The five love languages are words of affirmation, physical touch, quality time, gifts, and acts of service, each of which represents a distinct way of expressing love. The love language theory, first developed by Gary Chapman, Ph.D., in the 1990s, posits that each person has a specific love language they prefer for giving and receiving love.
For example, one person may feel most appreciated when their partner says the words “I love you” (the words of affirmation love language), whereas another may feel most appreciated when their partner gives them a lot of affectionate touch like kisses and holding hands (the physical touch love language).
“Love languages are a deceptively simple concept, and understanding them can be transformative if you put in the practical work,” trauma-informed relationship coach Julie Nguyen writes at mbg. “It invites curiosity, not mind-reading, into the relationship.”
Here’s a quick basic overview of each love language: