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The Five Original + The Seven New Love Languages
How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate.” That was the original tagline for Gary Chapman’s first book on the five love languages back in 1992. Since then, Chapman’s book for couples has been adapted into books for kids, teens, singles, and the list goes on. Today, the five love languages are no longer used for only couples. If you’re reading this, it’s likely not the first time you’ve heard of the five love languages. But, in case you’re running on half capacity, like most of the world right now, here’s a quick refresher.

The Five Love Languages

Scottsdale couples counseling

scottsdale couples counselingGary Chapman, a marriage counselor in the 1980s, wrote a book that suggested that every person has a primary language for communicating and feeling most loved. He broke these into five basic languages. Chapman’s original five love languages are physical touch, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service, and receiving gifts. These are all pretty self-explanatory. But, we’ll break them down just a little. After all, there was an internationally best-selling book written about it, with a modest 20 million copies sold.

Physical Touch

Everyone automatically assumes this is every man’s first love language. It’s a bit more complex. The first thing Chapman mentions in the book is how babies respond to physical touch. Parents of NICU babies are encouraged to touch their children to promote healing and better development. Children who are hugged and kissed by their parents are said to develop a healthier emotional life than those who aren’t. Then, of course, there is physical touching in a romantic relationship. We show love with hand holding, putting our arms around one another, and sexual activity. If this is how you feel most loved, the idea is that Physical Touch is your love language.

Quality Time

If Physical Touch is for the men (and we’re not saying it is), this one is for the women. Quality Time is all about giving your time to your partner. Chapman is specific with this one, that he’s not talking about watching TV together. He’s talking about the mushy kind of quality time. The staring deep into one another’s eyes, contemplating the universe together kind of quality time. This is undivided, you’re the only person here, kind of attention. Let’s be honest, everyone wants this at some point in their relationship. But, if you want this regularly to feel most loved, Quality Time may be your love language.

Words of Affirmation

“I can live for two months on a good compliment.” – Mark Twain

This is how Chapman opens the chapter on Words of Affirmation in his book. It is a rather poignant quote and applies simply to any relationship. Say nice things to people. Whether it’s a romantic relationship, parental, sibling, professional, or otherwise, giving compliments is a no-brainer way to show love. But, what if that’s not their way to feel love? Take Amy for example, Words of Affirmation doesn’t do it for her. She was raised to say thank you and telling someone when their hair looks nice is just second nature to her. So, for Amy, giving people a compliment or verbal appreciation is just something people should do. It’s not really anything extra for her. Words of Affirmation is not her love language. Someone who does love to hear these things regularly though, someone like Mark Twain who could live two months on a good compliment, they may be able to claim Words of Affirmation as their love language.

Acts of Service

Another one that is a bit more complex than it sounds is Acts of Service. Acts of Service are expressed by doing things to show your love. As far as marriage or couples counseling goes, this is a love language that can be easily missed by a couple who is having trouble connecting. This is the everyday, the nitty-gritty, the life part of the life you live together. It’s when he empties the dishwasher without being asked or when she takes care to fold his laundry how he likes. It’s the stuff that can so easily go unnoticed without trying. The idea is that it becomes an Act of Service when we go out of our way to do these things specifically for our partners, not just because they must get done to be checked off the to-do list. If you feel most loved when your partner takes a task off your plate for you, Acts of Service may be your love language.

Receiving Gifts

There really are not any complexities to this one. However, Chapman does make a point to mention that the gift itself does not matter and that it can also be a “gift of your presence.” You can give money, a stick (an example from the book), expensive diamonds, extravagant well-thought-out gifts, or just the gift of yourself being there (not to be confused with quality time). No matter, what the gift is, it is a visual representation of your love. If you feel most loved by receiving gifts, this may be your love language.

Beyond the Five Love Languages

Now that we have a clear understanding of Gary Chapman’s Five Love Languages, let’s talk about how they’ve been received and how they have changed since 1992. Chapman himself will be the first to admit that his five love languages are just a framework. They are a place to start, not an all-encompassing, exclusive way to love those in your life. He’s adapted his original book for couples to books on the love languages for children, singles, teenagers, men, and even one specifically for military service members. He’s created podcasts, radio shows, and conferences on the topic. Counselors, relationship experts, and even employers all over the world have turned to Chapman’s concept as a guide for understanding how humans connect with one another.

