Do love languages strengthen relationships?

As we’re approaching Valentine’s Day, the topic of love and relationships starts circulating. One of the most popular topics of love is the five love languages. Since the 90s, the theory of five love languages has had a hold on society. For decades, people believed that love languages could build healthy relationships, but do love languages actually strengthen relationships? 

The Five Love Languages were created in 1992 by Gary Chapman, a Southern Baptist pastor. Dr. Chapman discovered that what most people wanted from their romantic partners fitted into five categories. In October 1992 “The Five Love Languages” was published, detailing his research of love. 

The five love languages are acts of service, receiving gifts, physical touch, words of affirmation and quality time.

A recent study published by PLOS One indicated that a couple’s relationship satisfaction correlates to whether their partner uses their preferred love language. The results of the study revealed that people who used their partner’s love language had increased levels of satisfaction than people who didn’t.

Another research supporting the love languages came from Maciej Stolarski, a psychology professor from the University of Warsaw in Poland. Stolarski’s research found that satisfaction in a relationship is not solely improved by how a partner responds to another’s preferred love language but is improved when both partners respond to each other’s love language.

On the opposing side, a 2013 research study says that love languages are not supported by science. The research did not find that partners who strived to show their significant other their preferred love language had improved relationships. 

By not being supported by data and science, the five love languages have lost some credibility. Emily Impett, a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto said Chapman’s love languages do not have supporting evidence for a partner’s independence or individual goals outside of the relationship.

With this contrasting research, I asked students what their stance is on the five love languages. 

“Yes, I do believe if your partner fulfills your love language, it can strengthen relationships,” said Sentry House, a senior game design major. 

“We receive these love languages first from our parents before they become a part of our love circle.”As with them, we then make these love languages a requirement.” said House.

House’s message is essentially that our parents shape our preferences for our love languages as we grow up. Depending on what our parents showed us we carry that into our romantic relationships in our adulthood.  

For more points of view, I posted a poll on social media asking my viewers if they think a relationship would improve if their partner used their preferred love language. The results from the poll had 75% of people think it would improve their relationship while 25% of people said no it would not. 

Do you think your partner showing your love language will improve your relationship?