The Five Love Languages for Millennials

Happy International Women’s Day, readers! Recently, I’ve been thinking about what it means to find love, and to be in love, in 2018, especially for millennial men and women.

Last week, I met a friend for a coffee date. She complained to me that her boyfriend never said the words “I love you” to her. “Maybe he doesn’t really love me,” she said, but I was puzzled. As far as I knew, her boyfriend was the silent type, but I never got the feeling that he didn’t love her. In fact, he often cooked her favorite meals for her, which I pointed out to her.

“Yes, I know he cares for me, but it bothers me that he never says that he does,” my friend admitted. It then clicked in my mind that they both simply have different love languages. My friend wanted to be told “verbally” she was loved, while her boyfriend thought doing “acts of service” like cooking would be enough to show my friend that he loved her.

The ways we understand and express love do not differ much from lovers in the past, like in my friend’s case. In The 5 Love Languages, which was written by Gary Chapman in 1995, the author theorizes that there are five ways people use to show and receive love.

These five ways are:
a) receiving gifts,
b) quality time,
c) words of affirmation,
d) acts of service (devotion), and
e) physical touch.

The 5 Love Languages
By Gary Chapman
Available at Asia Books, Kinokuniya and
leading bookstores.

Twenty-three years after this book has been published, I still find it relevant now. In fact, it is also relevant for those who are dating! It’s important to figure out what your other half’s main love language is. Like in my friend’s case, you may think you are showing love and interest, but the other party does not feel it.

If you are single and have met someone you’d like to get to know more, “words of affirmation” is the easiest way to indicate your interest – tell them you are interested, and that you would like to take your relationship to the next stage! Do not assume that buying gifts and flowers will be enough.

Also, if your love language is “physical touch”, do be careful of using it in the earlier stages of your dating! Your date may find it uncomfortable, and shy away from you.

In dating and relationships, it is good to keep these five love languages in mind. Of course, it would be great if you can act on all of them for your partner, but focusing on the one that your other half understands best will best convey your feelings.

For millennials who are used to expressing themselves online, there are many ways which we can now express our love and interest thanks to modern advancements. I thought of five different fun examples to show your love language in this digital age. What do you think of your love language and your partner’s?

a) If you always want to surprise your partner with flowers delivery on Valentine’s Day, chocolates or other gifts to express your love (and posting them online?), or you love receiving them from your partner, then this gift giving is definitely your love language!

b) Do you always want to text, snapchat, skype or face-time with your partner all day long? This is the way for millennials to  spend quality time with their other half, especially in this era when everyone’s busy and always traveling!

c) Declaring your love toward your partner on Facebook or Instagram, complete with romantic hashtags like #soulmate or #OTP (yes, that’s One True Pair, not One Time Password). This can also mean liking and commenting on each other’s photos and statuses on social media frequently through words of affirmation.

d) Perhaps you like to order food and deliver them to your partner’s house or office as you know they are working overtime and have not had time to have a proper meal. Here’s an act of service that’s hard to do even a decade ago, but so thoughtful to express your love and care!

e) If you like doing things like wearing matching couple tees, taking couples photos or doing PDA (public display of  affection), physical touch is probably your love language! You express love by constantly being close to your partner and showing the world that you are a couple.

For millennial singles looking for love, I would like to encourage you to figure out your main love language, and to best u utilize them in the pursuit of love. This way, you will be able to understand what you want in love, and hopefully, find  someone who will be able to show they love you in the way you know best (and vice-versa, of course).

Happy dating!

Nikki Assavathorn is the founder of MeetNLunch, one of the biggest and most trusted dating companies in Thailand.