Reception of Five Love Languages

lgbtqia counseling scottsdale

As with most concepts that are so widely known and adapted over generations and cultures, Chapman’s original five love languages have received a bit of criticism. Some say that the concept of love languages promotes co-dependency and prevents partners from developing autonomy and authenticity. Others are a bit harsher, claiming that the five love languages focus too heavily on heteronormative Christian couples and are exclusive of modern couples, like LGBTQIA+, interracial, or straight couples who do not practice traditional gender roles.

What are the New Seven Love Languages?

In efforts to be more inclusive and current, Truity, a company that offers a variety of online personality quizzes, released its list of 7 new love languages earlier this month (February 2022). Truity surveyed over 500,000 people in their study and came up with this list: activity, appreciation, emotional, financial, intellectual, physical, and practical. The below definitions are directly from Truity’s site:

Activity

People who focus on the Activity love language feel special and valued when their partner takes an interest in their hobbies and activities and makes an effort to enjoy hobbies and interests together.

Appreciation

People who focus on the Appreciation love language feel loved when their partner gives them compliments, praise, and thanks. They appreciate hearing explicitly what their partner likes and admires about them.

Emotional

Those who focus on the Emotional love language feel loved when their partner is able to connect with them and support them through difficult and scary emotions. Being present for the highs and lows is very important to those with the Emotional love language.

Financial

People with the Financial love language feel loved when their partner is generous with resources, and sees value in spending money to bring their partner pleasure and joy. This love language may be expressed through gifts, or just making space in the family budget for your partner’s enjoyment.

Intellectual

People with the Intellectual love language like to connect through the mind. They feel loved when their partner values their intelligence, respects their opinion, and takes part in thoughtful discussion of important issues.

Physical

People with the Physical love language feel loved when they receive physical affection—hugs, holding hands, and snuggles. They want their partners to show they’re attracted to them and initiate loving touch.

Practical

People with the Practical love language feel loved when their partners chip in with everyday duties and responsibilities. They feel cared for when their loved ones do chores and offer help.

The Truity Love Languages Quiz

I took the quiz on Truity’s site. I am in a relationship, and I found that the questions were a bit difficult to answer without taking what I know about my partner into consideration. Things like, “If your partner had a bad day, rank these 4 things in order of what you would do when they came home.”

truity love languages test resultsHaving been in a relationship for a significant chunk of my life now, it was nearly impossible for me to answer how I would respond to this situation, versus how I know my partner would like for me to respond. For example, I know my partner isn’t the “let’s talk about it” kind of person. He’s an Enneagram 5, also a test Truity offers. He would much prefer to decompress alone and then spend quality time together once he’s had time to sort through his thoughts. Me? I’m the “let’s talk about it all right now!” kind of person. So, the answers were difficult to sort because, had I not known that about my partner, I may have selected what I thought was best, my way of dealing with things. I feel like this may have skewed the results a bit.

Otherwise, I do feel like that Truity breaks down Chapman’s love languages into more modern communication styles. The two standouts are “emotional” and “intellectual” styles. I think parallels can be drawn for the others. Receiving gifts is basically the same as a “financial”. Quality time is like “activity”. Words of affirmation is “appreciation”. Physical touch, you guessed it, is the same as “physical”. Acts of service is not a stretch when compared to “practical”.

The Two New Love Languages

As for “emotional” and “intellectual”, these are a bit more inclusive of modern relationships. Thirty years ago, we weren’t as aware of toxic masculinity as we are now. So, men were not as free to display their emotions as they are now. Perhaps, more men will find that “emotional” will be their love language in today’s culture. Along the same lines, the past two years have opened countless conversations between couples that they certainly wouldn’t have had ten or twenty years ago. Perhaps, one may realize that intellectual is their preferred love language.

Conclusion – It’s all just a communication framework.

In any case, whether you’re reading Gary Chapman’s book(s), or taking an online quiz, it’s important to note that none of these will account for real communication. There is nothing quite like doing the work of getting to know another person. It can be scary, entertaining, exciting, and surprising all at the same time. The love languages, whether you’re using the original five or the new seven, are a framework, a starting off point. Talk them over with your partner. Ask how you’re doing. Let them know how they’re doing. Most importantly, use it as a tool, not a weapon. Remember you’re both on the same team and that they are called the love languages, not the “I told you so” languages.

If you need some help, we’re always here. Claibourne Counseling offers individual counseling, as well as couples counseling. We’ll help you walk through ways to identify how to communicate better and show love, as well as how to make sure you’re receiving the love that you deserve. Reach out today if you’re ready to dig deeper.

