For the past ten years, it has been almost impossible to have a conversation about love, relationships, or communication without hearing someone bring up the Love Languages Theory. But what are the five love languages, and how can you use them to find the perfect gift for a partner, parent, friend, or anyone you love?
The concept of the 5 love languages was developed by Dr Gary Chapman, a relationship councillor who throughout his practice had noticed that couples who were having problems were often communicating in a way that the other person didn’t understand, almost as if they were speaking another language. The love language theory tells us that everybody expresses their love for others, whether romantic or otherwise, in five different ways and that most people have a preference for which way they give and receive love. If we know the love language that our loved ones value most, we know how to make them feel most loved. The five love languages are:
- Physical Touch
- Quality Time
- Acts of Service
- Words of Affirmation
- Giving/Receiving Gifts
Physical touch is the most self-explanatory of the five love languages. A person whose love language is physical touch prefers to show and receive love through physical affection such as kisses, cuddling, or even just a high five when they’ve done a good job. For these people, having regular physical contact with the people they love is extremely important. Even something as simple as a hug, like in Just You and Me, or even an arm around the waist while walking, like in You’re Everything to Me, can make these people feel loved and cherished
Lladró's Just You and Me (left) & You’re Everything to Me (right).
Spending time with loved ones is something that we all enjoy, but for those of us whose love language is quality time, it is essential. Spending time with the ones they love is the way that these people like to express their affection, and it is also the way they want others to express love to them. That can mean trying out a fun new activity, getting out and about together like in Riding with You, or just lounging around at home, as long as the focus is on the time spent with the people they love. Even if you’re doing nothing but sitting together in silence, like in An Everlasting Moment, these people will appreciate you taking time out of your day to spend with them and just your presence alone will be enough to make them feel your love.
Lladró's Riding With You (left) & An Everlasting Moment (right).
ACTS OF SERVICE
Acts of Service can often be underrated by many people as an expression of love. But really, what could be more loving than making the lives of the people you love easier by doing the things that they can’t or don’t want to do? People who feel a strong affinity with acts of service not only express love by helping others, but they also love to have their loved ones help them out. For people who prefer to have affection expressed in this way, even a gesture as small as combing a sibling’s hair, like in Lladró’s Combing Your Hair, or washing a friend’s dog, like in Bathing my Puppies, could be an act of love.
Lladró's Combing your Hair (left) & Bathing My Puppies (right).
WORDS OF AFFIRMATION
For people whose love language is words of affirmation, the most valued way to show your love toward them is by telling them what you love and appreciate about them, like in The Thrill of Love. People who communicate in this way will appreciate compliments, heartfelt thankyou’s, loving notes, and hearing how much they mean to you. If words of affirmation is not a love language you usually communicate in, why not take some tips from the king of affirmation himself, Winnie the Pooh? He may only be a cartoon but he’s a great example of how to uplift a loved one who loves to hear how cherished they are.
Lladró's The Thrill of Love (left) & Lladró x Disney's Official Winnie the Pooh (right).
Giving and receiving gifts can seem like an obvious way to express your love, but it can be trickier than it seems. For people whose love language is receiving gifts, the feeling of love and care comes not from the size or price of the gift, but from receiving a gift that shows that the gift giver has put thought and time into finding or making something that they will really enjoy. For the perfect gift, try to find something that shows you know them well. Maybe something in their favourite colour, or related to a hobby of theirs. If you know they love dogs, for example, a piece like Bulldog with Lollipop could be the perfect gift. Or maybe even a gift that represents their love of receiving gifts, like Jaime Hayon’s Love Explosion.
Lladró's Bulldog with Lollipop & Love Explosion by Jaime Hayon.
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