You may have heard about love languages. The idea was made popular by author Gary Chapman, who wrote the book “The 5 Love Languages.” Well, it turns out that love languages apply to money, too. But before we get into that, let’s unpack the concept a little more.

What are love languages?

According to Chapman, people like to receive love in different ways. Problems can arise when partners speak different love languages. On the other hand, being aware of you and your partner’s love languages can help strengthen your bond. The five most common languages are words of affirmation, quality time, physical touch, acts of service, and receiving gifts.

Let’s say that your partner feels the most loved when someone does acts of service for them. But you express love through words. You tell your partner you love them all the time. You leave sticky romantic notes on the fridge. Meanwhile, instead of feeling the love, they are getting increasingly resentful because you never do the dishes or take out the trash. See how clashing love languages can cause misunderstandings? What you need may not be what they need when it comes to showing care and affection – and vice-versa.

Money love languages

Now that you get how love languages work, let’s talk about money love languages. You are probably aware that money is a leading cause of relationship dissatisfaction and divorce. You may be feeling the strain and fighting about money with your partner.

The ideal scenario is being on the same page when it comes to your shared finances. In practice though, needs clash – just like love languages can differ. Understanding your money love language can therefore be game-changing for your relationship.

1. Words of affirmation

If your love language is words of affirmation, you are likely to appreciate honest, transparent conversations about money. You also get very hurt if your partner hides expenses or refuses to have financial conversations.

2. Quality time

If your love language is quality time, a weekly money date can work wonders for your relationship. What’s a money date? It’s a weekly check-in where you and your partner devote time for planning and reviewing financial goals. We have a handy money date guide for you that will take you through every step of a money date for different relationship stages.

3. Physical touch

If your love language is physical touch, you’re likely more careful with money when you can physically feel it, according to Intuit. You may prefer getting bills in the mail instead of electronic ones or gravitate towards budgeting methods such as cash stuffing.

4. Acts of service

If acts of service are your love language, nothing is sexier to you than your partner creating a beautiful budget spreadsheet to track your finances. You feel loved when your partner comes up with savvy plans to improve the way you manage money, such as comparing debt consolidation loans for you two. And you get especially annoyed when your partner doesn’t contribute to financial management.

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5. Receiving gifts

If your love language is receiving gifts, you’ll love receiving any gifts that improve your finances as a couple – think, a new personal finance book or sessions with a financial advisor. Or you’ll be over the moon when your partner puts money aside to buy you a coveted item.

Bottom line

Take the time to reflect on the way money love languages show up in your relationship. Come up with a game plan to tailor the way you approach finances to you and your partner’s preferences. You’ll not only feel closer, but also improve the way you navigate your finances together in the process.