What is that one thing you have on dark days when you feel like the world is closing in on you? What is that one thing that will always be there even when hate is there too? Love is that one thing. There are different types of love and there are different ways that different people express their love.

The concept of the five love languages comes from a book called The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate by Gary Chapman. The book outlines five ways that romantic partners express and experience their love.

What are the five love languages?

1. Words of Affirmation – this language is for people who love being told that they are loved. To them words speak louder than actions.

2. Acts of Service – people who love this language require actions that speak louder than words. They want to be shown love not just told.

3. Receiving Gifts – these people feel most loved when they receive a gift.

4. Quality Time – this language is all about giving the other person your undivided attention.

5. Physical Touch – these people are people that like touching to express love.

According to the Huffington Post knowing your love language gives you the communication to explain what’s most important to meet your emotional needs and also the insight to figure out what’s important to your partner so you can best meet their emotional needs. Knowing each other’s love language in a relationship is important because you get to understand your person and you can give each other what you need for a healthier relationship.

Whether it’s a friendship, a relative or romantic relationship not knowing the other person’s love language can lead to toxic relationships, as you may not understand what the person wants from you and also what you want from them too. It’s a two-way street, they need to understand your way of giving and your way of receiving love, vice versa. A person can use acts of service as a way to express love while they like to be shown through physical touching that they are loved. This means the way people show love is different from the way they want to receive love.

Author Gary Chapman suggests that to discover another person’s love language, we must look at the way they express love to others so we can analyse what they complain about most often and what they request from their significant other most often. The Daily Mail uses an example of if a husband’s love language is acts of service, he may be confused when he does the laundry for his wife who may use words of affirmation as she doesn’t see that as an act of love because the love language she understands is words of affirmation.

What are the different types of love?

There aren’t just different ways of showing and receiving love but there are different kinds of love as well. According to an article by Psychology Today, the ancient Greeks had many words for love, which enabled them to differentiate between the different types of love. There are seven kinds that the Greeks came up with, each with a name from ancient Greek.

Psychology Today claims that the seven types of love are loosely based on classical readings, by Plato and Aristotle, and about a book by JA Lee called Colors of Love, released in 1973.
Here they are:

1. Eros – is sexual or passionate love. In Greek myth, it is a form of madness brought about by one of Cupid’s arrows, the arrow hits us and we fall in love.

2. Philia – in modern times Philia is what we call Friendship love

3. Storge – is familiar love, it can be the love between parents and their children. It’s born out of familiarity or dependency.

4. Agape – is universal love, like love for strangers, nature, or God. Also called charity by Christian thinkers its defined as unselfish concern for other people that you may not even know. Good Samaritan vibes.

5. Ludus – is playful or uncommitted love. It can involve activities such as teasing and dancing, or even flirting with no strings attached. It’s a fling type of love people!

6. Pragma – is practical love based on reason or duty. Sexual attraction takes a back seat in favour of personal qualities. Think, arranged marriage.

7. Philautia – is self-love, which can be healthy or unhealthy. Unhealthy self-love means being too self-absorbed, while healthy means having a good self-esteem.

It’s important to know what type of love you have with the people you love, for example knowing helps to avoid the awkwardness of loving a friend that only sees you in a platonic manner. It helps knowing, so you can understand whether you are in a committed relationship or just a fun one to pass time. Knowing means lesser chances of getting your heart broken.

Love is patient, love is kind, it’s beautiful, it breaks your heart, it tears you down forcing you to pull away all the layers that you have built to protect yourself from it. Do everything with love as there is nothing more relatable than vulnerability. It’s a scary for most people but they say love always win, which means with love you will always come out on top.

If you liked this, read about nonverbal communication here


Tell us: What is your love language?