If This Is Your Love Language, You're More Likely to Stay Single
Identifying it could help you ace the dating game.
It's no secret that dating is tough—especially when you desperately want to find your match—including weird first impressions, awkward conversations, and clumsy first kisses. Or maybe you're just anxious that you'll never meet "the one" or are nervous to put yourself out there again after a divorce or separation. Fortunately, research around the five love languages can help—and may even explain why you've stayed single. Here, relationship experts tell us the love language that typically stays single the longest. Plus, how you can use the teachings of the five love languages while dating.
How to employ the five love languages while dating.
The five love languages are a concept developed by Gary Chapman, an author, pastor, and counselor, to describe the ways people give and receive love in relationships. The languages are gifts, quality time, acts of service, words of affirmation, and physical touch.
While love languages might sound like something you'd only employ in a long-term relationship, experts say they can be helpful for single people, too. "If you are not currently in a relationship, it's a great idea to practice expressing love languages with friends and family, so that you are comfortable expressing love freely," says Sandra Myers, relationship expert and co-founder of Select Date Society. For example, if your best friend's love language is words of affirmation, you can practice giving them meaningful compliments. Or, if your mom's love language is receiving gifts, you can bring her a small token of affection each time you visit, Myers suggests.
You can also use the five love languages while planning dates early in a relationship. "Think about what your date may be interested in and try to express yourself in that language," says Valentina Dragomir, psychotherapist and founder of PsihoSensus Therapy. If you know your date appreciates quality time, you could plan a fun experience for the two of you to share. If they respond positively to words of affirmation, you might relay to them how much you enjoy their company. "No matter which love language you or your date speaks, being thoughtful and considerate will go a long way in showing your interest and care," says Dragomir.
This love language may have more trouble finding a match.
Each of the love languages responds differently to dating and being in a relationship. And because of that, some are more prone to staying single than others. "In my experience, individuals who value quality time as their love language can have the most difficulty in relationships and may find themselves single more often than other love languages," says Jacob Brown, a psychotherapist in San Francisco. "I often find that these individuals carry with them a sense of being unloved, uncared for, and unseen." As a result, he says, they may feel more jealousy than those who have other love languages and harbor a fear that their partner will leave them. That attachment style can make it difficult for new love to blossom—and may even frighten off potential suitors.
A second love language may also find dating challenging.
Those with quality time as their love language aren't the only ones who may be single longer than others. Experts say those who prefer acts of service can also find dating tough. The reason? It's difficult for partners to meet their standards. "My observation is that most people find the other love languages 'easier' to execute," says clinical sexologist Rachel Sommer, PhD. "However, when it comes to picking up responsibility and helping your loved one with chores and other tasks, most people fail terribly." So, as soon as the person who values this love language spots you slacking, they might cut things off before they've even got a chance to develop.
RELATED: For more relationship advice delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Understanding how to use love languages can help.
Ultimately, it's not your love language that's keeping you single—it's your communication skills. "It's important to recognize that your partner is not going to automatically know how you want to feel love from them," says Myers. "You will learn from each other and teach each other your love language." As you move forward in a relationship, take the time to discuss your love languages and ensure you are both giving and receiving affection in a way that feels right. Doing so could land you in a happy partnership before you know it.