Sweet nothings are everything: ‘Love language’ vital for a happy relationship

WARSAW, Poland — The sweet nothings lovers whisper to each other could be the key to maintaining a healthy sex life, a new study suggests. Researchers have discovered new evidence that “love languages” are vital for maintaining a happy sexual relationship with a significant other.

They found that the relationship satisfaction of heterosexual couples of all ages had a connection to each person satisfying their own and their partner’s love language needs.

“Our findings suggest that people who better match each other’s preferences for love languages are more satisfied with their relationships and sexual life,” says study lead author Olha Mostova from the University of Warsaw in a media release.

What are love languages?

Love languages refer to the popular idea that people differ both in the ways they express affection and the ways they wish to receive it. The theory focuses on five distinct love languages — words of affirmation, spending quality time together, gift-giving, acts of service, and physical touch.

Despite their popularity, scientists have done little research on the concept of love languages. To fix that, the study authors followed 100 heterosexual couples who had been together for between six months and 24 years. Each person was between 17 and 58 years-old and each participant completed a questionnaire with questions developed in prior research on love languages.

The survey found out the participants’ preferred love languages they use when expressing love for their partner. It also revealed which love languages their partner uses that make them feel loved in return.

The research team was able to identify the degree of mismatches within each couple while also discovering each person’s relationship satisfaction, sexual satisfaction, and level of empathy. Results show that, for both men and women, participants whose partners use the love languages they prefer to receive have higher levels of relationship and sexual satisfaction. The team also found greater satisfaction among participants who use the love languages their partners prefer to receive.

The researchers suspected that empathy would show a connection to a greater tendency to use the love language someone’s partner prefers to receive. However, study authors say they only found a small connection to certain sub-types of empathy affecting male participants’ relationship experiences.

Although the study only included heterosexual couples, researchers say focusing on partners’ love language needs might be effective in relationship counseling in general.

The findings are published in the journal PLOS One.

South West News Service writer Stephen Beech contributed to this report.

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