Love and Apology Languages

Posted: February 27, 2024 | Author: Savannah | Read Time: 5 minutes

In honor of Valentine's Day, the Southern Utah University Health and Wellness Center has decided to deep dive into the love languages, and also into the lesser known apology languages! If you’re wondering what an apology language is, don’t worry, they’re not nearly as well known as the love languages are—but they’re just as important! To begin, let’s go over the 5 love languages as listed in Gary Chapman’s "The 5 Love Languages", the therapist who gave names to the love languages as we know them today. 

The first of the five love languages is Words of Affirmation, which is “about expressing affection through spoken words, praise, or appreciation. When this is someone's primary love language, they enjoy kind words and encouragement, uplifting quotes, love notes, and cute text messages. You can make this person's day by complimenting them or pointing out what they do well.”

The second love language is Quality Time. “Someone with this love language values your full presence when you are together. They feel most loved if you give them your undivided attention and spend time together in meaningful and interactive ways. This means putting down the cell phone, turning off the computer, making eye contact, thoughtfully interacting, and actively listening.”

The third love language that people resonate with is Physical Touch. “A person with physical touch as their primary love language feels love through physical affection. Aside from sex, they feel loved when their partner holds their hand, touches their arm, or gives them a massage at the end of the day, for example. This person's idea of a wonderful date night might be cuddling on the couch while watching a movie, slow dancing together with a lot of physical contact, or taking a long walk together while holding hands. They feel most loved when physically interacting with their partner.”

The fourth love language is Acts of Service, which are “nice things you do for your partner that make them feel loved and appreciated, such as: Helping with the dishes, running errands, vacuuming, or putting gas in the car. If your partner's main love language is acts of service, they'll notice and appreciate little things you do for them. They tend to perform acts of service and kindness for others, too.”

The final love language is Receiving Gifts. “For someone who resonates with this love language, gifts symbolize love, care, and affection. They treasure not only the gift itself but also the time and effort the gift-giver put into selecting it. People who enjoy receiving gifts as part of their primary love language do not necessarily expect large or expensive presents; it's more the effort and thoughtfulness behind the gift that count. When you take the time to pick out a gift specifically for them, it tells them you are thoughtful and really know and care about them and their preferences. People with this love language can often remember every little gift they have received from their loved ones because it makes such an impact on them.”

Ivy Kwong, a licensed marriage and family therapist says, “Love languages can change over time, evolving as your relationship does. As your needs change, your love languages can too. Keep checking in with what you are feeling and communicate openly and honestly with your partner.”

Next are the apology languages. There are also five main apology languages that correspond to your partner and their needs. Sometimes when we apologize and we feel like our apology isn’t impacting our partner the way we want it to, perhaps it would be helpful to reassess which apology language we’re using.

“The first form of saying sorry is Expressing Regret, i.e., apologizing for your actions and the consequences thereof. This apology language is always more effective when you explicitly state what you’re apologizing for. A simple sorry won’t suffice for the person on the receiving end.”

The next apology language is Accepting Responsibility. “This language entails owning up to one’s actions. This is usually expressed as “It was wrong of me to get mad at you” or “My behavior was inexcusable last night, I’m really sorry about that.” It is a good mark of self-awareness and respect for your partner. Again, don’t try to offer clarifications after saying sorry. Just let your significant other know that you’re fully cognizant of your errors.”

Next is Making Restitution. “You can think of this as “making it up” to your partner or “making things right.” While there’s no way of undoing the past, we can always work on mending the present for a sweeter future. Asking questions like “How can I make this easier for you?” or “Can I do something to make things better?” or the easiest, “What would you like me to do for you at the moment?” This apology language reflects your willingness to make amends. Rather than making assumptions about what your partner wants or needs, this method of saying sorry lets them tell you precisely what they need in terms of amends.”

The fourth apology language is Genuinely Repenting - Of all the languages of apology, this one is the most thoughtful. It consists of stating not only remorse but also a desire to change. For instance, “I promise to be more considerate with my behavior. This will never happen again but I need your patience as I work toward it.” This approach reflects your willingness to work on yourself, promotes cooperation, and requests the listener’s patience in the relationship.”

The final apology language is Requesting Forgiveness. “American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr wrote, “Forgiveness is the final form of love.” And you will surely get your partner to pardon you. Provided you actually ask for their forgiveness. This can be done by saying things like, “I hope you can forgive me for everything that has happened” or “Please forgive me for what I’ve done. I’m really sorry for compromising our relationship.” If this is your partner’s apology language, these words will certainly melt their heart.”

These are not cure-alls for every situation that you and your partner will get into, but it’s always worthwhile to try new ways to show your love for your partner! For more information about the love and apology languages, please check out these links below, or visit us in the Health and Wellness Center!

Tags: Health and Wellness