Lockdown living: Five love languages for a healthy relationship

In romantic relationships, there is a lot of emphasis on the concept of love. Some people express their love to their partner in a more meaningful manner, while others fail to do so. Oftentimes, it is easy to assume that the definition of love is the same for all. But in reality, people define love in different ways. 

Do you find yourself in a situation wherein you're struggling to express your love towards your significant other? Have you ever wondered what is keeping you from expressing your love in a meaningful way? Well, the answer is you may want to learn about the five languages of love. 

The concept of the language of love was introduced in the year 1992, by Dr. Gary Chapman in his book titled ‘The five love languages: How to express heartfelt commitment to your mate’. This book describes the five different ways in which partners express their love towards each other in a romantic relationship. According to Chapman; Physical touch, receiving gifts, words of affirmation, acts of service and spending quality time are the five love languages. 

Now let us learn more about these five different ways of expressing love- 

  1. Physical touch- In this type of love, partners establish a strong connection with each other through physical touch. This can include hugging, kissing, holding hands, cuddling on the couch and getting intimate with each other. This kind of physical connection instills a sense of affirmation. Apart from strengthening your relationship with your significant other, expressing your love through physical touch has numerous health benefits. Physical touch is known to improve heart health, it's extremely good for your immune system, and keeps blood levels under control. Touching has shown to activate certain areas in the brain, responsible for thought processes and response. Studies have also shown that a simple gesture of touch activates the orbitofrontal cortex. This orbitofrontal cortex is responsible for social and emotional behaviour. Partners who indulge in the act of kissing have stronger immunity levels. While kissing, there is a microbial exchange of bacteria, which in turn helps the immune system to become familiarized with harmful pathogens. Touch is also an effective treatment for relieving body pains. 

  2. Receiving gifts-  In this type of love, it is not necessarily about materialistic things, rather it is about the gesture behind the act that matters. After a long stressful day at work, make your partner feel loved and appreciated by getting something as simple as a bouquet of roses. After all gifting is symbolic of affection and true love. 
  3. Words of affirmation- In this love language, love is expressed through appreciation or praise. If your partner prefers this love language, it doesn’t mean that you should shower him/her with compliments every single day, rather it is about thanking them for everything they do to take care of you. You can even express this type of love by making dinner for your partner. Words of positive affirmation are essential to strengthen your relationship with your partner. 

  4. Acts of service- A great way to express your love to your significant other is through acts of service. Doing small gestures are one of the key aspects that keep a relationship strong. This love language is all about expressing your love by doing things that you know your partner likes. For example; making a cup of coffee for your partner, doing laundry, cleaning your partner’s car, preparing dinner etc. 

  5. Spending quality time- Oftentimes couples do not realise the importance of spending time with each other, hence for this reason several relationships fail. A key aspect of a healthy and long lasting relationship is spending quality time with your partner. Spending time with the one you love, helps to not only understand your partner better but will also present opportunities to mature and become better individuals. 

Now that you know about the five love languages, you should think about which one is your primary love language and also try to figure out your partner’s. 
Knowing both you and your partner’s love language will surely aid in strengthening your relationship. 

-Akhila kakarala
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