1992 saw the publishing of an innocuous psychology book—and yet just weeks after it appeared in shops, an entire generation of psychologists and lovers alike was already swept along in a lively, fascinating debate, which would ultimately change the way we conceptualize love and romance.
Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate has sat comfortably on the New York Times Best Seller list since 2009. And although there’s no scientific proof of his theory (save for a 2006 study which demonstrated it may have at least some psychometric validity), it’s hard to overstate the impact of his idea that each of us has one of five “love languages,” which we use to communicate when in a relationship, and want our partner to adopt when communicating with us:
- words of affirmation: a warm utterance, note, or text expressing love and appreciation
- quality time: setting aside a period of the day for the express reason of being at one with your partner—whatever that involves
- gift giving: treating your partner to a present or surprise, no matter the size, to brighten their day
- acts of service: doing those tasks whose completion, when summed, make your partner’s day that little bit better, and their life that little bit easier
- physical touch: tactile affection, ranging from sex to simply a hand on the waist, a squeeze of the hand, a kiss on the cheek when walking by
Chapman’s book enjoyed such wild success because, for many, his love languages theory resonated deeply. Even just looking at the list, lots of readers could immediately identify which was theirs.
Yet during the book’s almost 30-year tenure as a mainstay on bookshelves worldwide, there’s been a notable conversation around a potential sixth love language, which Chapman missed. And for many people who can’t identify with one of the original five or feel like they’re a mix of several, the proposal of the sixth love language has spoken to them in a way they never expected–
The original love languages are self-explanatory. And humor seems to follow rather logically: It is simply the desire to make your partner laugh to show them love and that you truly understand who they are. For so many people, being made to laugh until their stomach hurts is truly the gateway to their heart– and a lot of that comes down to the intensity of the emotional closeness necessary for that to happen. For someone to know you so well, to know the sweet spot to take you from giggling to outright belly-laughing—that speaks volumes about the intricate understanding they have of your mind, your disposition, your values. Laughter is a visceral reaction. It’s reflexive—you can’t force it in any meaningful sense. In the context of a loving relationship, it’s a pure and unadulterated response to someone you trust which subverts your expectations by sheer force through their ability to know what makes you tick. And what’s more, understanding humor is a sure sign of intelligence and intelligence is a major checkbox for most people when looking for a partner.
If you’re still unsure whether humor is your love language, take some time to reflect on some of the times you’ve felt most loved and appreciated, as well as the times when you showed your nearest and dearest you loved and appreciated them. Do they all have laughter, humor, and lightheartedness in common?
But then—what do we do once we’re sure we’ve found our love language? Some people claim this knowledge is no less than the key to the success of their relationship, and the reason their partnership is positive, healthy, and has lasted. Knowing your love language helps you lean into partners who appear to be on the same wavelength in that regard. And if humor is your love language, you know there’s probably a lot more going on below the surface feelings-wise when this person of interest has you giggling until you can barely breathe.
If you’re feeling lost in the world of dating, taking a little time to know yourself and your love language better can be the first step on the path to meeting your life partner. The more you’re attuned to your own needs, the more precisely you can identify in a potential partner those traits that would make you happy for the long term. And if you need a little extra assistance in that search, we can help.
Maclynn International is an elite, multi-award-winning matchmaking agency with offices in New York, California and London. We’re experts at bringing highly compatibles singles together, and our relationship specialists are well versed in the love languages—even humor! Get in touch today, and let’s set you on the road to meeting that special someone who speaks the same language of love—perhaps even the one who will have you belly-laughing until you’re gasping for air!