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How to Figure Out Someone’s Love Language

February 8, 2024

It’s one thing to find someone you can love, cherish and be with in a relationship. But it’s another thing to find creative ways you can use to maintain that bond. According to a 2011 study titled Couples' Reports of Relationship Problems in a Naturalistic Therapy Setting published in the Family Journal, the most common relationship problem is communication1.

To properly communicate, it helps to be creative. But what are some of these creative ways you might ask? These are simply love languages. Knowing your partner’s love language can add great value to your relationship by reducing friction whenever you both have issues. You’ll have clues on what to do to restore harmony in your love life. 

However, it can also help you be on the same page with your partner even if you both have different ways of receiving love. To further understand this, you need to know the love languages and the idea behind them.

What Is a Love Language and What Types of Love Languages Are There?

what is a love language and what types of love languages are there

A love language is a way or ways in which a person would prefer to express and show love to people. These people could be family, friends, or anyone else, depending on the situation. 

Everyone has their preferred love language no matter how rigid they may appear. According to Dr. Gary Chapman, PhD, the author of the bestselling book on love languages there are five love languages that most couples want from and give each other2.

1. Spending quality time together

Spending quality time with your partner is simply giving him undivided attention. This means having that specific time when phone calls and messages are ignored; just you and your partner. This may sound like it’s a big compromise, especially if it’s not one of your love languages. 

But you should remember you’ll also need him to make compromises for you in the relationship. Spending time with your partner doesn’t mean you should abandon the necessary things you need to do to cuddle with him. So, you could give him fifteen to thirty minutes of undivided attention to catch up with things. You could see a movie, go on a walk, or play games together.

2. Words of affirmation

Some people love words of affirmation like the verbal appreciation, encouragement and expression of love most of all. This means they need to hear things like, “I love you,” “I miss you,” or other sweet words of kindness as often as possible. So, use words of affirmation to appreciate your partner’s strengths and efforts in the relationship. 

You shouldn’t just say them because you want to make them happy. You should mean them. Some men can sense it when they hear true words of affirmation and kindness. They’re also sensitive to the words you use on them.

If your partner’s primary love language is words of affirmation, you should be careful not to use insensitive words. Speak positively while expressing love.

3. Gifts

People whose love language is receiving gifts tend to love the act of gift giving. To them, it’s not about the cost, but the thoughtfulness behind the gift. If this is your partner’s way of receiving love, you should try to know the things they like.

It’s not just about giving random gifts, it’s about giving them things they love. For instance, if your partner loves flowers, you should find out if they love all kinds of flowers or only specific types. It would be a great joy to them to see you get what they love most.

You could do it once in a while without a special occasion. Understand what your partner truly loves and act in that direction. It could be a nice necklace, a ticket for a little vacation, a bouquet of roses. If your partner loves receiving gifts, he could drop a clue. You just need to understand it.

4. Acts of service

Not everyone can effortlessly handle stress and some partners are like this. They would appreciate anything you do to ease their responsibilities. If your partner’s love language is acts of service, he will appreciate it if you help him with laundry, wash his car or tie his tie before going to work. 

It could be as simple as helping him pack his gym bag or polishing his shoes for the next day. To him, this is your own affirmation of love and it will feel as good as it would feel for you if he reciprocated this using your preferred love language. So, try to find out the acts of service your husband prefers, it would help mold your relationship in the long term. 

5. Physical touch

If your partner enjoys holding hands, kissing, hugging, displays of affection, and even sex, it’s a sign that his love language is physical touch. These men never get tired of having any form of physical contact with their partners. This is how they like to express and receive love.

People who love physical touch also love spending time with their partner as that’s what gives them the opportunity to enjoy affection from them. If your partner’s love language is physical touch, you should hug him whenever you have the chance to. Give him regular kisses when talking, seeing a movie or when he’s back from work.

Why Is Knowing Your Partner's Love Language Important?

why is knowing your partner's love language important

First off, learning your partner’s love language shows how patient you are with him. It shows you regard him and it’s one of the best ways to express love. No two people are the same, meaning that your love language would be different from your partner’s. This may sound surprising, but showing love to your partner using the right love language has helped many relationships.

Taking some time to understand your partner’s primary love language shows your commitment. It will give room to healthy communication and improve your bond as a couple. It will also prevent you from making unnecessary mistakes as a partner in a marriage. 

Although some people find it easy, figuring out someone's love language could sometimes be daunting, especially if they’re picky about many things. But this doesn’t mean it’s impossible to know your partner’s primary love language. You just need a little guide to aid you in the process. 

Here are 16 tips to figure out someone’s love language, especially if you’re dating or married. 

