If you're having communication issues with your partner, it might just be that you're not speaking the same 'love language'. Arlo Laibowitz explains exactly what the five Love Languages are and how you can use them to help your relationship. 

What makes a happy life? According to the famed Harvard study on happiness, the answer is relationships and love. But what happens when we, or our partners, seem to express our love in different ways, with sadness or conflict as a consequence? Author Gary Chapman wrote about this matter and presented the Five Love Languages.


What are the five Love Languages?

The premise behind the Love Languages is that people express love, and feel loved, in different ways. Most people have one clear primary and one clear secondary love language. Chapman argues that people feel loved when their partner express love in the language that is natural to the recipient. 

One could argue that their partner’s love language doesn’t come naturally to them, so they are unable to give their partner what they need. Chapman’s view is clear: find a way. If you don't speak your partner's language, your message of love will not be heard.

The five love languages are:

  • Words of Affirmation
  • Quality Time
  • Receiving Gifts
  • Acts of Service
  • Physical Touch

How do we apply them in our relationships?

Words of affirmation are:


  • Verbal compliments and appreciation.
  • Words of comfort and encouragement.
  • And words that inspire kindness, humility, and generosity.
Quality time is a time that consists of:


  • Focused attention.
  • Quality conversation.
  • And quality activities.



Receiving/giving gifts implies that the gifts are:


  • meaningful
  • useful
  • relevant
  • and appropriate for different occasions.
An act of service deals with:


  • the smaller and bigger chores that we can do to make our partner’s lives easier or more comfortable.
Physical touch deals with a physical intimacy that isn’t sexual:
  • embrace
  • hugs
  • and kisses.

WHAT ARE: The 5 Love Languages - happiness.org

How to identify the love languages?

Chapman proposes that we can identify our partner’s love language, and also our own, by:


  1. Looking at how your partner most often expresses love to you and others.
  2. Being mindful of what your partner complains about most often; what do they lack in your relationship?
  3. Being attentive to what your partner asks for most often.
We can transform our relationships by being aware of our partner’s, and our own love language. Instead of losing acts and words of love in translation between different languages, we can express our love in a mutually satisfactory way. And that, as the Harvard study shows, makes us happy. 


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Written by Arlo Laibowitz

arlo.jpgArlo is a filmmaker, artist, lecturer, and intermittent practitioner of metta meditation and morning yoga. When not dreaming about impossible projects and making them happen in the most impractical ways possible, he journals, listens to jazz, or cuddles with his better half.



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