Most people communicate in one or more of the five love languages: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Giving/Receiving Gifts, Quality time, and Physical Touch. While some people may communicate in more that one most people have a primary language of love. Dr. Gary Chapman developed the Love Languages theory and has changed the way people around the world interact with each other.
These languages not only apply to romantic relationships but also those with coworkers, children, and teenagers. Since his first book The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate, Chapman has written more books each breaking down how to apply these principles to other areas and relationships in your life.
There is not one language that's 'better' or 'more effective' than any other. Just finding what works best for you in your relationships is the more important part. It can be easy to discover your love language and you may already know it; just think about what brings you closer to the important people in your life.
Words of Affirmation - This language uses words to affirm other people. People who value this type of communication need to hear you say that you love them, appreciate them, and respect them. To them words speak louder than actions and hearing you verbally confirm what they are hoping you feel is critically important to developing a relationship with them.
Acts of Service - For these people, actions speak louder than words. These people know you love them when you do things to prove it. Helping them with tasks, chores, or anything they are struggling with proves your intentions. Many people get this confused with Receiving Gifts, but this is more about doing something than giving something.
Receiving Gifts - For some people, what makes them feel most loved is to receive a gift. Those with this communications style like physical reminders of your love for them. Everything from a small everyday gift to a large special occasion purchase. Normally it is not the value or size of the gift but the thought behind it.
Quality Time - This language is all about giving the other person your undivided attention. A phone call, visit, email, or text are always that you show you are making time for the person in your life. IT lets them know you are important to them and that it's worth your time to make a space for them. As with Receiving Gifts; it's often not about the amount of time but rather the intention behind it.
Physical Touch - To this person, nothing speaks more deeply than appropriate touch. This language relies on consistent physical contact through out the day. Hugs, hand holding, kissing, snuggling -- everything that brings the two of you close physically will bring you closer emotionally as well.
No matter what your love language is it's important that you find it and communicate with your partner about what you want and need from your relationship. Holding feelings back and doing things for them but not you is one of the quickest ways to build up resentment and distrust in a relationship.
Check out more of Dr.Gary Chapman's work, including his books; The Family You've Always Wanted, The Marriage You've Always Wanted, Desperate Marriages, God Speaks Your Love Language, How to Really Love Your Adult Child, and Hope for the Separated. With Dr. Jennifer Thomas, he co-authored The Five Languages of Apology.