What Are The 5 Love Languages & How Do They Help Couples Fall More Deeply In Love?

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What Are The 5 Love Languages? Dr. Gary Chapmen Explains How They Help Couples Fall More Deeply In Love?

It’s been said that marriage and relationships are hard work. We respectfully disagree.

When relationships feel like a struggle, we believe that more likely than not, there are two factor being overlooked by one or both people involved — understanding and communication.

That's why learning what the five love languages are, which of them you and your partner speak, and how to integrate them in your daily interactions can make it easier to both understand and heal what's been missing your relationship.

With that knowledge in play, you can quickly deepen the intimacy between you and fall more in love with each other than ever before.

RELATED: Everything You Need To Know About Each Of The 5 Love Languages

We recently had the opportunity to interview Dr. Gary Chapman, author of The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate. During our time together we discussed a wide variety of the many ways his work has improved relationships between millions of people.

What are the five love languages?

The five love languages, explained below, represent the five most common ways people innately prefer to both experience and receive love:

  • Words of Affirmation: saying positive things to your partner, like a compliment
  • Acts of Service: doing something considerate for them or on their behalf, like vacuuming
  • Receiving Gifts: giving your partner tangible tokens of affection, like flowers
  • Quality Time: couple time spent bonding, like going on a hike together
  • Physical Touch: physical acts of affection, like holding hands

Here are 5 nuggets Dr. Chapman shared in our interview with him about how the five love languages can help couples in marriages and long-term relationships fall more deeply in love.

1. Recognize that love is a choice.

Most of us have heard that love is a verb, and it is one we can choose to practice or not.

“If you know your spouse’s love language," Chapman insists, "then speaking it is a choice.”

Even though learning your partner’s love language may not feel comfortable or natural for you, do it anyway.

"I say to people sometimes, ‘You know, my wife’s language is acts of service,'" Chapman continues, "and I say, 'I vacuum the floors for her. Do you think that vacuuming floors come naturally for me? No, no. But I do it, not because I enjoy vacuuming, but because I know it makes her feel love.’ So you have to determine that you're going to learn the love language and then you choose to do it."

2. Pay attention to the nuances of your partner's primary love language.

After learning the ins and outs of each of the five love languages, it’s valuable to dig deeper to understand the subtleties that Dr. Chapman calls the "dialects" in each of them.

Just as each city has its own colloquialisms ("You know you’re from _______ if you say this…"), each of the 5 love languages has nuances as well.

For example, even if both you and your partner's your primary love language is acts of service, you might not do the same things for one another. In our relationship, Geoff chooses to fold laundry and vacuum, while Poppy chooses to make meals and manage most of their business correspondences.

These are dialects of the same primary love language, but the way it's expressed and received differs.

RELATED: Which Of The 5 Love Languages Do You Speak? How To Find Out

3. Know if your partner is a "Dead Sea" or "Babbling Brook" personality.

In his book, Dr. Chapman highlighted personality differences in addition to different primary love languages. These personality differences affect how they give and receive information.

Dr. Chapman breaks these personality types down into two categories: Dead Seas and Babbling Brooks.

Dead Sea personality types "can receive things throughout the day. They have a large reservoir where they store all of that and they're perfectly happy not to talk. And if you ask them a question, they have to think about it. They want to stay in response to that."

For Babbling Brook personality types, on the other hand, "whatever comes in the eye gate or the ear gate — comes out the 'mouth gate.'"

When partners are different personality types, both Dead Seas and Babbling Brooks need to be hyper-aware to "speak" in each other’s primary love language and be patient with one another.

4. Keep your "emotional love tank" filled.

When the gauge on your emotional love tank is pointing toward empty, this represents a person whose relationship is disconnected and unfulfilling.

We asked Dr. Chapman if one person entered into the relationship with a near-empty tank, whose job is it to fill it?

"I don't know that we can fill our own tank. But I do think we have to be open to love," Dr. Chapman said.

He added that those who had grown up not receiving love in any form, “will have difficulty believing that somebody could really love them.”

Ultimately, sharing that vulnerability is important and Dr. Chapman suggested that one might say, "Okay, this is my history. This is what I grew up in. But now I'm an adult. And let me learn the skills that are necessary to have good relationships."

5. Learn the apology languages.

The way you say “I’m sorry” is essential to a heart-healthy relationship. In their co-authored book, The Five Languages of Apology, Dr. Chapman and Dr. Jennifer Thomas give us five apology languages:

  • expressing regret
  • accepting responsibility
  • making restitution
  • genuinely repenting
  • requesting forgiveness

If you and your partner have misaligned apology languages, the "I’m sorry" may come across as inauthentic. Knowing your own and your partner’s apology preference will smooth those challenges that obstruct your open and vulnerable communication.

As Dr. Chapman puts it, "If you understand that we have different ideas about what a sincere apology looks like, then you can share that with each other, and you can learn to apologize in a way that's meaningful to the other person ... Because if they're sincere, we can forgive them. If we think they're just trying to whitewash it, it's harder to forgive."

When you know what the five love languages are and how you can use them to fall more in love in your relationship, your communication as a couple can become so much better.

By understanding your partner’s love language and your own, you break through those barriers that prevented you from giving and receiving love at its best.

RELATED: What You See First In This Image Reveals The Love Language You're Least Compatible With

Poppy and Geoff Spencer, M.S., CPC, are Licensed, Certified New Life Story Coaches, relationship and parenting experts, Certified Myers Briggs (personality) Practitioner, “Millennial Translators,” national speakers, authors of a #1 Bestseller One Billion Seconds: There’s Still time to Discover Love, and Podcast hosts.

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This article was originally published at Poppy and Geoff Spencer blog post on their website. Reprinted with permission from the author.