The Two Relationship Aspects Deemed 'The New Love Languages' - And Why They Fit Right In

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Counselor and author Gary Chapman is perhaps most famous for his book "The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate." In it, he gives names to some of the previously unspecified relationship needs that most people have within a romantic union. He calls them love languages and according to him, there are five: words of affirmation, acts of service, gift giving, quality time, and physical touch. 

It is not uncommon for therapists to draw from these findings to support their work. After all, how we express love to our partners is at the crux of any healthy relationship. Apparently, we each identify with one of the five languages more than the others. We can ask ourselves a series of insightful questions in order to find out what our love language is. We can also figure out our partner's love language by getting them to do the quiz as well. Don't be surprised though, if your partner and you have different love languages. This just means that you have to set aside how you expect to be loved when you're showing love to your partner and vice versa. The key is to show love in a way your spouse feels it. 

According to eHarmony's dating trends report for 2023, however, there are two new love languages in the playing field. Turns out Chapman isn't the only one naming our relational needs.  

What are the two new love languages and how do they fit in?

It's easy to jump to Chapman's "physical touch" when someone says the word "intimacy" but with eharmony's report, what we are left with is, in fact, two relationship aspects that go a lot deeper than anything carnal. Being "emotionally seen" (otherwise known as emotional safety or security) and "sharing new experiences" with your partner are the two new love languages, according to the dating site. 

Emotional safety is a weighted word and can be closely linked to Chapman's "words of affirmation." At its foundation, an emotionally secure bond is one in which both partners feel authentic and confident in their own skin. There's vulnerability, honesty, freedom, and kindness. Both individuals feel seen and heard. What you won't find in an emotionally secure union is criticism, judgment, and defensiveness. Much like with someone who values words of affirmation, what you would be doing for your partner who has this need, is lifting them up and making them feel safe. One way to arrive at emotional security is via open and honest communication. 

If you find yourself booking tickets for a cruise with your partner, it's very likely that your love language is shared experiences. Not entirely dissimilar to Chapman's "quality time," with this new love language, you have a desire to bond over an activity you both find meaning in (via Pure Wow). The difference lies in the fact that the experience is something intentional you seek out. 

How do you get your partner to understand your love language?

If emotional security is important to you and you can talk about your fears, secrets, and passions without much difficulty, try not to expect your partner to jump at the prospect of doing the same, especially if they're someone who has trouble being vulnerable. 

Author, researcher, and motivational speaker Brené Brown, who has spoken a lot about vulnerability, told Forbes that "vulnerability is basically uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure." It is not hard to see, then, why some people brought up in particularly hostile environments struggle with being emotionally open. If you think your partner might be one of them, be patient with them, but communicate to them how loved you feel when you both spend time talking about the deep stuff. It might take some time for them to open up and communicate but you can lead by example.

Similarly, with sharing new experiences, it's important to understand that not everyone looks at new adventures or trips to distant lands as pleasurable ways to pass their time. Lovingly letting your partner know how important doing something special with them is to you can go a long way. If they're unwilling to start with big adventures, try suggesting smaller experiences within their comfort zone. Who knows? Before you know it, you both might be on to romantic getaways to give your marriage a new life