backup og meta
Health Screening
Ask Doctor

Effect of Love Languages on Relationships

Written by Stephanie Nera, RPh, PharmD · Pharmacology

Updated Feb 09, 2021

Effect of Love Languages on Relationships

The effect of love languages on relationships is subtle yet powerful. After all, people often say that it is the small things that matter most. However, each person has a different love language. Even if you write the most beautifully composed poem, if the other person has a different love language, they may not appreciate your effort. So, save yourself the heartache and uncertainty and learn more about the importance of love languages.

What are the love languages?

The concept of love languages was first popularized in a book by Dr. Gary Chapman in the 1990s. In his book, he described five distinct love languages that each person prefers when receiving love or affection from others. The five love languages and their descriptions are as follows:

effect of love languages on relationships

Words of affirmation

The first type of love language is for those who are big on communication. Words of affirmation include compliments and encouragements. Depending on the person, these can include cute handwritten notes in your baon, saying “good job’ after a difficult presentation, or even going as far as declaring your love with an EDSA billboard.

Acts of service

People who prefer this love language believe that people should walk the walk, not just talk the talk. Included in this love language are things like helping your parent or spouse with the chores without being asked—with emphasis on without being asked.

Receiving gifts

People, and even other animals like birds and apes, give gifts as offerings to others. Of course, most people enjoy receiving gifts on special occasions like birthdays, graduations, or anniversaries. However, people who have this love language may be misunderstood as being materialistic. Not all people with this love language require expensive gifts; even something as simple as a drawing or travel souvenir is enough to show that you appreciate them.

effect of love languages on relationships

Quality time

This love language involves paying attention and making someone feel special by spending time with them. Quality time means that you should limit distractions like social media or work calls while you are together with others. Giving your undivided attention shows you respect the other person and are prioritizing them.

Physical touch

Lastly, physical touch or “skinship’ is another love language. While touch may sound inappropriate or reserved for lovers, physical touch is more than just hugs and kisses. Physical touch is one of the earliest forms of love we receive as newborns, when we were cradled and breastfed by our mothers. As we get older, we can appreciate friendly gestures like a high-five, a pat on the back, or a soothing massage after a long day.

effect of love languages on relationships

Are love languages only for romantic relationships?

It is natural to hear the word love and immediately associate it with romantic relationships. While it is especially useful for couples, love languages are relevant for all types of relationships. Non-romantic relationships include platonic friendships, kinship (or family relationship), and the relationship you have between teammates and colleagues (acquaintanceships).

The effect of love languages on relationships

Understanding other people’s love languages clears up a lot of avoidable misunderstandings. If you discover that your partner’s love language is predominantly physical touch, you may need to think twice before taking a job overseas and turning your relationship into an long-distance one. On the other hand, if you have a child that prefers quality time, they may not appreciate fully the expensive gifts you send if you are away on their birthday.

Misinterpreting or constantly using the wrong love language on someone can be potentially damaging to the relationship. The wrong gesture can still be acceptable from time to time, however, the other person may become tired or feel unappreciated. In addition, most people use more than one love language. Consistency may be key, but it can also get boring. Switch things up from time to time, but always remember your intentions when you do acts of love for others.

The Health Benefits of Giving Your Partner a Massage

Key takeaways

In summary, love languages have a big effect on relationships. Just like any sort of language, there are no hard rules and there is always room for interpretation. The key to any healthy relationship is clear communication and trust. Paying attention to a person’s likes and dislikes shows that you care to listen and take action to do (or not do) those things in order to make them happy. By understanding yourself and others, you can navigate through your relationships better and make them stronger.

Learn more about Healthy Relationships here.


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Written by

Stephanie Nera, RPh, PharmD


Updated Feb 09, 2021

ad iconadvertisement

Was this article helpful?

ad iconadvertisement
ad iconadvertisement