Sending you light and love,
Claire & The Claibourne Team

~ You are worthy. You are capable. You are enough! ~

Claibourne Counseling Scottsdale

Gary Chapman, a marriage counselor in the 1980s, wrote a book that suggested that every person has a primary language for communicating and feeling most loved. He broke these into five basic languages. Chapman’s original five love languages are physical touch, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service, and receiving gifts. These are all pretty self-explanatory. But, we’ll break them down just a little. After all, there was an internationally best-selling book written about it, with a modest 20 million copies sold.

Physical Touch

Everyone automatically assumes this is every man’s first love language. It’s a bit more complex. The first thing Chapman mentions in the book is how babies respond to physical touch. Parents of NICU babies are encouraged to touch their children to promote healing and better development. Children who are hugged and kissed by their parents are said to develop a healthier emotional life than those who aren’t. Then, of course, there is physical touching in a romantic relationship. We show love with hand holding, putting our arms around one another, and sexual activity. If this is how you feel most loved, the idea is that Physical Touch is your love language.

Quality Time

If Physical Touch is for the men (and we’re not saying it is), this one is for the women. Quality Time is all about giving your time to your partner. Chapman is specific with this one, that he’s not talking about watching TV together. He’s talking about the mushy kind of quality time. The staring deep into one another’s eyes, contemplating the universe together kind of quality time. This is undivided, you’re the only person here, kind of attention. Let’s be honest, everyone wants this at some point in their relationship. But, if you want this regularly to feel most loved, Quality Time may be your love language.

Words of Affirmation

“I can live for two months on a good compliment.” – Mark Twain

This is how Chapman opens the chapter on Words of Affirmation in his book. It is a rather poignant quote and applies simply to any relationship. Say nice things to people. Whether it’s a romantic relationship, parental, sibling, professional, or otherwise, giving compliments is a no-brainer way to show love. But, what if that’s not their way to feel love? Take Amy for example, Words of Affirmation doesn’t do it for her. She was raised to say thank you and telling someone when their hair looks nice is just second nature to her. So, for Amy, giving people a compliment or verbal appreciation is just something people should do. It’s not really anything extra for her. Words of Affirmation is not her love language. Someone who does love to hear these things regularly though, someone like Mark Twain who could live two months on a good compliment, they may be able to claim Words of Affirmation as their love language.

Acts of Service

Another one that is a bit more complex than it sounds is Acts of Service. Acts of Service are expressed by doing things to show your love. As far as marriage or couples counseling goes, this is a love language that can be easily missed by a couple who is having trouble connecting. This is the everyday, the nitty-gritty, the life part of the life you live together. It’s when he empties the dishwasher without being asked or when she takes care to fold his laundry how he likes. It’s the stuff that can so easily go unnoticed without trying. The idea is that it becomes an Act of Service when we go out of our way to do these things specifically for our partners, not just because they must get done to be checked off the to-do list. If you feel most loved when your partner takes a task off your plate for you, Acts of Service may be your love language.

Receiving Gifts

There really are not any complexities to this one. However, Chapman does make a point to mention that the gift itself does not matter and that it can also be a “gift of your presence.” You can give money, a stick (an example from the book), expensive diamonds, extravagant well-thought-out gifts, or just the gift of yourself being there (not to be confused with quality time). No matter, what the gift is, it is a visual representation of your love. If you feel most loved by receiving gifts, this may be your love language.

Beyond the Five Love Languages

Now that we have a clear understanding of Gary Chapman’s Five Love Languages, let’s talk about how they’ve been received and how they have changed since 1992. Chapman himself will be the first to admit that his five love languages are just a framework. They are a place to start, not an all-encompassing, exclusive way to love those in your life. He’s adapted his original book for couples to books on the love languages for children, singles, teenagers, men, and even one specifically for military service members. He’s created podcasts, radio shows, and conferences on the topic. Counselors, relationship experts, and even employers all over the world have turned to Chapman’s concept as a guide for understanding how humans connect with one another.

Reception of Five Love Languages

lgbtqia counseling scottsdale

As with most concepts that are so widely known and adapted over generations and cultures, Chapman’s original five love languages have received a bit of criticism. Some say that the concept of love languages promotes co-dependency and prevents partners from developing autonomy and authenticity. Others are a bit harsher, claiming that the five love languages focus too heavily on heteronormative Christian couples and are exclusive of modern couples, like LGBTQIA+, interracial, or straight couples who do not practice traditional gender roles.

