Do you know the languages of love?

A few weeks ago I was listening to an episode of Gretchen Rubin's podcast, "Happier..." which featured a segment on The Five Love Languages -- a 1995 book authored by Gary Chapman.

If you haven't heard of the "Love Languages," here's a quick breakdown of Chapman's main ideas: most people have one primary, and one secondary love language. Chapman's theory is that people tend to want to receive love in the same way they give it.

Obviously there's no actual hard science behind the book, other than observational research, but I think the way the love languages are broken down is pretty interesting and I was able to map my preferences in the categories fairly easily. Here's the breakdown of Chapman's five love languages:

1. Words of affirmation

According to Dr. Chapman, this language uses words to affirm other people. This means "I love you's" and compliments go a long way. Conversely, negative comments can cut deep for folks who speak this love language.

2. Quality time

Not just sharing space, but giving your partner your undivided attention. Breaking dates, or not being a good listener will eventually be dealbreakers with the partner who speaks this language. They want you to be there for them, and really, really mean it.

3. Receiving gifts

For some people, what makes them feel loved comes in a tangible form. Not that this person is materialistic, but the act of gift giving makes them feel special and appreciated.

4. Acts of service

Fun fact, this is definitely my primary love language. According to the article The 5 Love Languages, "people who speak the language of service want their partner to recognize that their life is rough and help them out in any way possible. Lending a helping hand shows you really care. People who thrive on this language do not deal well with broken promises — or perceived laziness — and have very little tolerance for people who make more work for them. Basically, if you're not willing to show your appreciation by doing them a favor, you're saying you don't value them."

5. Physical touch

Speaking this language doesn't necessarily mean this person is majorly into PDAs, but touch and physical contact are important (sex, sure -- but this also means hand-holding, kissing, hugging, etc.), and makes this person feel validated and safe. (Fun fact: this is definitely my secondary love language!)

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