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Discover your love language with our match-maker quiz

Have you ever felt like something has got ‘lost in translation’ when communicating with your partner? You could be speaking different love languages. Perhaps you’ve set aside time to spend with them and they’re looking at their phone? Or maybe they cleaned the house before you woke up and you didn’t notice? 

Everyone gives and receives love in different ways, which can be shown in the five love languages — words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time and physical touch. In our latest campaign, we go through each love language in detail and explain how they can complement each other. We also give you tips on how to improve your relationship and the importance of sexual health. 

Take our quiz to find out which love language describes you best!

The five love languages

Published in 1992, The 5 Love Languages: The Secret To Love That Lasts by Dr Gary Chapman establishes the ways in which people express their love for each other. You might be strongly drawn to one particular language, or maybe to a mix of several. Read on for an exploration of each love language and how to use them effectively.

Words of affirmation

Unlike the other love languages, words of affirmation directly tell your partner how much they mean to you. For those with this love language, frequently reminding them how much they mean to you is really important. You can say it directly to them, or write it down. A little note with a compliment or an encouraging word goes a long way. 

It’s also important to actively listen and appreciate when they affirm you, as it’s their way of communicating love. This is why words of affirmation and quality time complement each other well. Intentional time spent together leaves room for in-depth, meaningful conversations, where both people are fully engaged. 

Acts of service

For acts of service, actions speak louder than words. If this is your partner’s love language, they will appreciate small things you might do for them. This includes doing tasks they don’t enjoy such as sorting the bills out or cooking dinner. It also involves doing small gestures that show you care about them, such as making them coffee in the morning the way they like it, or booking tickets to a film they really want to see.

Acts of service and physical touch can be a lovely combination, which both partners can enjoy. Many acts of service involve physical touch, such as giving your partner a massage or foot rub. But whether your love language is physical touch or not, it is important to receive your partners’ acts of service gratefully and let them know you appreciate it. 

Receiving gifts

As a love language, the giving and receiving of gifts can sometimes be misunderstood. It is sentimental rather than materialistic. Giving gifts to your partner tells them you’re thinking of them and is something they will likely cherish. It doesn’t have to be big or expensive. It really is the thought that counts. You could pick up their favourite snack at the supermarket or buy them a book they’ve been wanting to read. 

Receiving gifts and acts of service go hand in hand. Both love languages are about noticing the little things and putting effort into making your partner feel known and loved. It leads to a good balance of give-and-take in a relationship. 

Quality time

If your partner’s love language is quality time, it is important to actively spend time together, free of distractions such as your phone or work-related tasks. Remember it’s quality not quantity time, meaning they will appreciate it if you’re fully present, even if it’s just a five minute conversation. You can even book in intentional time together such as trying out a new restaurant or planning a beach trip. 

Quality time is very compatible with physical touch. Both love languages value togetherness and shared experience. It combines emotional and physical intimacy, creating a deeper connection with your partner. 

Physical touch

Physical touch is not only about sex, though that can be an important aspect of many relationships. If physical intimacy is your partner’s love language, it means they appreciate small gestures such as hugging, holding hands or even just sitting next to each other. 

Although physical touch means you can express your love without speaking, this love language pairs well with words of affirmation. Physical touch creates an intimate moment where words of affirmation can be expressed, for example when cuddling on the sofa or walking hand in hand.  

How to maintain a healthy relationship

Every relationship has its ups and downs, times when it’s easy and times when it’s not. Building and developing a relationship takes time and effort from both partners. Understanding how each other gives and receives love, however, will help you to develop two of the most important factors of a relationship — communication and intimacy.

Communication

For a relationship to remain healthy, good communication is key. This creates a space where you can both talk openly and tell your partner if you have any doubts or worries. Although it might lead to some uncomfortable conversations, it will benefit you both in the long run and avoid future conflict. 

