Words are a powerful tool — if used correctly, they can be the key to your relationship's success. This is what the words of affirmation love language is all about.
Knowing your partner’s love language is an easy and effective way to boost your relationship satisfaction. While some people prefer physical touch or acts of service, for many people, affirmation words are the way to their hearts.
So if your partner’s primary love language is words of affirmation, how do you know the right thing to say? From positive affirmations to pretty compliments, learn how to navigate communicating your love and affection for your partner in our guide.
The concept of love languages was developed by Dr. Gary Chapman in his bestselling book, The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts. This work, and his later articles, identify 5 different love languages that encapsulate the distinct ways people prefer to receive and show love.
Words of affirmation
Chapman’s theory is that by knowing your partner’s primary love language, you can improve your connection and learn how to showcase your affection in a more personal way.
So from the five love languages, how do you figure out which one speaks to you?
While your partner may prefer the language of physical touch through cuddling, you may prefer to express love through acts of service or quality time on date nights. Understanding your own love language, as well as your partner’s, can help you avoid misinterpreting each other’s needs.
In some cases, your partner’s love language may be obvious, but it could be helpful to take the love language quiz to check! It’s also important to note that while you may have a primary love language, most people like different elements of each love language and may simply crave some more over others.
Words of affirmation focus on verbal expressions of love, appreciation, and encouragement. Individuals who have this love language feel most loved and valued when they receive kind words or positive affirmations from their romantic partner or loved one.
According to Chapman and Campbell, anyone can have this preference for receiving love through verbal expressions — with this primary choice having the ability to change over time as it’s not a rigid concept like an attachment style.
These words of appreciation may seem simple, but if this is your primary love language, it’s the perfect way to fill Chapman’s “love tank.” Therefore, negative words or a lack of words of encouragement can be extra hurtful for people with this love language.
When words of affirmation are your love language, it’s important that your partner works to incorporate that into your relationship.
Research shows that knowing your partner’s main love language is a great indicator of relationship satisfaction — as you know how to show them affection in a way that is personally meaningful.
Even if words of affirmation are not your main love language, you should make an effort to use different variations of positive affirmations to suit your partner’s needs.
So if you’re looking for some love language words of affirmation ideas or examples — we’ve got you covered!
Positive words of affirmation can have a number of benefits in a romantic relationship. Studies show that they give a boost in confidence, a strong feeling of self under psychological threats, and a positive push with one’s interpersonal relationships.
Overall, this language leads to boosted relationship satisfaction, improved communication, and more.
Once you’ve identified your own love language, it’s important to communicate that to your partner so they can take it on board.
However, it sometimes is difficult to communicate your emotional needs to your partner. Although it can feel like you’re asking for a lot (even though you’re not!), try and approach the conversation with openness and honesty — so your partner is clear on what you need from them in the relationship.
Emphasize why words of affirmation are important to you and provide examples of what you mean. Be open to their perspective and be willing to collaborate on how you can incorporate your love languages into the relationship.
"Sometimes, the words your partner offers can be the balm that calms the angriest internal storm, negative thoughts, and that's not a bad thing,” says Moraya Seeger DeGeare In-House Relationship Expert at Paired.
"Your partner may be less defensive when they sense the desire in your request."
By expressing your needs in this way, it’s easier to create an environment where you both feel like you can communicate openly without any misunderstandings.
“If we look at this from an attachment perspective, our partner is our secure place. Therefore, their words mean everything. Reminding them that their words hold so much value can make it feel like a lovely longing rather than an annoyed request that they're not doing enough,” says Seeger DeGeare.