Skirt Club’s Guide to Love languages
...and how they can help your relationships & intimacy.
Knowing someone’s preferred love language can be a quick, yet powerful way to improve your relationship with them.
The concept of the five love languages comes from a book published in 1992 by author and linguist Gary Chapman. He theorized that there are five main ways that humans express or experience love, and that each person has different preferences - usually one primary and one secondary language.
This isn’t to say that we only express love in one or two ways. All five love languages are important, but each of us tends to lean towards one or two.
“Love can be expressed and received in all five languages,” he explains. “However, if you don't speak a person's primary love language, that person will not feel loved, even though you may be speaking the other four.”
In the book, Chapman writes that people tend to give love in the same way they prefer to receive it, so by watching and learning how a partner gives love, you can learn better how they also like to experience it.
Note: While Chapman's original book was restricted to love between romantic partners, there is definitely application to other types of relationships. If you learn how a friend, or even an employee, likes to feel appreciated by those around them, you can tailor your actions to suit that. For example, if your employee prefers gifting - you could treat them with a surprise when they hit a major milestone! But, if they lean towards words of affirmation, making sure you tell them how much you appreciate them and their work on a consistent basis may be more effective.
What exactly are the five love languages? We’ve laid them out below - with more of a focus on romantic relationships.
The 5 Love Languages
Words of AffirmationIt’s always a wonderful feeling to be complimented - especially when that compliment comes from the heart. For people who prefer words of affirmation, words can make a big difference how loved they feel.
If your partner prefers words of affirmation, telling them exactly what you love about their body, their personality, their style… will go a long way in deepening your relationship. Dirty talk can also open up new ways of connecting - and make sure you tell them exactly what you enjoy them doing to you!
Gifting...pretty much what it says on the tin. For people who prefer gift-giving and receiving gifts, this can be as simple as a bouquet of flowers bought on the way home, or as complex as a gifted weekend away.
When it comes to intimacy, gift-giving can come in the form of physical gifts, such as underwear, toys, tickets to an event (hello Skirt Club!) or a naughty book.
Acts of ServiceActs of service is a little similar to gifting, however there is less of a focus on physical things, and more of a focus on things that take time and effort.
This could be anything from keeping your toy collection clean & neat, to a 3 course romantic meal. It could also include certain sex acts or sensual activities - a massage, perhaps!
For people who prefer acts of service - the fact that you took the time and effort to do something for them, makes them feel loved and cared for.
Quality TimeQuality time is all about focus, and attention. Making time spent with your partner intentional is key for anyone who prefers this love language.
This could range from romantic walks, to watching your favourite Netflix series together, to a deep, meaningful conversation by the fireplace.
When it comes to intimacy, being mindful during sex is very important. Try to leave your work at the office (or at your desk!) and focus on the moment when you’re together.
Physical TouchPhysical touch is a very tangible way of showing affection or care. We’re not just talking about sex - even a hand on a shoulder, a touch on the knee or a hug can be an expression of love that is very meaningful to the person receiving.
People who prefer touch really savour the sensation, so it’s a great idea to experiment with new ways of giving and receiving touch. Perhaps try different caresses, strokes, or kisses all over their body. Other types of sensation could be fun to play with too - feathers, ice-cubes or perhaps even some light BDSM. The options are endless…
There you have it - the five love languages.
If you’re not quite sure what yours is, you could start by taking the quiz here. Discovering your own, and your partner’s love language could broaden your understanding of each other, and help you to find new and exciting ways to communicate and celebrate each other.