Understand your partner better with the 5 Love Languages
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“You don’t understand me!” - an accusation that many of us have experienced, usually when it involves a triggered significant other. Though these words are often said in the heat of the moment, there might be some truth to it.
Communication is key in a relationship, but how you communicate that love is equally important. Enter Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Languages, a theory that aims to help you understand yourself and your partner better. Here’s how we put it to the test:
Step 1: The 5 Love Languages Quiz
The 5 Love Languages quiz is a quick MCQ quiz which scores you on your preferred mode of giving or receiving love - a.k.a your love language. Here are the 5 of ‘em in a nutshell:
Receiving gifts: You feel most loved and appreciated whenever you receive a thoughtful gift. But that doesn’t mean you’re materialistic!
Quality time: Spending time together and receiving your partner’s undivided attention makes you feel loved. Pet peeves include postponed dates and people who just don’t listen.
Physical touch: Hugs, hand-holding, kisses - minus the OTT PDAs that are just… no.
Acts of service: It means the world when people do you unexpected favours - like showing up with hot soup when you’re sick.
Words of affirmation: Spontaneous “I love you”s and “You look stunning”s are your weaknesses. You love compliments and get butterflies when your partner tells you how much you mean to them.
To test it out, we’ve set 5 people up from the TSL office to give the 5 Love Languages quiz a go and see out how accurate it really is!
Step 2: The participants
1. Chris, 28 - Single and ever-ready to mingle
Quality Time: 9
Acts of Service: 7
Physical touch: 6
Receiving Gifts: 4
Words of Affirmation: 4
A straightforward dude whose go-to move is a *hairflip* and whose favourite comeback is “we’re all gonna die anyway”, it’s not surprising that Chris’s self-predicted love language is quality time, bearing in mind our short-lived time on earth and our inevitable, impending demise.
True enough, his score reveals that quality time tops the list at 9 points. He admits that this is “quite legit” since he “really likes just meeting people, even if we aren't doing anything particularly interesting”.
Even though he’s single at the moment, there are few things stopping this social butterfly from finding true love, especially if it involves spontaneous dates with Tinder matches.
2. Fauzi, 28 - Is sassy and he knows it
Physical Touch: 10
Quality Time: 9
Words of Affirmation: 6
Acts of Service: 5
Receiving Gifts: 0
Full-time social media influencer who cannot walk the streets without being recognized, Fauzi is the epitome of sass *snaps fingers in a Z formation*. He can be observed giving people hugs in the office and throwing out affirming “yaaaaaas” reactions on and off camera.
His predicted love language was either quality time or acts of service, but “confirm not gifts”. Surprisingly, his results revealed a whopping 10 points for physical touch over his predicted outcome.
“I’m a little surprised, but it’s not unbelievable. I value intimacy and affection so I think that's why it's way up there. But I feel it also changes depending on your stage in life. Maybe now because I'm single, that's the part I miss the most.”
When asked if he thought this test was accurate, he responds after some careful thought. “It does define what you prioritise in a relationship but it's not like a rulebook. So, you do you.” - wise words from an internet sensation.
3. Choy, 22 - Feels that actions speak louder than words
Acts of Service: 10
Quality Time: 7
Words of Affirmation: 7
Physical Touch: 5
Receiving Gifts: 1
A no-nonsense girl with a penchant for practicality and zero tolerance for unambitious individuals, Choy’s down-to-earth demeanor pervades even her romantic relationships.
“I need the most direct confirmation that my boyfriend loves me and cares for me, so I’ll need to hear it from him,” she says resolutely.
She was, however, slightly surprised by her results that showed her scoring the highest (10) for “acts of service”, followed by “words of affirmation” trailing behind with 7 points.
“I guess I would prioritise acts of service over words. After all, words are just empty promises if you have nothing to back it up with,” she muses. But at the end of the day, she feels that love languages play a secondary role in her relationship since what matters most is being able to “properly communicate your thoughts and feelings to your partner”.
4. Ra, 24 - Has a way with words but prefers not to be touched by strangers
Words of Affirmation: 9
Quality Time: 9
Acts of Service: 8
Receiving Gifts: 4
Physical touch: 0
A snarky badass with a flair for weaving words together, Ra naturally gravitates to receiving affirming words as much as she enjoys giving out handwritten notes and gifts to her close friends along with spontaneous bear hugs.
Although her top result - words of affirmation - was completely in line with her expectations, what threw her off was the big “0” she scored for physical touch. There’s no doubt that she wasn’t happy about this result when her immediate response was “I FEEL ATTACKED”.
“Not that I don’t value physical touch, but I have to be super comfortable with the person,” she explains. “But this doesn’t mean that I don’t like to hug people.”
5. Isabelle, 21 - Never too paiseh to receive gifts
Receiving Gifts: 7
Words of Affirmation: 7
Acts of Service: 6
Physical touch: 5
Quality Time: 5
A happy-go-lucky girl who cannot resist the allure of bubble tea, especially when it’s someone else’s treat, Belle is 10/10 sure that her love language is gifts.
An occasion that perfectly encapsulates her propensity towards gift giving was when she insisted on carting back 6 packets of durian chips from Thailand for her durian-loving mother.
When asked why gifts mean so much to her, she chirps “It shows they were thinking about me when they bought it!”
Her test results are an uncanny reflection of her prediction, with gifts and words of affirmation tied for first place. Evidently, this girl loves to be pampered as much as she pampers those around her.
Find out more about yourself and others with psychology
If you're curious about the psychology behind these tests and are interested in exploring this side of the human psyche, you can actually study it and develop your own psychological theories and tests in the future to help people know themselves better.
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