Since the beginning of the pandemic, our interactions with others have been limited like never before. However, this has encouraged many people to get more creative with how they express their love and friendship. That’s where the five love languages come in.
What are love languages?
The theory of the five love languages was developed by Gary Chapman over 25 years ago. The idea behind them is that everyone has different preferences about how they like to receive and give love. These love languages are most often applied to romantic relationships, but they can also be used to develop friendships and bonds between family members.
Recently, Google searches for love languages have surged. Searches for “5 love languages list” increased by 743 per cent between April 2020 and April 2021, and searches for “love language examples” grew by 367 per cent in the same time frame. Clearly, people have been putting more effort than ever into understanding their loved ones and maintaining strong connections despite the physical distance. For couples, lockdown has shown just how important it is to listen to one another and strengthen relationships – whether isolating together or separately.
So, now that we know how important this trend has become over the past year, let’s take a closer look at each of the love languages. By doing this, we can show you how they can be used to express love to your partner, a friend, or a family member.
How to find out my love language?
First things first, you’ll need to figure out your own love language and the love language of the person you want to build your bond with. To do this, take the 5 Love Languages quiz. There are different quiz options for couples, singles, teens, and children, so you can find the right set of questions to suit your situation. Once you’ve completed the quiz, you’ll be able to talk to your partner about which language means the most to you both out of the following options.
Words of affirmation
Words of affirmation are a crucial part of any happy relationship. Over the past year, words of kindness have been more important than ever, as they can be heard simply by picking up the phone or logging onto a Zoom call. In fact, mobile call time rose by half after the start of the COVID-19 lockdown, showing that people instantly dedicated more time to staying in touch with one another once restrictions were introduced.
Some people can find it difficult to express exactly how they feel, but if this love language is important to someone in the relationship, it’s time to work on vocalising your love!
Physical touch is critical to many relationships, but over the course of the pandemic, this love language has been lacking for many. According to a survey by YouGov, hugging came joint eighth in the list of things that people were most looking forward to after the easing of restrictions. This makes perfect sense – hugging and other types of interpersonal touch are known to boost levels of oxytocin, otherwise known as the “love hormone”, which results in a surge of happiness.
With the restrictions on hugging finally being lifted, it’s now far easier to show your nearest and dearest how much they mean to you via this love language.
For many people, gifts act as a symbol of love. Whether they’re big or small, it’s all about the thought that you put into a gift, so the more personal the better. Luckily, we can now purchase pretty much anything online, so whether you want to buy your partner a box of chocolates or a diamond ring, it’s still possible even if you aren’t in the same location right now.
Neil Dutta, the owner of Angelic Diamonds, says that he has noticed a trend of more people buying jewellery as gifts during the lockdowns.
“Normally, we mainly see people buying engagement rings, but over lockdown, other jewellery types have become more popular, such as promise rings,” he explains. “Our customers have been looking for pieces that can work as a token of their love, especially if they can’t be with their other half in person.”
Acts of service
Acts of service is another love language that has been difficult to perform during lockdown, and it’s one that requires a bit of creativity. If this is the main love language of your partner, friend, or family member, the best thing to do is try to pinpoint what might be making them stressed and think of ways to lessen that burden. Acts of service don’t have to be huge gestures; try and think of some simple, everyday actions that might make their lives a little easier.
Quality time is a key element of most relationships. If this is your partner’s main love language, be sure to take that on board and think of ways that you can spend more time together, just the two of you. Loneliness levels have peaked over the past year, and anyone who has quality time as their top love language is likely to have found this period particularly challenging. Since spring 2020, loneliness levels in Britain have increased, with 5 per cent of people (about 2.6 million) saying that they felt lonely either “often” or “always”.
Now that restrictions are lifting, try and prioritise quality time – especially if it’s your partner’s main love language. If you’ve been apart throughout lockdown, you can start making up for lost time.
It’s been harder than ever to build and maintain connections over the last year, but people everywhere have fought against the odds and expressed more love than ever. The booming search volumes around love languages show that relationships and strong emotional connections have been a top priority over the lockdowns, and hopefully, we’ll see this trend continue in the future.