16 Tips to Figure Out Someone's Love Language

1. They don’t get excited about a particular thing

Sometimes, you don’t know something until you try it. Do something that falls within the 5 languages that you think would make your partner happy. If you’ve been with him for a long time, you would know if he really likes what you’ve done or not. 

You have to be very observant to understand if they’ve truly enjoyed it or not. If it is truly his love language, it would be obvious in his excitement. 

If it’s not, he’ll only thank you for your effort and pretend to be happy for a while, so you don’t see his disappointment. But that would be it. He may lose interest after the first few days. For example, if it was a gift, he may not be interested in using it.

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2. His family could know his love language

Most times, family is the closest to a person before they completely move out and mix with other people. Most family members always know a person’s love language. They discover this either by observing over a long period of growing up together, or by verbal communication. 

If you want to find out a person’s love language, you could reach out to a close relative to ask a few questions. It could be his sister, his mom, or that cousin he’s been close to since childhood, who he wouldn’t stop talking about. These people may not know him as much as they used to, but they could have a clue.

3. Observe his likes and dislikes

Before you can get to the level of knowing how a man wants to be loved, you should know his likes and dislikes. Does he like spending time outdoors? Is he shy or outgoing? Does he request massages, hugs or kisses? Is he happy when you do chores? How does he take the act of gift giving?

The answers to these questions would guide you in the right direction. A man would always have preferences no matter how simple he may appear. So, observe him as much as you can. This is one of the most subtle ways to know how to express love to your partner.

4. They tend to express love as they would want you to

they tend to express love as they would want to you

People naturally do the things they love for their loved ones. An artist would give you gifts based on their love for them. The same concept applies to most people, including your partner. He would do the things he loves for you because he feels they’re good and you deserve the best.

For instance, if his love language falls into acts of service, you would see him doing the activities related to that like cleaning up after a meal. It’s the same way he’ll buy you gifts if that’s his way of expressing love. 

5. Try out all five love languages

This is the trial and error technique, where you try all 5 love languages to figure out what your partner truly loves. It doesn’t matter which one you start with. Take your time until you’re sure it’s either his favorite or not.

Choose the easiest tasks. So, for acts of service, you could do his laundry or clean up his space. Then you can switch to getting him simple and thoughtful gifts, holding hands in public, or speaking words of affirmation.

6. Take him out to other friends’ parties

Parties have a way of bringing out the best and worst in people. You either get carried away drinking and dancing, or you keep chatting away with other people. Whatever the case is, you get lost in having fun.

One way you can get to know people’s love languages is by taking them out for parties, especially house parties. That’s because you meet different people and could meet someone who shares the same interests with you. That way, you loosen up a bit and can observe your partner and how he relates to you in these types of situations.

7. Play couple quizzes dedicated to love languages

Couple’s quizzes are fun. They help different couples interact, play and build connections. If there are certain things you would like to know about your partner, you could request that you both try specific couple quizzes.

Select only the ones that relate to love language clues and choose a good time to indulge. You do this after the day’s work or during weekends when you both are relaxed enough to answer each question thoroughly.

8. Ask his friends 

One way to find out your partner’s love language is through a loved one. It could be his close childhood friend, work colleague or someone who’s observant enough to discover that side of him. Sometimes, people like this know more than family members.

They could even have more information about your partner’s personal life than he knows. So, reach out and speak to any loved one that he shares his thoughts with. You could use this option if they’re not so close to any family member. 

You could speak to them when they come visiting or pick a time to call them just to discuss it. You could also ask your partner’s permission to speak to them if you think it might upset him.

9. Listen carefully to things he talks about the most

listen carefully to things he talks about the most

You can’t miss out on this one. Most times you can tell people’s personalities by listening to the things they love talking about. You can see the joy and contention in their expression. They explain it to anyone who cares to listen and could talk about it the whole day.

If he praises women who take the burden of some responsibilities from their partners, that could be a sign he wants you to express love using acts of service. If he also praises women who often shower their partners with beautiful gifts, it also means receiving gifts could be his favorite.

10. Ask him for ideas from the third person point of view

Most people tend to do what they would want others to do for them. If a man loves forehead kisses, he may find himself unconsciously giving his partner forehead kisses. This means that it would not just affect his way of thinking, but also his suggestions. 

If you feel shy asking your partner about his love language, you could make it sound like you’re asking for a friend. For instance, you could say your female friend wants to surprise her boyfriend but can’t tell exactly what he likes. Then ask him what his suggestions would be as a man. His first suggestion may most likely be what he would do. 

11. You could ask him random questions

There are some men who are clueless about love languages. They don’t know what it means and if they do, they don’t know the ones they prefer. If this is the case, you could help him figure out his love language as it would also help communicate better in your relationship.

Try to ask him random questions of things he would be happy to see you do. Pick a question or two from the five love languages and take note of his answers. You could also use comparative questions. 

