With our partner and our loved ones, communication and the expression of love and affection are the keys to a healthy and lasting relationship. We hear a lot about the 5 love languages, these ways of saying "I love you" to the other person and of showing them your love. 

But do you have to speak the same love language for the relationship to last? Do we have to adapt our own language in order to speak the others language?

In this blog post, we explain the concept of the 5 love languages and answer some of your questions.

Where does the concept of the 5 love languages come from?

Where does the concept of the 5 love languages come from?

Gary Chapman, an American Baptist pastor who studied anthropology, published several books in which he gave advice on how to successfully marry and raise children.

It was in 1997 that he published his bestseller, "The Languages of Love". In this book, Gary Chapman explains that we each have one or two dominant languages with which we express our love or affection to those around us. To facilitate and improve emotional relationships, it is essential to learn to recognize and identify one's own love languages, as well as those of others. According to Gary Chapman, "the important thing is to speak the sentimental language that the other person understands." In other words, it is not enough to know what language the other person speaks: it is good to sometimes adapt one's own language to express one's love according to what resonates most in the person one loves.

To go further, Gary Chapman also talks about an "emotional reservoir" that fills up and empties, depending on the love one receives. The more the person adapts their love language to the person receiving their love, the more that receptive person will feel loved and see their reservoir increase.

3 out of 4 couples don't speak the same love language

Today, it is estimated that 3 out of 4 couples do not speak the same love language. Should we be worried? Is not speaking the same love language negative for the couple? Do you have to speak the same love language for the relationship to last?

According to Gary Chapman, "when an action doesn't come naturally, it's the greatest expression of love," meaning that love is a choice. This concept is far from spontaneous; Asking your partner what language of love he or she is speaking isn’t always accurate. 

Researchers from the University of Warsaw and George Mason University in the United States found that "people who expressed affection the way their partner preferred to receive it experienced greater satisfaction with their relationships and were more sexually satisfied." 

Nevertheless, many couples’ therapists agree that we don't always have to go the other person's way for it to last. Indeed, if we have the same language of love, it makes things easier, there will be fewer concessions to be made, but we still have to be aware of it. 

For the health of the relationship, it is better to simply know that you have learned one or more original and different love languages, and to work with each other to try as much as possible to meet your respective needs. And this is already a big step for the relationship.

The 5 Ways to Express Your Love and Receive the Love of the Other

The 5 Ways to Express Your Love and Receive the Love of the Other

According to Gary Chapman, there are 5 different love languages, to which each of us is more or less sensitive and receptive.

Empowering Words
This first language refers to language of appreciation: sweet word and compliments that are powerful communicators of love. They are simple, short, and effective. The idea is to encourage and express one's feelings without any emotional modesty, but with sincerity. They often translate into things like "I love you", "I'm proud of you", and "I like what you wear".

Quality time
This language is the least understood of the five love languages. Quality time isn't just about being together in the same room; More than physically, it's about being emotionally involved with the person, even for a very short time. We forget about phones and all the things that eat up our attention. Instead, we go for a walk, we go for a picnic, and we play sports together. The goal is to share a moment, a discussion, eye contact, and to be fully attentive to the other.

This language should not be interpreted materialistically: it is a matter of intent. The first idea is to show the other person that you are thinking of them, no matter the size or price of the gift: a seashell picked up on the beach, a handwritten poem, a breakfast that you picked up at the bakery; Love is so abstract and intangible that some people need to be able to symbolize it through an object or a memory.

Acts of service 
This language places great importance on small gestures that may seem trivial but that resonate strongly with their usefulness: daily tasks such as cleaning and shopping, or more romantic services like preparing a relaxing night for two. The trick is to know what the other person would need to be relieved, helped, and assisted. It is the model of entirely unselfish love.

Physical touch
This language is spoken by people who are more tactile and sensitive to touch: the need to feel a physical closeness and a bodily connection with the person we love. For loved ones and family, these gestures can be expressed by hugging and cuddling. In the relationship, it's everything that has to do with intimacy: kissing, holding hands, performing massages, and making love. These gestures are effective during periods of crisis, when the partner needs to be consoled and reassured.

How do we know the love language we speak?

Knowing one's language also means understanding how you function and being able to identify your emotional needs. By knowing your love language, you will know what you are missing in your relationship and will be able to communicate it to your partner in a clear way.

Generally speaking, we speak roughly all five love languages, but we each have a language that dominates and resonates most with us. It is this language that fills our reservoir of love to the fullest and helps us feel loved and reassured over a longer period of time and in a more effective way.

To find out your predominant love language and receive tailored advice from our couple’s therapist Myriam Braiki, take our 5 love languages quiz.

At the end of the quiz, you can also send your love profile to your partner and invite them to take the quiz as well to find out what language they speak.


Far from being a simple concept, using the 5 love languages as a guide will help you to understand yourself better and help your partner express their love in a way that’s meaningful to you. 

Identifying them, recognising them, and expressing them within our relationships will allow us to strengthen our connection over a long period of time.