What's your love language?

Whether you are single or in a relationship, you've probably been asked about your "love language" at some point.

The term, coined by Gary Chapman for the 1992 book The Five Love Languages, refers to the general ways that partners can express and experience love - though the concepts can also be applied to relationships with friends and family members.

Keen to understand more? Elle Mace, relationship and positive psychology coach (ellemace.com), shares all you need to know about love languages and why they can be so beneficial for building a connection.

Words of affirmation

This refers to the words you want a person to say to show appreciation.

"For example, you could say, 'Thank you for helping me with my studies,' or 'I appreciate all the effort that goes into the dinner you cooked,'" she said. "This can be done in person, over the phone or in a letter for those you rarely see or see all the time. Sometimes it's the ones closest to us that we live with and see every day where we forget to offer words of affirmation."

Quality time

For most, quality time is about being present, listening, and focusing on that one person.

"Giving them the time they need from you and your undivided attention is how they feel loved and heard," explained Elle. "It means putting the phones and laptops away, taking time away from busy environments and connecting. If you are in a long-distance relationship or don't see your friends and family much, then you can invest time in video calls in order to make sure you set aside the time to sit and chat with no other distractions."

Acts of service

This love language is all about doing something kind for someone else, offering a helping hand to make them feel loved, cared for, and supported.

"If your partner's love language is acts of service, it's likely they also get pleasure from offering their services to help others," the expert noted. "This could be dropping them at work on a rainy day, picking up the groceries or offering to take the kids for an hour while they rest or get something done. Perhaps you can offer friends and family a helping hand not just when they are in need but in everyday situations. These acts of kindness don't have to be big gestures but more like the day-to-day chores that can make someone's life feel easier."


If a person's preferred love language is touch, they will feel most loved and special when they are holding hands, having a cuddle, being close to you, and of course, being intimate.

"But it's not just about sex! There are many ways to explore physical touch. A perfect date night might be at the cinema or a movie on the sofa, a massage or somewhere alone. This love language can be applied to friends or family too by offering a hug, kiss, handshake or even a fist bump when you greet one another," she continued.


We often automatically think gifts have to cost a lot of money, but this doesn't have to be the case.

"The receiver will treasure the gift as well as the time and effort that has gone into it. There is something very special about someone picking out something specifically for someone because you feel they will like it. That's part of getting to know someone or having that connection to another that proves you know them," added Elle.