Below are some ways to communicate your feelings to your partner effectively:

  • Think about what you want to say before you say it.
  • Find a time and place free from distraction or interruption to have a conversation.
  • Use ‘I’ statements, like ‘I need’, ‘I want’, ‘I feel’, to clearly convey your needs.
  • Actively listen to your partner’s response and take what they say into account.
  • Make sure the end goal is resolving conflict and compromising if necessary.

Intimacy

Intimacy is something that is built up over time through patience and effort from both partners. It ultimately creates a space where you feel emotionally connected and supported by the other person, and where you can be yourself fully without judgement. Sometimes, as life gets in the way, intimacy can become less of a priority, causing you to feel lonely and disconnected from your partner.

Below are some tips to help build and maintain intimacy in your relationship:

  • Be vulnerable with your partner and open up about your feelings.
  • Schedule time for physical intimacy around your other commitments.
  • Use words of affirmation to tell your partner how much you love and appreciate them.
  • Kiss or hug your partner when you leave the house or come home.
  • Have a regular date night so you can spend quality time together.

The importance of sexual health

If physical and sexual intimacy is part of your relationship, then it’s important to stay informed and look after the sexual health of you and your partner. You should create an open, inclusive and positive environment, where you can both discuss your boundaries and steps you want to take towards safer sex. Below are some areas to consider when thinking about sexual health: 

STIs

In sexually active relationships, it’s recommended that you both take an STI (Sexually Transmitted Infection) test at least once a year to protect your sexual wellbeing, even if you’re in a long-term monogamous relationship and are showing no symptoms. 

You may need to get tested more regularly if you fall into certain categories. For example:

  • If you have multiple partners, get tested every three months.
  • If you start a new relationship, make sure both you and your partner get tested.
  • If you notice any STI symptoms, take a test.
  • If you have unprotected sex with someone who has an STI or doesn’t know their STI status, you should get tested.

If your STI test comes back positive, it is vital that you tell your partner and any previous sexual partner so they can get tested, and treated if needed. A sexual health clinic can usually do this for you without naming you if you prefer.

UTIs

A UTI (Urinary Tract Infection) is caused by bacteria from faeces (usually E. coli) entering the urinary tract. As women have a short urethra (the tube that lets urine leave your body), they are more likely to develop a UTI, but it can affect anyone, regardless of age or gender. There are many factors that increase the risk of developing a UTI, one of them being having sex. So, if you do experience symptoms of a UTI, it’s a good idea to avoid having sex while you get treatment.  

The good news is that you may not even need to book a GP appointment to be treated. If you’re a woman aged between 16 and 64, you may be able to access prescription-strength antibiotics from your local Day Lewis Pharmacist as part of the NHS Pharmacy First Service. This is usually a three-day course of treatment that tends to relieve your symptoms within three to five days. 

Contraception

Although it’s not always the easiest topic of conversation, it’s very important that you discuss contraception before having sex with your partner. Contraception helps to prevent both unplanned pregnancy and some forms protect from STIs. The key to safe sex is open communication with your partner. Start by discussing your history of STIs, most recent STI test, and which method of contraception you feel most comfortable with. 

There are many methods of contraception, including but not limited to:

  • Combined pill
  • Mini pill
  • Condoms
  • Contraceptive implant
  • IUD (coil)
  • IUS (hormonal coil)
  • Vaginal ring.

To make contraception easier, you may be eligible for the NHS Pharmacy Contraception Service, available from Day Lewis pharmacies. It allows you to pick up your repeat contraception medication directly from the pharmacy without needing to contact your GP, making the process accessible and more convenient. Pregnancy tests can also be found at all Day Lewis pharmacies.

Building a relationship can be a fun and exciting journey for you and your partner to go on, as you develop your physical and emotional connection. Why not take our love language test to learn how you both like to give and receive love? We’d love to hear your results and thoughts on the concept of love languages. Let us know using #LoveDecoded.

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Author: Jake Mccreith MRPharmS

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