What Are the 7 Love Languages? Plus, How to Discover Yours (2024)

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Is your love language emotional or practical? Activity-based or financial? Find out here!

Co-authored bySarah Schewitz, PsyDand Dev Murphy, MA

Last Updated: February 29, 2024Fact Checked

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  • What are the 7 New Love Languages?
  • |
  • Why Love Languages Are Important
  • |
  • Love Language History
  • |
  • Expert Interview
  • |

Dr. Gary Chapman’s love languages study took the world by storm in the '90s, and it continues to guide us in our relationships to this day. But recent reevaluation of Dr. Chapman’s original work has made it apparent there might be more than just 5 ways of expressing love—in fact, there may be as many as 7! Keep reading to learn what the 7 love styles are and how to use them to strengthen your relationship.

Things You Should Know

  • The 7 new love languages are activity, appreciation, emotional, financial, intellectual, physical, and practical.
  • These various love styles represent the many different ways there are of receiving love in a relationship.
  • For instance, if you feel particularly loved when you and your partner are emotionally intimate and have deep conversations, your love language might be emotional.

Section 1 of 3:

What are the 7 New Love Languages?

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  1. 1

    Activity If your love language is activity-based, you feel most loved and valued when you spend time doing activities with their partner. You may also feel seen and loved when your partner pays particular attention to and takes an interest in your hobbies and passions.[1]

    • Quality time is one of Dr. Gary Chapman’s original 5 love languages, and while activity is similar, this love language is more nuanced in that it highlights one partner’s interest in and appreciation of the other partner as an individual: their passions and pastimes, their friendships and social circles, and their life outside the relationship generally.
  2. 2

    Appreciation If your love language is appreciation, you may feel most loved when your partner acknowledges and compliments you. Appreciation might come in the form of gratitude for the work the receiver puts into the relationship or their life with their partner (such as cooking or childcare), or it may come in the form of compliments to acknowledge the receiver’s personal victories.[2]

    • This love language isn’t about flattery—it’s about sincere appreciation that makes the receiver feel truly seen and valued.
    • If your love language is appreciation, it's likely you don't just want to be complimented, but to hear exactly what your partner appreciates about you, in specific terms.

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  3. 3

    Emotional If you desire to have an intimate emotional connection with your partner above all else, your love language might be emotional. You're the sort of person who will stay up until all hours talking about deep, personal subjects with your partner and who sincerely values your partner’s emotional support during tough times.[3]

    • For this love language, it's important that your partner not just be there when you're experiencing difficult emotions or tolerate you engaging them in an intimate conversation, but that they're truly present, actively involved, and giving as much as you are to the exchange.
  4. 4

    Financial If your love language is financial, you feel valued and special when your partner spends money on you. This expression of love is less about the things that are purchased and more about the fact that your lover is using their financial resources on you in the first place.[4]

    • This love language is similar to gift giving, from the original 5 love languages, but while gift giving is an opportunity for one partner to show how well they know the other and express love with a thoughtful gift, the financial love language is about the act of investing one’s monetary resources in their relationship.
  5. 5

    Intellectual This love language involves a “meeting of the minds.” You value the ability to connect with your partner on a rational level. You may engage your partner in intense intellectual debates about philosophy, politics, or anything under the sun, but you always respect one another’s opinions.[5]

    • If your love language is intellectual, you may also identify as sapiosexual—i.e., you're romantically or sexually attracted to people based on their intelligence.
  6. 6

    Physical If you feel most seen, loved, and appreciated when you're in physical contact with your partner, your love language might be physical. This physical contact may include sex, but it’s not just about that: it also involves hand-holding, forehead kisses, and just being in physical proximity to your partner.[6]

    • Though there's more to this love style than sex, part of it is about feeling desired by your partner. So while you might initiate physical contact (sexual or not) with your partner if your love language is physical, it's likely important to you that your partner initiate from time to time as well.
  7. 7

    Practical If your love language is practical, you feel most loved when your partner helps you in practical ways: doing chores, offering favors, and just generally making your daily load a little lighter. People with this love language are usually no-nonsense and down-to-earth.