For instance, you could ask, “which would you prefer? Hearing me tell you how much I love you, or buying you gifts?” Whatever his response is, you can easily decide what his preferred love language is. That is one tip to figure out someone’s love language.

12. Ask for his consent

If it’s difficult to know someone’s love language but you want to do something nice for them, it’s always best to ask for their consent. It’s a good way to communicate so you don’t get disappointed. That’s because some men don’t have a steady love language. They just go with the flow. 

One moment they could want to kiss, hug or cuddle you, and may be over it for the next couple of days or weeks.

So, ask if they’d love to go on a walk with you. Confirm that they need your help to do certain things before proceeding. Talk to them about a vacation idea before buying the tickets. If your partner is someone who has a different love language for each day, this is the most effective way to approach it. 

13. Be patient

Sometimes, you need to be patient to know something about someone. There are some people you meet who have no friends, close family members, or any loved ones they associate with. When you meet people like this and truly want to be with them, you need to be patient and observant.

There’s no need to push as pushing them would only create distance between you two. So, give them time to warm up to you, while you do your own thing. Remember, they may not be used to accommodating someone else in their lives, so you should take it one step at a time.

Respect their personal space and be careful with the words you speak. This doesn’t mean you should walk on eggshells. It means that for certain things to work, especially in relationships, you need to be patient.

14. Just ask him

When you want to know something about someone, go ahead and ask. It’s best to save yourself the stress of having to observe something or ask other people who may or may not have knowledge about it. Go to him and pop the question.

This will help to solve the puzzles in your head. It will also help you know how much effort you should put in which direction. It could lead to other topics of discussion, hence, strengthening your bond as a couple.

If you’re too shy to ask him casually, you could do it through text messages or fix a fun date to do so. It’s not rocket science. It’s something you need to know to understand how best to handle yourself and your relationship.

15. Spend quality time with them

spend quality time with them

You become closer to someone when you spend quality time with them. That’s because you’ll do many things together, like play games, make a meal, or talk about random events. You also get to know their perspectives about certain things. 

So, if you care to discover someone’s love language, you should spend more time with them. Share their joys as well as their pains. Also, support them in any way you can. If you build this friendship, you won’t need them to express their preferences themselves. You could just figure it out yourself.

This is how many relationships start and flourish. That’s because at this point, you know how to communicate with each other in different ways. If you know someone to this level, learning their love language would be easy.

16. Tell them your own love languages

One way to get to know someone better is by opening up to them. When you start the discussion of love languages, you subconsciously make your partner start thinking of their own love language. So, if you tell him you love holding hands, receiving gifts or spending quality time with him, it gives that open room for further discussion.

This may not happen in a day, but you may succeed in making it a topic for discussion in your relationship, which will eventually end in something good. The good thing about this is, as you tell him about yours, you could also ask if he likes it too or not.

FAQs

Can you ask someone what their love language is?

It’s always best to know your partner’s love language if you plan to be with them for a long time. Knowing someone’s love language helps in molding your relationship as certain things naturally fall into place when you express love using their preferred language of love. So, feel free to ask them, especially when you know it would make things easier for you.

What is the strongest love language?

All five love languages are strong, but the love language which is most preferred by people is quality time. Most people, especially female partners, tend to love spending quality time with their partners as it is a good time to improve the bond in their relationships. Quality time also gives room for physical touch, words of affirmation and acts of service.

What is a man's most common love language?

As quality time is preferred by many women, some men tend to prefer physical touch, while others would want to hear words of affirmation. This is because these two love languages boost their confidence and reassure them of their partner’s love. Men love to receive love from their partners and these two acts portray this.

Can your love language be kissing?

Kissing is an expression of love, which is part of physical touch. So, if you or your partner loves kissing, then physical touch could be your preferred way to receive love. People who like physical touch like holding hands, hugging and PDA or any form of physical affection.

How do you test if a man loves you?

There’s no particular test to know if a man loves you. You hear it in his words and see it in their actions. If a man loves you, he’ll treat you with respect, listen to worries and do everything to show you how much he cares for you. He’ll also genuinely accept your opinion and speak highly of you.

In Conclusion

There are different ways to figure out people’s preferences when it comes to receiving and showing love. Some may be easy, others may not. Whatever the case, you can always refer to this article when you’re confused about figuring out a person’s love language. If you liked this article, please drop a comment and share it with others.

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2 Sources:
  1. Family Journal. (2011). Couples' Reports of Relationship Problems in a Naturalistic Therapy Setting. Couples' Reports of Relationship Problems in a Naturalistic Therapy Setting
  2. Dr. Gary Chapman, PhD. (1992). The 5 Love Languages. https://5lovelanguages.com/learn
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