Listen-Up Lovers: There Are 2 New Love Languages (& They’re All About Connection)

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Whether your heart swells when your partner empties the dishwasher or when they surprise you with that necklace you were eyeing over the weekend, identifying your love language can be a go-to resource in maintaining a strong relationship over time. Historically, there have been five ways people tend to communicate and receive love—aka the five love languages—coined by marriage counselor and author, Gary Chapman: words of affirmation, quality time, physical touch, receiving gifts and acts of service. But an eharmony dating trends report, found that 46 percent of adults in the United States expressed that their way of receiving and expressing love wasn’t included. Enter, two brand-new additions: shared experiences and emotional security.

With the help of three relationship experts, we break down everything you need to know about the two new love languages.

Meet the Experts

The 2 New Love Languages

1. Shared Experiences

If you’re the type of person who marks up your shared calendar with activities (bowling with Chris and Olivia on Saturday and a Kings of Leon concert on Tuesday), then chances are, your love language is shared experiences. Like the 38 percent of participants in the survey, people who place shared experiences at the top of their list love and give love by creating shared memories with their significant other. Different than the traditional love language, quality time, shared experiences focuses on finding deep-rooted bonds over new and intentional adventures. “It’s both the experience itself and the thoughtfulness you put into making that experience happen that makes them feel loved,” House explains.

Signs This Might Be Your Love Language:

  • You feel closer to your partner after attending an event together
  • You love completing a group task
  • You prefer to always have someone along for the ride
  • You feel closest when you’re making new memories
  • You prefer to be doing something with your partner

How to Get Your Partner on Board

OK, your partner is a such a words of affirmation person, and a little apprehensive about adventurous dates, but no biggie. House stresses that rather than placing pressure on the importance of the activity, focus on how fun the experience will be for the two of you. Maybe even suggesting the cute photos you will get or how touching the memory will be in ten years. Let them know the experiences don’t have to be expensive or elaborate to take off any financial strain. We suggest you try out something new that caters to both of your interests, like signing up for a beginners yoga class, watching a movie in the park (vino in bag) or shopping at your local flea market.

What to Watch Out For

If you seek shared experiences, be careful not to get tunnel-visioned on pursuing the adrenaline rush or those first love jitters all the time, warns Dr. Tara and Boodram. They caution those who identify with this language to make self-discernments and recognize when you’re searching for thrill after thrill rather than tending to their needs, too. And watch out for signs of dependency or co-dependency. Doing a cold plunge once a year with your S.O. is one thing, but pressuring them to constantly keep up with new escapades to prove their love for you is a no-no in our book.

2. Emotional Security

If you feel closer to your S.O. when you’re baring your heart and soul during intimate pillow talks, then your love language might be emotional security. Rooted in conversation, House notes emotional security happens when a person feels seen, safe, secure and accepted for being their authentic self. Typically, you want to extract the why behind the what during conversations—meaning you probably tend to dig a bit deeper than surface level, says House. If your love language is emotional security, once your partner starts asking (and answering) the “whys,” you’ll probably feel a stronger connection.

Signs This Might Be Your Love Language:

  • You like asking a lot of questions
  • You feel closest when your partner is sharing their fears, dreams, past, etc.
  • You’re a deep thinker and curious listener
  • You wear your heart on your sleeve
  • You enjoy the “scary” conversations

How to Get Your Partner on Board

Emotional security can be a difficult love language to affirm since it requires those walls to come down for both parties. First, it’s important to lay down your expectations. To do so, communicate to your partner that you feel over-the-moon when they’re actively listening to you and getting vulnerable right back. Suggesting examples works well, too, like letting them know that you loved that time they set aside their phone and responded with more than a yes or no answer when you asked them about kids. If they’re still struggling to come up with questions that are connecting with your needs, here are twelve essential things you should know about your partner to help you guide those hard-hitting Qs you might be looking for.

What to Watch Out For

If all the above sounds like you, be aware that emotional security can easily border on emotional dependency, according to Boodram. You’ll want to make sure you feel emotionally secure before entering a relationship, as not to become over-reliant on your partner to care for your emotions, says Dr. Tara. Instead, focus on becoming a prodependent couple—one that supports each other’s needs in a balanced way. This will stop emotional security from running amuck.

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Stephanie is a natural savant in the fashion, beauty, and dating & relationships beats. She graduated with a bachelor of arts at the University of San Diego, where she majored...