New evidence suggests love languages are important for heterosexual relationship satisfaction
New evidence supports the idea that the satisfaction of heterosexual relationships is related to the fulfillment of people’s personal preferences for receiving affection expressed in different love languages. Olha Mostova of the University of Warsaw, Poland, and colleagues present these findings in the open-access journal PLOS ONE on June 22, 2022.
Love languages refer to the popular idea that people differ in both the way they express affection and the way they want to receive it. This hypothesis includes five different love languages: words of affirmation, spending quality time together, giving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. Despite its popularity, the concept of love languages remains relatively underexposed by researchers.
To deepen the understanding, Mostova and colleagues conducted a study of 100 heterosexual couples who had been together for 6 months to 24 years. The participants were between the ages of 17 and 58 and each completed a questionnaire containing questions developed in previous love language research.
The questionnaire evaluated the participants’ preferred languages to use when expressing love to their partner, and in turn, which love languages used by their partner made them feel loved most. This data allowed the researchers to identify the extent of any mismatches within each pair. They also rated the participants’ relationship satisfaction, sexual satisfaction, and empathy.
This analysis showed that, for both men and women, participants whose partners used the love languages they most preferred to receive had higher relationships and sexual satisfaction. More satisfaction was also found among participants who reported using the love languages their partners preferred to receive.
The researchers had hypothesized that empathy would be associated with a greater tendency for a participant to use the love language their partner prefers to receive. While the analysis showed some minor support for certain empathy subtypes that influence male participants’ relationship experiences, this hypothesis was not generally supported.
Although the study only included heterosexual couples, the researchers suggest that focusing on partners’ love language needs may be effective in couples therapy. They also suggest different directions for future research, such as examining whether love-language matching is actually more satisfying, whether it arises from it, or whether it is an entirely different factor.
The authors add, “Our findings suggest that people who better match each other’s love language preferences are more satisfied with their relationships and sexual lives. Dimensional assessment may be preferable to typologizing love languages.”
Study shows that men say ‘I love you’ first in heterosexual relationships
I love the way you love me: Responding to your partner’s love language preferences increases satisfaction in romantic heterosexual couples, PLoS ONE (2022). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0269429
Quote: New evidence suggests love languages are important for heterosexual relationship satisfaction (2022, June 22) retrieved June 22, 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-06-evidence-languages-important-heterosexual-relationship. html
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