Team BURO Answers: What is your love language and why?
The way to our hearts
Do you sometimes feel underappreciated by your loved ones despite actively displaying your affection? Or perhaps you’ve been on the other side of the coin, where someone feels let down by you even though you’ve taken initiative in the relationship—be it familial, romantic, or platonic.
The solution to this could very well lie in understanding the different ways of communicating love. Cue the five love languages, coined by Gary Chapman in his 1992 book, The Five Love Languages: How To Express Heartfelt Commitment To Your Mate, namely:
- Acts of Service (you think actions speak louder than words)
- Receiving Gifts (you are most touched by a heartfelt gift)
- Quality Time (you cherish undivided attention)
- Words of Affirmation (you appreciate encouraging words and romantic expressions)
- Physical Touch (you are moved by appropriate physical gestures, such as a warm hug or kiss)
Generally, everyone gives and receives love in these five different ways to varying degrees, but most have one or two primary love languages that make(s) them feel most loved and cared for. As you may have a different primary love language from someone else, your thoughtful gesture may not seem as important to them as it may to you. Hence, knowing how to communicate based on a person’s preferred love language may allow you to connect on a deeper level (find out via this quiz!).
To illustrate this, Team BURO Malaysia dishes out our love language(s) and some examples of the way to our hearts.
Sarah Hani Jamil, Editor
“Having been married for almost seven years now, the way I perceive love has definitely changed. I used to think that going out for fun dates or exciting adventures where it would just be the two of us spending quality time together, holding hands, sneaking kisses and talking about our hopes and dreams, was the best way to show love for each other. Ahh… fun, naive times!
“Fast forward to today, with real-life hitting us hard and a kid in tow, I now truly understand that love isn’t all about the big, romantic gestures. To me, doing the laundry without being asked is sexy. Taking the trash out is love. Giving me time and space to relax and recuperate while he takes care of our son’s bath and mealtimes is a huge win in my books. Of course, the romance still needs to be alive so we often make it a point to show affection through spoken words. Overall, I don’t believe that there has to be one primary love language in a relationship. It has to be a combination of many to really make it work!”
Adelina Tan, Deputy Editor
“I'm constantly managing my time and energy, so I'm touched whenever someone does an act of service for me. It's fortunate that my loved ones are (stereotypically) Asian in expressing their love, preferring to show it through thoughtful gestures rather than words. Mum gets me something to eat on my busiest days, in addition to the many other things she does to lighten my load; dad is always available for a pep talk or to offer advice; and my boyfriend picks me up so I don't have to drive when we go out on dates, which sometimes includes getting groceries and crossing off errands. These little gestures may seem mundane but they significantly improve my wellbeing—telling me that I'm seen, loved, and cared for.”
Natalie Khoo, Lifestyle Editor
“The order of importance of the five love languages has changed for me over the years, but quality time has constantly been at the top. I think it’s the easiest of the five to give—it doesn’t involve much effort, money, or physical presence—yet arguably the hardest to be *intentional* about, which is what really counts in my books. In this day and age, everyone is often multi-tasking and easily distracted by their responsibilities or social media. Time is ever of the essence, and that’s why it means the world to me when someone gives me their undivided time and attention.
“Coupled with my love of adventure, I particularly enjoy spending quality time with my partner in the outdoors. It makes my day to go on a hike, cycle, or road trip together with him and my loved ones. Otherwise, small gestures like watching Netflix together, playing a co-op game or talking about our day are some simple pleasures I make a point not to take for granted.”
Redzhanna Jazmin, Beauty Writer
“Of the five love languages, I can't really pin down just one that applies to me. That said, if I had to pick, it would probably be acts of service. I like to show and be shown love and appreciation through action. For instance, I made my partner a pair of corduroy dungarees for our anniversary, and he made me a corduroy chalk bag for the next one. One time, he also handed me a rock and said ‘I saw this on the beach and I thought you would like it’. I immediately wept. It's just nice when people think of you and want to make you happy.”
Kelly Lim, Fashion Writer
“My love language is quality time. Although I enjoy my alone time from time to time, sharing new experiences and being in the moment with loved ones is important to me and makes me feel energised, rather than drained. The pandemic (and technology) may have made it tougher to spend IRL quality time together, but it has also made being able to physically see family and friends all the more precious. One recent example that meant a lot to me was our reunion dinner before the first day of Chinese New Year. It's been a few years since our family has been together due to the fact that most of us live abroad and are scattered around the world, but this year, everyone made it back to see my grandparents and spend time together in celebration of the new year.”
Sarah Tai, Head of Design
“I'd say anything to do with being surprised with food and drinks—I guess that falls somewhere between receiving gifts and acts of service on the Love Language chart. When it comes to eating, I am what you would call a shy (or situational-selective) eater, which means I hardly eat in front of others especially when I am expected to (for example: lunch time). Nonsense, I know, but such obscurity exists!
“So, when anyone personally gives/sends me something I can consume when I least expect it, my heart does a happy little somersault. Maybe I'm just simple but this thoughtful gesture never fails to brighten up my mood tremendously. Perhaps I am merely confusing my stomach for my heart, but I guess I'm just another fool for the classic saying that 'the way to a person's heart is through their stomach’.”
Amos Yip, Junior Web Designer
“I’ve always thought my love language is quality time, but as it turns out, it's actually words of affirmation. Actions *don’t* always speak louder than words—hearing compliments, encouraging words, or even something as simple as ‘I understand you’ from my family means the world to me.
“I remember back during my college days, I was struggling with the course I chose at first, so I decided to switch to another course that I found more interest and passion in. I was afraid that my mom would be upset because I decided to give up and pursue something that's different from what I had learned; but all she told me was, ‘I support your decision and I hope nothing but for you to be happy’. I was so moved and I would never forget this because she was the one who had my back whilst I was doubting myself.”
Find more stories on relationships here.