Love Languages – The Key to a Healthy Relationship?

“For love, we will climb mountains, cross seas, traverse desert sands, and endure untold hardships. Without love, mountains become unclimbable, seas uncrossable, deserts unbearable, and hardships our lot in life.”

 ― Gary Chapman, The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, also known as St Valentine’s Day. Now a global, multi-national, cross-cultural celebration of love and partnership, it was not hailed as a day of romance until around the 14th Century.[1]

There are often two main camps that form around Valentines: the cynics and the romantics. However, maybe both groups are missing the point of the celebration. Perhaps any day that brings the positive force of love into the foreground is one to be welcomed.

Love can be joyful, positive, uplifting, inspiring, motivating, and a source of connection, transformation, and growth.

Love is all you need

Love,” as the Beatles sang in 1967, “is all you need.[2] Along with our reflexive consciousness, this integral human emotion sets us apart from all other mammals. We can not only form intensely powerful bonds to one another, but our ability to plan, project, and reflect also enables us to forge strong relationships and supportive networks.

As babies, we form strong attachments to our primary caregiver(s) that shape our attachment styles and relationship dynamics for life. Although it is possible to change attachment styles, these formative childhood years teach us to relate, interact, and communicate with others.

Attachment, therefore, is a faculty that we all naturally and intuitively co-create. Our evolution as a species has been dependent on community, proximity to others, trust, and comfort, and without our close relationships and familial groups, we would have been unable to survive.

Most of us in modern society no longer require the safety of numbers to protect us from danger. However, our sense of healthy self-worth, engagement in life-fulfilling activities, and position within society rely, in part, on the relationships we form with others.

Communication is vital to healthy relationships, yet research consistently demonstrates that this is the area where most people experience conflict. All too frequently, we are waiting for our turn to speak instead of listening to what the other is saying, or we think we are listening but do not hear the meaning behind what is said.

We tend to impose our beliefs, values, systems, and judgments onto the situation or conversation instead of recognizing the person before us as separate and unique with their own belief system and range of emotional responses.

The 5 love languages

Gary Chapman is an acclaimed American author, speaker, and counselor whose 1992 book, The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate, has gained widespread attention.[3] Chapman previously worked as a couples counselor and established the Love Language Theory based on many years of therapeutic analysis. Chapman has since released ten additional books that build upon the value of understanding one another’s love languages as the secret to a healthy relationship.

The Five Love Languages outline how people in relationships receive and express love. The ethos is the greater our understanding of ourselves and others the greater influence we can have on reducing conflict, increasing harmonious communication, and strengthening bonds.

Due to the popularity of his books and the success of the concept, Chapman provided an online resource where people can take quizzes to discover not only their love languages but also their apology language, anger style, and more.[4]

The principle behind the love languages is that each of us falls into one of five key categories. By identifying our love language and the love language of the person we are in a relationship with, we can experience greater joy and connection.

According to Chapman, these are:

  1. Words of affirmation
  2. Quality time
  3. Physical touch
  4. Acts of service
  5. Receiving gifts

Words of affirmation

If you or your partner’s primary love language is words of affirmation, they will receive and express love through spoken words of praise, care, and appreciation.  For these individuals’, kind, affectionate words and messages will uplift, inspire, and encourage them to move closer in the relationship.

Quality time

This person feels loved if their partner gives them undivided attention. This includes making eye contact, actively listening, and not being distracted by mobile phones or other people. Someone with this primary love language will want to also show their care for their partner by focusing on them and their needs and offering advice, attention, and support.

Physical touch

Physical affection is of utmost importance to those with this love language. Aside from sexual touch, they will feel loved and cared for if their partner sits close to them, touches their arm, or gives them a massage. Often this coincides with affirmative public affection, such as holding hands in public, which boosts this person’s sense of self-worth and value within the relationship.

Acts of service

Those with this love language will feel most loved and cared for when their significant other carries out supportive tasks for them. This could include running errands, cooking dinner, grocery shopping, vacuuming, or helping with the dishes.

Receiving gifts

Receiving and giving gifts are symbolic of love and affection for those with this love language. Rather than expecting large and expensive gifts, they treasure the thought, time, and effort the gift-giver made.

It is unlikely for two people in a relationship to have the same love language, so there will be miscommunications and misunderstandings. By identifying and understanding each other’s love languages, couples will feel cared for and appreciated. Empathy and a new source of shared meaning can allow the relationship to flourish and foster personal growth.


Positive and supportive relationships, whether romantic, friendship-based, or familial, encourage increased levels of well-being. Love and intimacy are proven to boost self-esteem, increase self-worth, and improve confidence and are even linked to an increased chance of living a long, healthy life.[5]

Discover your love language today and explore the insightful benefits together. If you or anyone you know is struggling with anything discussed in this article, please do not suffer alone. Please contact Heather R. Hayes & Associates.  Call 800-335-0316 or email today.


[1] “Valentine’S Day | Definition, History, & Traditions”. Encyclopedia Britannica, 2022,

[2] Beatles, The. “Love is all You Need”. Parlophone, London, 1967. Accessed 8 Feb 2022.

[3] Chapman, Gary. The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to your Mate. Northfield Press, 1992.

[4] “Discover your Love Language – The 5 Love Languages®”. 5Lovelanguages.Com, 2022,

[5] Wood RG, et al. The Effects of Marriage on Health: A Synthesis of Recent Research Evidence. Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. for Department of Health and Human Services. June 19, 2007.

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