It’s easy to get caught up in the idea of relationships being all “roses and rainbows.” While love is indeed beautiful, it can also be frustrating when our efforts to show it don’t seem to be appreciated or returned as expected. We yearn to show our love, but at times, the message doesn’t quite get through.

For instance, think about a husband who constantly praises his wife, but the wife remains indifferent because all she needs is for him to help her with household chores. Or what about a loved one who gives you unexpected gifts but never takes time out of their day to listen and have meaningful conversations with you?

The truth is, not all love is expressed in the same way, and to further complicate the matter, we don’t all receive love in the same way either. It isn’t an exaggeration to say we don’t all speak the same language when it comes to expressing and receiving love. Gary Chapman’s five love languages can help us understand and explore the different ways we can share our affections not just with our significant others but also with all the people we love and want to build good relationships with.

5 Basics Love Languages

Love comes in various forms and can be expressed in different ways. According to Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages, the following are the ways that people express their love to others:

Quality Time

Spending quality time involves giving undivided attention to the other person and actively listening without distractions. Spending time together doesn’t mean a lavish date night. It can be a simple movie night at home or watching the sunset together. The key is giving the person your full attention and letting them know they are a priority.

So, the next time you get to spend time together, make sure to turn off your phone notifications. If they’re not the type of person who shares too much, simply giving them time and being present at the moment will make them feel loved and cared for.

Words of Affirmation

Having someone say encouraging words is sometimes all it takes to turn around a day and make someone feel special. Verbal compliments can come in the form of admiration or appreciation. You’ll be surprised just how far a simple “You look great in that dress” or “I appreciate your help with this project” can go.

So, if you know someone who feels loved with words, sliding in their DMs with a little reminder of how amazing they are might just make their day.

Physical Touch

If you have encountered a person who loves greeting you with a hug, they might be someone who feels connected with you through physical touch. More than telling these people you love them, make them feel loved with a slight touch of skin. This doesn’t necessarily need to be romantic either, sometimes even a quick hand on the shoulder is all someone needs to feel a little bit better.
You never know, supporting them in this way might also make you feel good too.. So try giving back that hug or tapping their backs when they need affection the most.

Acts of Service

These are the people who don’t need any words to feel loved. They simply want you to show your love through actions, like doing the dishes, running errands, or anything that would make life easier for them.

Although this love language may require some effort and energy, the result is fulfilling, especially when you also get the chance to make their lives a little more bearable. For these people, you have the opportunity to show them just how much you care. Remember, these don’t have to be extravagant gestures, even helping with the little things can bring great joy (to both of you).


We all know the romantic thrill of receiving a surprise gift from someone we love. Gift-giving doesn’t always mean buying expensive items. It could be as simple as giving a card or a bunch of flowers that would make their day. It’s the sentiment and thought behind the gift that matters.

People who respond to this type of love treasure what you offer them and will surely remember you whenever they use or see the gifts you give them.

Discovering Your Love Language

A crucial aspect of building strong, fulfilling relationships is understanding not only your partner’s love language but also your own. Knowing your primary love language can help you communicate your emotional needs more effectively, which can improve your relationship in the long run.

Benefits of knowing your love language

  1. Promotes self-awareness: Identifying your love language can help you better understand your emotional needs and how they affect your behavior in relationships.
  2. Effective communication: Knowing your love language can help you express your needs more clearly, reducing misunderstandings and unmet expectations.
  3. Improved relationship: When you share your love language with your partner, you invite them to better understand and appreciate how you express and receive love. This can lead to a stronger connection and increased empathy and support in the relationship.

How to identify your love language

  1. Think about what makes you feel loved. What did your partner do to make you feel special?
  2. Pay attention to how you express love and affection to your friends and family. What do you do for them that makes them feel loved?
  3. Ask friends, family, or your partner what they think your love language is. Hearing their perspective can help you gain insight into how you express and experience love.
  4. Take this online quiz provided by Dr. Gary Chapman, that can help you identify your love language.

Tips on communicating your love language to your partner

  1. Open conversation: Have a candid discussion with your partner about your love language, explaining why it’s important to you and how it affects your emotional well-being.
  2. Share examples: Provide specific examples of actions or gestures that make you feel loved and appreciated.
  3. Encourage questions: Invite your partner to ask questions about your love language, fostering an open dialogue and building mutual understanding.

Understanding Your Partner’s Love Language

The thing about love language is that it goes both ways. Just as knowing your own love language can strengthen your relationship, understanding your partner’s love language is equally important. Ask questions, really listen when they share, and observe how they show their love. This two-way street will elevate your connection and deepen the bond between you.

Additionally, the process of discovering and learning about each other’s love languages can be a bonding experience in itself. By making an effort to understand and speak each other’s love language, you’re showing your loved ones that you care about their needs and are committed to making the relationship work.

When You and Your Partner Have Different Love Languages

If you find out that you and your loved one have different love languages, don’t panic. Love languages are not a “compatibility” tool. They’re simply a guide to help you better understand how you, and your loved ones, feel and express love.

However, like in all differences you may face, it takes consistency and patience to bridge the gap between how you naturally express love, and making sure your partner receives it as it was intended. Having different love languages shouldn’t be a source of frustration but an opportunity to learn more about each other.

Be willing to learn and adapt to your partner’s love language, even if it doesn’t come naturally to you. This demonstrates your commitment to meeting their emotional needs and fostering a strong connection. Incorporate your partner’s love language into your daily interactions and make an effort to express your love in ways that resonate with them.

When the Issue Goes Beyond a Mismatch in Love Languages

Sometimes, despite our efforts to understand and adapt to our partner’s love language, we may still find that certain issues persist within the relationship. It’s essential to recognize that love languages are just one aspect of building a strong, healthy bond, and other factors could be contributing to the challenges you’re facing.

For example, there may be past resentments or hurts that have built up over time, creating a sense of distance and distrust between you and your partner. Past traumas or unresolved emotional issues can also hinder the effectiveness of love languages in a relationship. It’s important to acknowledge and address these deeper-rooted issues, whether through open conversations, therapy, or other forms of support such as working with a rREST Coach.

Another thing to remember is that people’s love language can change over time. What your partner might have responded to in the past may not be applicable today. Thus, it’s important to keep an open dialogue so you can both adjust and understand what your partner needs in the present.

Final Thoughts

It takes consistent effort, patience, understanding, and a lot of practice to really make your love language work for you. As you navigate this journey of discovery, always remember to be gentle with yourself and your partner. Showing kindness, understanding, and maintaining open communication can make all the difference in how well your relationship functions, regardless of whether you connect through words of affirmation, quality time, physical touch, acts of service, or thoughtful gifts.