are built on a solid foundation of trust and hard work, and using the love language idea can be the perfect place to get started on building this foundation.

If you and your significant other have struggled to understand each other, getting professional help might be a good time. A relationship counselor can help you deal with your communication issues and help you build your relationship with your partner. 

Access to professional help is now available right from the comfort of your home with the advent of online therapy platforms. To learn more about the best couples therapy platforms, click here.

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