Dr. Gary Chapman wrote The 5 Love Languages back in 1992. In that now-famous work, he coined the term “love languages” to explain the fundamentally different ways we express and receive love. But the love languages aren’t just for romance! You can use the love languages to appreciate people in business, to support friends, and to show a partner you care.
Watch our video to learn the five love languages and how to improve your relationship’s communication:
Take the Quiz
Are you wondering which Love Language you are? You can take Dr. Chapman’s official quiz to find out!
The Five Love Languages
Which one of these speaks to the way you feel cared for, or like to show you appreciate someone:
Quality time is about spending time together enjoying each other’s company.
People who need quality time crave alone time with their loved one, and want to catch up with them by having time alone where they can talk and bond.
You need alone time if you find yourself constantly desiring to be with someone, not just hearing from them or writing to them. You do not feel satisfied or happy unless you can be with the person or the people you love.
Physical touch is showing love through hugging, cuddling, being intimate, or simply putting a caring hand on someone’s shoulder.
People who need physical touch want you to hug them, they want cuddle time, and always show “PDA” or public displays of affection to feel that you love them, and to demonstrate their love for those they care about.
You need physical touch if you feel lonely and lost when you have not been physically near a loved one. You constantly crave to be close to those you care about, and you demonstrate your love for them with hugs, massages, and even sitting close to each other.
The love language of gifts does not require large or extravagantly expensive gifts. It can be notes, CDs, flowers, or leaving a pastry. These small gifts are tokens of love to the giver or receiver.
People who need gifts feel validated when you spend money and/or time picking something out for them. Often, the saying it’s the thought that counts really applies here.
You need gifts if you think or wait anxiously for holidays or birthdays to see what your loved ones might get you.
Gifts are usually a big test in relationships for people who speak the love language of gifts.
Acts of Service
Acts of service are acts of love when someone performs an action for the other. This can be cleaning, cooking, driving, or even doing an errand. By doing that act of service, the other person feels love or shows love.
People who need acts of service sometimes will ask their loved ones for favors or errands, not because it is easier, but rather because they need the affirmation of the other person’s love.
You need acts of service if you feel unwanted or unimportant, if someone does not follow through on a promise, or if someone doesn’t do something you asked.
Words of Affirmation
Words of affirmation are verbal clues for others to express how much they love and care about someone. Words of affirmation also can be compliments and reassurances that confirm inner love in an outer way.
People who need words of affirmation need to hear from the people they love frequently, and, to feel loved, they need to hear out loud what the other person is thinking.
You need words of affirmation if you find yourself constantly needing to hear from your loved one to get reassurance from them. People who want words of affirmation might also fish for compliments because this is the way they feel most loved.
And there’s nothing wrong with that—we all want to be loved! If you’d like to increase your likability—the most effective way—do check out our free likability training:
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Typically, people have one main love language and one secondary one. It is important to know these so you can ask for what you need, and so you can show your partners, friends, and colleagues appreciation in the way they like to receive it.