Are love languages ​​really the secret of a happy love relationship?

On April 22, 2022, a women’s magazine taste Online essay on theory about The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. According to this theory, the ways in which partners express and receive love in a relationship can be divided into five universal love languages. Chapman describes the five categories as affirmations, quality timeHelping and receiving gifts and carnal affection. Each of us will feel loved and appreciated through one specific language. According to the theory, it is especially important to learn to speak your partner’s love language. This will be the key ingredient to a happy and lasting relationship.

The American first presented the theory in book form in 1992. He used his many years of experience as a relationship therapist as a primary resource for identifying different languages. Therefore, systematic scientific research was not the basis of the theory, but his book was nonetheless The Five love languages It has sold more than 20 million copies worldwide. This theory has been enjoyed by the public for 30 years now, and new variations are still emerging. For example, there are already short quizzes in which you can determine the language of apology or appreciation. Love languages ​​are also on the rise on social media channels like TikTok. It’s time to get love languages Look at it through scientific glasses.

Professor Nicole Egbert (Kent State University) and Professor Dennis Polk (University of West Chester) wanted to build a bridge between popular theory and science with their peer-reviewed research since 2006. They first developed a tool of love languages, then compared it to a scientific classification that includes behaviors that increase satisfaction with the relationship. This scientific classification was developed in 2000 by Laura Stafford (Bowling Green State University), Marianne Dainton (La Salle University), and Stephen Haas (Ohio State University). It contains seven categories that describe actions that help maintain a relationship. It relates to openness, assertiveness, positivity, task division, social networking, counseling, and conflict management. 110 students in a committed relationship completed both the Love Language Tool and the rating questionnaire. Next, Egbert and Polk compared the results. The data showed significant relationships between some of the subscales of the two measurement tools. The relationships shown suggest that love languages ​​may indeed reflect some behaviors within the scientific classification of Stafford, Danton, and Haas. The fact that scholars only allowed students to participate is a limitation of this study. Because of their young age, their experience in romantic relationships is still very limited.

else peer reviewed A 2017 study looked at whether 67 romantic couples reported relationship satisfaction when both partners chose the same love language. It turns out that this is not the case. When both partners spoke a different love language, women’s self-regulation skills in particular increased relationship satisfaction. These skills refer to the ability to make decisions about an individual’s behavior and to direct behavior in changing circumstances Effect love languages In terms of satisfaction with the relationship, it turned out to be rather small. Despite the lack of scientific support, many American couples therapy programs use Chapman’s theory to introduce couples with love languages. Scientists from West Virginia University followed a two-hour program, studying its effect on 19 pairs. After six weeks of training, couples reported no increase in relationship quality or increased confidence in the future of the relationship. Husbands felt more empathy for their partners than before. Both studies have some limitations. For example, scientists with self-report questionnaires relied entirely on participants’ subjective insights. The number of responders in both studies was also low.

the number of peer reviewed Studies at Chapman love languages It appears very limited and does not yet provide unequivocal scientific evidence for the theory. There are some studies and scholars who recognize the importance of some elements of love languages. For example, an article in the University of the South notes the psychological benefits of gift giving within a relationship. It is a way of expressing gratitude, concern, and appreciation towards the other person, which strengthens the bond between two people. Another study showed the positive relationship between relationship satisfaction and physical touch. This type of research does not constitute scientific evidence for the theory as a whole, but rather indicates the effectiveness of some elements of the theory.

Even a few scholars from Holland and Flanders who gained experience in romantic relationships could not confirm the scientific character of the entire theory. “I have yet to hear about love languages ​​in the scientific literature,” said Professor Leslie Verhofstadt, Head of the Relations and Family Research Group at Ghent University. Dr Laura Sels of the University of Ghent and Dr. Henk Jan Conradi of the University of Amsterdam indicated in their email that they are less familiar with the theory. The study was joined by the Critical Evaluation of Pseudoscience and the Paranormal (SKEPP), an association that investigates particularly improbable opinions. The theory was also unknown within the SKEPP team of experts and no scientific evidence was found.

theory about love languages Written by Chapman is not based on scientific research, and the limited studies since then haven’t fully confirmed the idea behind love languages. At present, there is still very little scientific evidence to support the theory Five love languages to support or refute. Many academic experts in the field of romantic relationships are not familiar with the theory either.

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