    • In order for this expression of love to be most effective, your partner usually must help out in practical ways without being asked.
    • This love language is similar to acts of service, from the original 5 love languages. However, Chapman's work reflects a more conservative, heteronormative approach to relationships—for instance, by emphasizing husbands "helping out" their wives with housework.
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Section 2 of 3:

Why Love Languages Are Important

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  1. When you and your partner use each other’s language, your relationship thrives. Partners who communicate their favorite ways to receive love and make efforts to implement one another’s love language in the relationship report stronger, healthier relationships.[7] On the other hand, people whose partners don’t “speak” their love language may end up feeling taking for granted and frustrated in the relationship.

    • If you don’t already know your love language, take some time to think it over: what makes you feel most “seen” in your relationship? Or, look at it from the opposite side: which love language makes you feel neglected and resentful when you don’t get it?
    • To find out your partner's love style, ask them what makes them feel the most loved and if there's anything you've done for them that makes them feel especially valued and appreciated. Making efforts to implement their love language into your relationship will help you both to thrive.
    • Keep in mind that your partner's love language might be very different from yours, and it might not even make sense to you at first! For instance, if you don't care whether someone spends money on you, you might not understand why it's important to your partner.

Section 3 of 3:

History of the 7 Love Languages

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  1. 1

    The 7 love languages grew from Dr. Gary Chapman's 5 love languages. These original 5 love languages, from Dr. Chapman's 1992 book, were acts of service, gift giving, physical touch, words of affirmation, and quality time.[8] The 5 love languages were influential in their time and continue to help couples learn how to better express and receive love, but they’ve been expanded over the last few decades to reflect a wider range of relationships and individuals.

    • Chapman’s love languages were informed by his experience as a Christian marriage counselor and have been criticized as only pertaining to married heterosexual Christian couples—hence, one reason for its evolution into 7 love languages.
  2. 2

    Truity, a personality test website, developed the 7 love styles in 2022. Truity founder and CEO Molly Owens led a study of 500,000 people to see what made them feel most seen and loved in a relationship. While many of the results matched Chapman's original findings, this new and more diverse study reflected more nuanced and modern expectations for what a healthy relationship ought to be—generally, answers were less heteronormative and less conservative.[9]

    • Truity's study doesn't discount Chapman's work, but it reflects the ways in which love, relationships, and societal expectations vary from case to case and have evolved over time.
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    How do I know my crush likes me?

    What Are the 7 Love Languages? Plus, How to Discover Yours (16)

    Sarah A.

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    Watch their body language. You could also ask a friend to talk with them. Have them drop your name into the conversation. Ask your friend what their reaction was.

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      Expert Interview

      Thanks for reading our article! If you’d like to learn more about love languages, check out our in-depth interview with Sarah Schewitz, PsyD.

      References

      1. https://www.truity.com/blog/new-research-shows-there-are-actually-seven-love-styles-not-five
      2. https://www.truity.com/blog/new-research-shows-there-are-actually-seven-love-styles-not-five
      3. https://www.truity.com/blog/new-research-shows-there-are-actually-seven-love-styles-not-five
      4. https://www.truity.com/blog/new-research-shows-there-are-actually-seven-love-styles-not-five
      5. https://www.truity.com/blog/new-research-shows-there-are-actually-seven-love-styles-not-five
      6. https://www.truity.com/blog/new-research-shows-there-are-actually-seven-love-styles-not-five
      7. https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.psichi.org/resource/resmgr/journal_2020/25_3_hughes.pdf
      8. https://www.uagc.edu/blog/the-psychology-behind-the-5-love-languages
      9. https://www.truity.com/blog/new-research-shows-there-are-actually-seven-love-styles-not-five

      About This Article

      What Are the 7 Love Languages? Plus, How to Discover Yours (32)

      Co-authored by:

      Sarah Schewitz, PsyD

      Licensed Psychologist

      This article was co-authored by Sarah Schewitz, PsyD and by wikiHow staff writer, Dev Murphy, MA. Sarah Schewitz, Psy.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist by the California Board of Psychology with over 10 years of experience. She received her Psy.D. from the Florida Institute of Technology in 2011. She is the founder of Couples Learn, an online psychology practice helping couples and individuals improve and change their patterns in love and relationships. This article has been viewed 172,935 times.

      41 votes - 88%

      Co-authors: 8

      Updated: February 29, 2024

      Views:172,935

      Categories: Featured Articles | Love

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