Luca Disbrow / Daily Nexus

Love is hard. And if, for some reason, for you it’s easy, just wait — it will get hard. And when it gets hard, you have the option to stay or leave. To fight and really build a relationship or to start over in the hopes that the next relationship won’t get hard. However, that’s naive, because sooner or later you will be disappointed, and it is up to you to decide if what bothered you is something that can be fixed, or if it is a deal breaker. Don’t get me wrong, there are clear and obvious reasons to leave someone, and some things can’t be fixed. I, however, am talking about small disappointments that can eventually lead to the downfall of a team. This leads me to my new theory about love languages. 

If you read that and were like, “Huh? Love languages?,” then let me summarize it for you: There are five love languages: quality time, physical touch, acts of service, gifts and words of affirmation. These love languages help us explain how we give and receive love. This applies to all relationships in your life, not just romance. But for the sake of this article, we can focus on romantic relationships. 

People who crave quality time want to be in the presence of their partner. It’s the constant desire to be with someone, create memories and do things that will bond the two of you together. 

Physical touch is about showing your love physically. Physical touch doesn’t need to be public — in fact, intimacy is extremely important. It’s more about being there for your partner and feeling close. At the same time, it could also be important for your partner to show that you are proud to be with them in public by physically showing that you two are connected. 

Next up is gifts. I feel like this love language gets a lot of hate, but from what I have gathered, a “gift” can be anything. A love letter, a playlist, a cup of coffee. It doesn’t actually need to cost money; planning a cute date and remembering to bring their favorite snack could be a gift. It’s about taking the time to think about your partner and, in a way, it’s also physical because they can see your thoughts and care through an object. Honestly, I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t want a gift from their partner, or who’d be like, “Um, sorry. That is not my love language.” 

Think of all the successful relationships: Do you only see one love language? I don’t. I see two people who constantly think of each other and of their partner’s needs and wants.

Acts of service is also an interesting love language. It’s about seeing what your partner needs — this can be confused with gifts, but gifts are more what your partner wants or will make them happy. But a lot of the time it can be the same thing. This could be cooking a meal for your partner when they have had a long day or cleaning the kitchen. I remember when I was living with my boyfriend, our roommate would always leave crumbs on the floor. It drove my boyfriend nuts, so if my boyfriend ever left the apartment, I would quickly grab the vacuum and clean the floor so he didn’t have to do it. You are a team, and love is about making each other’s lives easier. 

Finally, we have words of affirmation. These are compliments, which include putting things in writing and validating your partner through words. It’s about being your partner’s hype man, if you will. But on a deeper level, it’s about wanting to know what your partner is thinking and needing to be reassured that they do in fact love you — especially during the rough patches in a relationship. 

Now, here is the catch: It’s been said that typically people have one main love language and one secondary love language. But I actually disagree with this. I think that if you want a truly strong relationship, one that will last a lifetime, you actually need all five. 

I think that all the love languages are connected in some way. This is where I do agree with the first statement, in that I think that everyone has a main love language and a secondary love language; however, I think that that’s the basis of what they believe they need in a relationship. This is the foundation, along with love and respect and that other stuff; how they give and receive love is the foundation. 

For instance, if your love language is quality time but your partner is always busy and doesn’t make time for you to bond, then even if they give you all the other love languages, you are not going to be happy because your main love language is quality time. 

Luca Disbrow / Daily Nexus

Now, let’s reverse that. Let’s say that all your partner gives you is quality time. However, they don’t fulfill any other love language: They don’t really compliment you and aren’t very vocal about their feelings; they don’t really try to help you with a small task; or maybe they have never given you a gift to show their appreciation. Slowly, over time, you are going to need those things. You are going to see other couples bond, compliment each other, do things to help each other and surprise each other with gifts, and you will start to doubt your relationship and what makes you feel special. 

You have to ask yourself if you are okay knowing that you are never going to get these acts of love from your partner except for your main love language. Here is where I disagree with the statement that we only have one or two love languages: I think that your main love language is how someone gets you, but being able to use all five languages in a relationship is how someone keeps you. 

Think of all the successful relationships: Do you only see one love language? I don’t. I see two people who constantly think of each other and of their partner’s needs and wants. They can be physical and are vocal and open about their feelings toward each other. You need all five, because all five make you feel like you have everything in a partner. Now, this doesn’t mean you need all five all the time. You need your main love language all the time because that’s a deal breaker. But if all five are sprinkled here and there, then you will truly feel like you have found an incredible teammate. 

Here is the silver lining: You are two people who are constantly growing and changing. You are a team working toward the same end goal. So this is a moment to take a look at your relationship and realize that you can be fulfilled and valued with every language. Just because they aren’t expressing a certain language right now doesn’t mean that they won’t do it in the future if you don’t talk to them. Trust me, you can achieve “happily ever after” — it just won’t be easy. 

Maiyan Pearl’s  final piece of advice: Always try to be the best version of yourself in the relationship, and never stop winning them over.