You may have heard of the five love languages, the theory that we all express and interpret love differently. The concept, created by Dr. Gary Chapman, a former pastor who, through his decades of marriage counseling, deduced that everyone has a love language. According to him, they are words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch.
All of these terms are pretty self-explanatory, but Dr. Chapman's theory suggests that compatibility between love languages can help determine your relationship's chance at a long-term future. For example, if you express love by leaving love notes around your apartment (words of affirmation), while your partner prefers to show love through quality time, you might not feel like your emotional needs are being met (even though both of you are expressing your love for the other in your own ways).
“People do not need to speak the same love language to succeed as a couple, rather they need to understand the love language their significant other speaks," senior matchmaker and dating coach Lori Salkin tells Bustle. "That is not easy; it not only requires understanding the person and how they are different from you, but that what is important to them is different from what is important to you and being able to separate your wants and needs from theirs ... If it happens to be you speak the same love language, that is significantly easier!”
"For many of us, we often don't know effective ways of expressing love to our partners or dealing with disagreements and disappointments," Dr. LeslieBeth Wish, licensed clinical psychotherapist, relationship expert, and author of the new bookTraining Your Love Intuition, tells Bustle. "The love language books fortify empathy, understanding, appreciation, and caring — all good things IF you have made a wise choice of partner. And that's a very big IF." In other words, figuring out you and your partner's love languages — and if your feelings on them are aligned — can help you figure out whether you and your partner can work for the long haul.
So can someone who scoffs at love languages be with someone who 100 percent believes in them? It depends on how adamant and flexible each of you are. Here are five ways you and your partner an explore that whole love language thing.