Love languages aren’t romantic

Kailey Krantz| Staff Writer

Love languages are a popular way for students to learn if they’re romantically compatible. However, leaning heavily into them can perpetuate unrealistic expectations that can lead to misunderstanding their partner’s emotional needs.

Love languages describe how we prefer to receive love and affection from others. These languages include acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, physical touch and words of affirmation.

The issue with love languages is their incredibly vague descriptions that can lead to an oversimplification of romantic values. 

Some nuances go into navigating a romantic relationship and love languages are viewed as a cheat sheet to solve relationship issues. 

That doesn’t make it fair for students who need genuine romantic advice and see that these love languages don’t explain the complex and difficult aspects of a long-term relationship.

If there are genuine issues in a student’s romantic relationship, there should be an effort to find common ground through effective communication or seeking relationship counseling if necessary. 

While love languages can be fun to read and learn about, they should be taken with a grain of salt. This theory shouldn’t be taken as the holy grail of romantic advice.

These love languages can quickly become a form of manipulation by making it seem like their significant other needs and desires are one-dimensional.

For example, words of affirmation. If someone has a silver tongue they can charm their partner which allows them to play the victim and gaslight their partner into thinking they’re the problem. 

Gift gifting, while we love to receive them, can quickly become a form of love bombing that can overwhelm their partner and send a message to them saying “I will buy your love”, trapping their lover in a gilded cage. 

Acts of service can take the stress off of doing everyday chores for your partner, but they shouldn’t feel like they owe you something in return. 

Quality time with your partner can make them feel loved and appreciated, but spending too much time with them can come off as clingy and erase their partner’s identity outside of the relationship. It doesn’t give them time to breathe and do the things they enjoyed doing before being in the relationship.

Physical touch, such as hand-holding, hugging and kissing, can sweep their partner off their feet, but people can get too handsy, resulting in physical harassment and assault when boundaries are crossed.

Blindly trusting love languages to save their relationship can lead to trouble down the road and toxic relationships can arise from this way of thinking.

The best way to be attentive and supportive of your partner’s needs and desires is to talk and listen to them, so we can adjust accordingly to their current needs. By having these conversations, we understand our partners better and can form a better foundation for a healthy, romantic relationship.

Love languages are a set of manipulative tactics, so we shouldn’t depend on them to have a healthy romantic relationship. 


The opinions presented on this page do not represent the views of the PantherNOW Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.

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