The Seven Love Styles
The concept of love languages was created by marriage counselor Dr. Gary Chapman in the 1980s to explain how people have different ways of showing love and why couples may sometimes fail to connect even when they are making an effort to be loving toward one another. Truity's original research in 2022 surveyed over 500,000 people to explore whether Chapman's five love languages were still valid; we discovered that the ways we show love are actually best described in terms of seven love styles.
Truity's 7 Love Styles test reflects recent findings that show what contemporary couples need and expect in their relationships.
Love is complex. What one person needs and expects from a romantic partner can be very different from what the partner naturally gives. But having different preferences for giving and receiving love doesn't mean a partnership is doomed. The key to working together successfully with these differences is learning to understand and speak your partner's love style.
Dr. Gary Chapman, marriage counselor and author of The 5 Love Languages, developed the theory of love languages — the unique ways we express love to each other — in the 1980s. In 2022, Truity conducted original research, surveying over 500,000 people, to see if a more diverse and current dataset would still support Chapman's theory. Based on the findings from this research, Truity identified seven, rather than five, key ways that people express and receive love. We call these 7 concepts love styles and provide descriptions below.
Seven Modern Love Styles
People with the Activity love style feel special and valued when their partner takes an interest in their hobbies and interests and makes an effort to enjoy activities together. The motivation here is togetherness, but it's about more than just spending quality time with a partner. Rather, the Activity love style involves expressing genuine interest in their work, hobbies, and life outside of the relationship.
People with the Appreciation love style feel special and valued when their partner gives them praise and compliments. Words are more important than deeds for this type — but it is not just about pretty words. People who prefer this love style want to feel that their partner is paying attention to their personal qualities and the little triumphs of their lives, and is grateful and appreciative of them.
People with the Emotional love style feel loved when their partner is able to connect with them and support them through tough emotions. While on some level it's about spending quality time together, the Emotional love style is specifically focused on emotional, as opposed to physical, connection. This type feels loved when they receive caring support during emotionally challenging or vulnerable times.
People with the Financial love style feel loved and valued when their partner shows generosity with finances in order to bring them joy. Treats and surprises are certainly part of this love style, but it is not limited to receiving gifts. Rather, it describes a larger desire for a partner who is willing to use their financial resources in a variety of ways to help and delight their significant other.
People with the Intellectual love style like to connect through the mind. They feel loved when their partner values their intelligence, respects their opinion, and takes part in thoughtful discussion of important issues. While the Intellectual love style includes a desire to spend quality time together, it focuses more specifically on a meeting of minds and valuing each other's intelligence.
People with the Physical love style feel cared for and supported when they are being touched and held by their partner; they love the sensate experience of physical intimacy. This is not just a code word for sex. Rather, it includes everything from erotic touch to hugs, hand-holding, foot rubs, snuggles and quick morning kisses.
People with the Practical love style feel special and valued when their partner takes care of the chores, pitches in with the household, and offers practical, everyday help to lighten the load. Rather than just helping out with the chores, the Practical love style is about going “above and beyond” with practical help, and doing things that are unexpected and specifically for the benefit of your partner.
How to Use the Love Styles
When your love style is being met in your relationships, you feel loved, desired and secure. However, if your love style is not being met, you may feel insecure, taken for granted, and bitter towards your partner. It likely feels as if the two of you speak completely different languages — and as it turns out, you do!
Your relationship will look much different depending on whether or not you and your partner are speaking each others' language. To get the most out of the 7 Love Styles test, both partners should understand their love style as well as their partner's. By openly communicating what you need, and listening to what your partner needs, you can develop a more fulfilling relationship. Truity's full Love Style report includes tips on how to express your needs and how to speak your partner's love style.
Understanding your Love Style is not a cure-all for relationship issues. As with all things in relationships, the key is putting in the time and effort. A 2020 research survey based on Chapman's model showed that people who reported that their partners used their love language well had stronger feelings of love and relationship satisfaction than others.
History of Love Languages
The concept of Love Languages was originally developed by Dr. Gary Chapman and popularized by his 1992 book, The 5 Love Languages. Chapman, a marriage counselor, noticed in his work with couples that people had different preferences when it came to giving and receiving love. He identified five love languages: Physical Touch, Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts and Quality Time.
Chapman's work changed the way we think about relationships and has become part of the vocabulary that couples and counselors depend on to talk about relationship dynamics. Critics of the original 5 Love Languages claim that the theory was based on a limited and homogenous sample (married, heterosexual, Christian couples) and does not fully address the needs of all modern relationships.
Truity's Seven Modern Love Styles
Dr. Chapman's original theory was developed more than three decades ago, based on his in-person work with married, Christian couples. Truity wondered if there was more to learn from larger-scale, modern-day research. So, Truity surveyed more than 500,000 individuals to see what makes people feel most loved in their relationships. The results showed that while some ideas about expressing love have stayed the same, others have shifted significantly in the decades following the development of Chapman's original theory.
Truity's 7 Love Styles assessment updates and expands the concept to put emphasis on what really matters in modern relationships. In addition to discovering two entirely new love styles (Intellectual and Emotional), we've also clarified and updated existing love styles, based on large-scale research with a diverse, global sample. Our updated descriptions reflect this broader understanding.
“Working with lots of folks on the LGBTIQIA+ continuum, I often have to adjust my language and the context of the Love Languages to fit couple's diverse identities and needs,” said Dr. Pauline Yeghnazar Peck, a licensed psychologist and marriage and family therapist. “An update is so important and timely as it can help couples find a more inclusive framework for connection and support.”
Take the free 7 Love Styles test to identify your preferred Love Style — and go deeper by upgrading to our full, personalized report, which provides deep guidance on improving communication, intimacy and fulfillment in your relationship based on your preferred style.
NOTE: The Five Love Languages® is a registered trademark of The Moody Bible Institute of Chicago, which has no affiliation with this site. For more, visit: https://www.5lovelanguages.com/