What are words of affirmation as a love language?

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A compatibility and relationship expert explains the meaning behind this communication-focussed love language and how to talk about it with your partner(s)

words Lucy O'Brien

If you’ve been on any dating app as of late (or, like me, have been listening to SZA’s new album on repeat), then you’ll be no stranger to the concept of the five love languages. No doubt you’ve taken a quiz to find out what one you “speak”, and have even used it as a witty Hinge prompt (guilty). But what’s the psychology behind these dating buzzwords? Let’s talk about words of affirmation and what it means to both express and receive this love language.

Woo got in touch with match-making expert Louella Alderson, Co-Founder of So Syncd, a dating app that matches compatible personality types, to get the low-down on what words of affirmation really mean – both receiving it for yourself or learning how to best give it to a partner.

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What are words of affirmation?

“Words of Affirmation are words or phrases that express appreciation, love, or encouragement in a supportive way. They can be used to build up someone's self-esteem, confidence, and trust in a relationship. Examples of words of affirmation might include: "You are amazing", "I'm proud of you", "You've done a great job!", and "I appreciate you". These words can be in the form of direct communication, notes left around the house or text messages.”

Words of affirmation are my love language…

“Let your partner know that words are meaningful to you and why they matter. Explain that it can be a note left on the bedside table, a message of support in difficult times, or simply being praised for something you did well.”

Words of affirmation are my partner’s love language…

“Tell them how much you appreciate and care for them. Compliment them on something they have done or write them a heartfelt letter or card expressing your feelings for them. In fact, a simple "I love you" can make all the difference. Just make sure that your words and compliments are genuine.”

Are love languages even important?

For Alderson, openly communicating your love language to someone you want to build a healthy relationship with is time well spent, and is vital when communicating your emotional needs. And it seems she’s not the only one: a survey conducted by SoSync found that, among its app users, 81% have used love languages as a way to improve their relationships.

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