What are the New Seven Love Languages?

In efforts to be more inclusive and current, Truity, a company that offers a variety of online personality quizzes, released its list of 7 new love languages earlier this month (February 2022). Truity surveyed over 500,000 people in their study and came up with this list: activity, appreciation, emotional, financial, intellectual, physical, and practical. The below definitions are directly from Truity’s site:

Activity

People who focus on the Activity love language feel special and valued when their partner takes an interest in their hobbies and activities and makes an effort to enjoy hobbies and interests together.

Appreciation

People who focus on the Appreciation love language feel loved when their partner gives them compliments, praise, and thanks. They appreciate hearing explicitly what their partner likes and admires about them.

Emotional

Those who focus on the Emotional love language feel loved when their partner is able to connect with them and support them through difficult and scary emotions. Being present for the highs and lows is very important to those with the Emotional love language.

Financial

People with the Financial love language feel loved when their partner is generous with resources, and sees value in spending money to bring their partner pleasure and joy. This love language may be expressed through gifts, or just making space in the family budget for your partner’s enjoyment.

Intellectual

People with the Intellectual love language like to connect through the mind. They feel loved when their partner values their intelligence, respects their opinion, and takes part in thoughtful discussion of important issues.

Physical

People with the Physical love language feel loved when they receive physical affection—hugs, holding hands, and snuggles. They want their partners to show they’re attracted to them and initiate loving touch.

Practical

People with the Practical love language feel loved when their partners chip in with everyday duties and responsibilities. They feel cared for when their loved ones do chores and offer help.

The Truity Love Languages Quiz

I took the quiz on Truity’s site. I am in a relationship, and I found that the questions were a bit difficult to answer without taking what I know about my partner into consideration. Things like, “If your partner had a bad day, rank these 4 things in order of what you would do when they came home.”

truity love languages test resultsHaving been in a relationship for a significant chunk of my life now, it was nearly impossible for me to answer how I would respond to this situation, versus how I know my partner would like for me to respond. For example, I know my partner isn’t the “let’s talk about it” kind of person. He’s an Enneagram 5, also a test Truity offers. He would much prefer to decompress alone and then spend quality time together once he’s had time to sort through his thoughts. Me? I’m the “let’s talk about it all right now!” kind of person. So, the answers were difficult to sort because, had I not known that about my partner, I may have selected what I thought was best, my way of dealing with things. I feel like this may have skewed the results a bit.

Otherwise, I do feel like that Truity breaks down Chapman’s love languages into more modern communication styles. The two standouts are “emotional” and “intellectual” styles. I think parallels can be drawn for the others. Receiving gifts is basically the same as a “financial”. Quality time is like “activity”. Words of affirmation is “appreciation”. Physical touch, you guessed it, is the same as “physical”. Acts of service is not a stretch when compared to “practical”.

The Two New Love Languages

As for “emotional” and “intellectual”, these are a bit more inclusive of modern relationships. Thirty years ago, we weren’t as aware of toxic masculinity as we are now. So, men were not as free to display their emotions as they are now. Perhaps, more men will find that “emotional” will be their love language in today’s culture. Along the same lines, the past two years have opened countless conversations between couples that they certainly wouldn’t have had ten or twenty years ago. Perhaps, one may realize that intellectual is their preferred love language.

Conclusion – It’s all just a communication framework.

In any case, whether you’re reading Gary Chapman’s book(s), or taking an online quiz, it’s important to note that none of these will account for real communication. There is nothing quite like doing the work of getting to know another person. It can be scary, entertaining, exciting, and surprising all at the same time. The love languages, whether you’re using the original five or the new seven, are a framework, a starting off point. Talk them over with your partner. Ask how you’re doing. Let them know how they’re doing. Most importantly, use it as a tool, not a weapon. Remember you’re both on the same team and that they are called the love languages, not the “I told you so” languages.

If you need some help, we’re always here. Claibourne Counseling offers individual counseling, as well as couples counseling. We’ll help you walk through ways to identify how to communicate better and show love, as well as how to make sure you’re receiving the love that you deserve. Reach out today if you’re ready to dig deeper.

Sending you light and love,
Claire & The Claibourne Team

~ You are worthy. You are capable. You are enough! ~

Claibourne Counseling Scottsdale