The 5 Love Language Pairings That Work The Best Together

When we give and receive love from our partners, it can appear in different forms. Some of us prefer to be showered with words of affection, while others prefer our significant other to show us their love by helping with daily tasks. No matter your preference, it is beneficial for both partners to know the other's love language. Because if you exchange love in different ways, it's easy to get wires crossed and accidentally leave one partner feeling lonely, unappreciated, or that the relationship is one-sided.

According to Gary Chapman, creator of this concept, we tend to speak five love languages: acts of service, physical touch, quality time, gifts, and words of affirmation (via 5 Love Languages). Knowing your significant other's love language can help you show them affection in their preferred way and understand their needs. This can improve communication and the overall quality of your relationship (via Psych Central). Plus, it provides great inspiration for significant others wanting to spoil their partners.

Of course, knowing is only half the battle. Ideally, your love languages will complement each other so that affection can flow freely in your relationship. With that in mind, are there love languages that work better together than others? While any match-up can be successful with a little effort, these may be the love language pairings that gel naturally from the start.

Quality time and physical touch

Quality time and physical touch are two love languages that are extremely compatible in terms of showing affection and physical attraction. While one person craves the touch of their significant other, the other partner can have their quality time needs met. Physical touch doesn't always necessarily come down to sex (via Verily). It can also mean sharing simple physical gestures while you spend time together, satisfying both partners. Holding hands on a walk, giving a massage, or cuddling your partner close during a movie all work to please people who prefer these languages of love.

This pairing can often make for a wildly intimate and passionate partnership. "Quality time can easily turn into intimate time, resulting in a 'win-win' for both people," relationship expert Jaime Bronstein tells Bustle. "If this couple can be physically close to one another — through holding hands and PDA — even outside of the bedroom, they have the potential to thrive."

Physical touch and acts of service

Much like quality time and physical touch are natural bedfellows, physical touch can also make a happy and natural pairing with acts of service. Think of all the ways that physicality can blur the lines between affectionate and therapeutic: rubbing an S.O.'s tired feet after a long day, helping them clean a scrape or change a bandage, or providing a romantic full-body massage to knead away a partner's tension.

These gentle touches can be sensual or completely innocent — the more important point is that they convey a shared fondness. "When you hear that someone's love language is physical touch, it can be easy to assume that this means sexual touching, but that is not necessarily the case," psychotherapist Rhonda Richards-Smith tells MindBodyGreen. Rather, receiving a partner's touch can be an experience that's "soothing, relaxing, and gives you that extra boost that you need."

Enter the warm combination of physical touch and acts of service. Whether on the giving or receiving end of physical attention, both partners in this love language pairing are able to get value out of the exchange as touch becomes a pure embodiment of service itself. When these two love languages overlap, it can create chances for each partner to intuitively express their deep emotions — as well as for each partner to receive love in a way that's meaningful for them. As long as both people remain engaged, this pairing can result in a fairly equal exchange of affection, meaning that no one feels overlooked or unappreciated.

Quality time and words of affirmation

Most couples spend a decent amount of their time together. But what qualifies these shared hours as quality time? Some might argue that it's a sense of connection and engagement. Think about it: Sitting beside your partner, both scrolling away on your phones, probably doesn't feel like your closest moment. But leisurely conversations — whether you're having a heart-to-heart, wistfully brainstorming for your future, or simply catching up with each others' days — can foster a real sense of closeness.

This is also why the quality time love language tends to be a well-matched pairing with words of affirmation. "When we prioritize spending time together in a meaningful way, it can often lead to deeper dialogues and feelings of admiration being shared," eHarmony relationship expert Jennifer Teplin tells The Everygirl.

Any activity that includes a chance to converse can be fulfilling for this partnership, allowing quality-time partners to revel in the sense of connection while words-of-affirmation partners soak up the attention of their loved ones. Bear in mind that words of affirmation don't always have to come in the form of direct compliments. Even expressing hopes for your life together can verbally reassure a words-of-affirmation partner of commitment and love, contributing to the happiness and security of the relationship.

Acts of service and words of affirmation

At its core, the acts of service love language is all about providing and receiving tangible support from a partner. From a ride to the airport to a fresh cup of coffee every morning, dealing in acts of service means showing affection through practical gestures both big and small. These thoughtful favors provide a natural opportunity to exchange gratitude and compliments for a job well done, meaning that this love language dovetails nicely with words of affirmation.

When a person shows their love with acts of service, it's generally with the intent to make their S.O.'s life easier or more pleasant. Hearing a thank you from a words-of-affirmation partner can signal that they are making a positive impact, show that their efforts are appreciated, and provide a fulfilling bit of confirmation that their love is being received.

Of course, it's important for this pairing to ensure that words of affirmation are flowing both ways, so the more verbal partner can also receive their preferred brand of affection. But this can easily fit into the wheelhouse of an acts-of-service partner. For instance, even a small gesture like including a cute love note while packing a partner's lunch can be an act of service that clearly expresses affection to a loved one who needs concrete compliments and declarations. As MasterClass notes, creating a cycle of service and appreciation will ensure that each partner feels seen and valued.

Receiving gifts and acts of service

Two love languages that are really compatible are acts of service and receiving gifts. As couples therapist Jennifer Seip explains to Women's Health, both of these languages require partners to think about what their significant other would like to receive, making the process of loving quite selfless. Receiving gifts isn't just about materialism; it's about appreciating the effort and thoughtfulness put into a gift. This makes it a good match for acts of service, which values the same things. When you're offering gifts or providing your talents in the form of service, you are giving a part of yourself and your time to your partner. Doing the dishes, washing the car, bringing home flowers, or simply helping with the groceries are all great ways to show you truly care. 

No matter your love language, most pairings can work just fine together. The key is seeking out how your partner prefers to be adored. By working on creative ways to show you care, you can help your relationship avoid a plateau and keep your love life fresh and exciting.