Your romantic style can reveal a lot about your expectations and desires in a relationship. For instance, your partner might enjoy a quiet night in, while you prefer an exciting evening on the town. It all comes down to your personality, beliefs about romance, and connection with your partner.

Some partners may have the same romantic style, while others have totally different love languages.

Romantic styles and love languages have many similarities, and many couples find their relationships deepen after learning theirs. People have different ideas of what constitutes romance and love based on their own views and personalities. Of course, we all want to feel loved and wanted, but how we express that varies widely. One person may show love by doing errands or chores for their partner, while the other gives words of affection.

Dr. Gary Chapman, Ph.D., a well-known marriage counselor, discovered early on in his career that many couples had similar complaints. After studying thousands of session notes over the years, he realized that all of their concerns fell into five categories. He then coined the ‘5 love languages’ and wrote a best-selling novel with the same title. His research has helped many couples learn how to love and understand each other better.

What are the five love languages?

People’s romance styles differ based on many factors, but when couples have different love languages, it can cause misunderstandings. Oftentimes, simply stating what they want from one another doesn’t change anything. They may fall back into similar patterns and feel unsatisfied in the relationship. However, when they take the time to understand one another’s unique love language, they feel more fulfilled in the partnership.

The five love languages include acts of service, words of affirmation, quality time, physical touch, and receiving gifts. We will go over each of these in detail below.

1 – Acts of service:

If you have this love language, you value anything your partner does to alleviate your workload. For example, your spouse cooking dinner one night when you’re exhausted or helping you clean the house makes you feel loved. You prefer action to words because talk is cheap. When your partner puts effort into doing chores or acts of kindness, you feel seen and understood.

Actions to take:

Do little things for them like making their coffee or breakfast in the morning. They need you to show you love them by helping with chores or daily tasks.

2 – Words of affirmation:

Unlike those who enjoy acts of service, you need to hear encouraging words from your partner. You need your partner to tell you how much they love, care about, and appreciate you. When you don’t hear your loved ones express how they feel often, you feel neglected and unloved. People with this love language may not have gotten much verbal validation, so they greatly value it in a relationship.

Actions to take:

Listen intently when your partner talks to you, and ask questions for clarity.

Encourage them often, and express your feelings with love notes or sweet texts/messages. They love thoughtful gestures like that, and they appreciate words that come from the heart.

3 – Quality time:

People with this romance style cherish one-on-one time with their partners. So, staying in to watch a movie or play a board game together goes a long way with them. They value undivided, close attention from their spouse and greatly appreciate spontaneous date nights. When you turn off your phone and focus on conversation or an activity with them, they feel on top of the world.

Actions to take:

Plan a date night where you can both truly enjoy each other’s company. Eliminate distractions so you can focus on one another without anything getting in the way.

4 – Physical touch:

Having this love language means you prefer intimacy and physical affection over anything else. You feel the most loved when your partner embraces you, whether with hugs, kisses, or sex. This helps you connect emotionally with him or her as well and makes you feel wanted. Cuddling on the couch while watching TV, for example, helps you feel validated, loved, and safe.

Actions to take:

Give your partner intimacy and physical affection whenever possible. They love spontaneous gestures like holding their hand when walking in a park or giving them a kiss in public.

5 – Receiving gifts:

While this is the least popular love language, it doesn’t mean people who enjoy gifts are materialistic. Oftentimes, they value the time, effort, and thought that goes into gift-giving. Gifts are very personal and say a lot about a person. When you pick out a gift for your spouse, it shows them that you care about what adds meaning to their life.

Actions to take:

Buy them a small gift that really resonates with them. For example, if they’re into candles and incense, pick up their favorite scent at your local store and surprise them.

According to Dr. Chapman, affirmation words are the most popular love language, but only by a hair. In 2010, 10,000 people took the love language quiz on his website, and 23% got affirmation words. Following closely behind was quality time, at 20%. 20% also got service acts; 19% chose physical touch, and 18% got receiving gifts.

romantic style
Final thoughts: everyone has a personal love language and romantic style…what’s yours?

Many couples have trouble communicating and figuring out their wants and needs. Learning about each other’s romance style and love language could help bridge that gap. When you understand how to show love to your partner, it changes everything about approaching the relationship. For example, maybe you’ve been giving your spouse too much physical affection and not enough words of affirmation.

When a couple takes time to understand how their partner feels the most loved, it can reignite that spark in a relationship. If you’d like to find your love language, take the quizzes linked above for more information.

To find out more about your romantic style, you can also take this 10-minute quiz on Psychology Today. It will reveal detailed information about your love language and help you understand how you show affection.