There are certain things to keep in mind when it comes to learning your loved ones’ love languages. It’s always beneficial to lean into the types of ways your people like to receive love as well as how they prefer to display love. A key thing to keep in mind though, is what to absolutely avoid. Each of the five love languages – Physical Touch, Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Quality Time, and Receiving Gifts – have specific wants and deal-breakers. Keeping an eye out for the nuanced things that can make the love sour should also be a top priority if you want to speak their language. Read on to discover how to navigate the love languages with ease and understanding of the main no-nos.

What to avoid with the Physical Touch love language

If you didn’t know, forehead kisses, hugs, hand-squeezes, and hour-long sofa cuddles are all a currency that the Physical Touch love language person in your life is going to appreciate. If there is anything to avoid, it would be neglecting to show affection physically for long periods of time. Even if you’re not hugely into expressing love through touch, small meaningful gestures can also go a long way. Avoid making the physical connection feel brash or thoughtless. For instance, it may be super isolating for your physical touch love language person if you don’t acknowledge them with tenderness; a rushed hug or non-caring embrace is just as bad as no embrace. Resisting or avoiding their touch or initiations for touch will be hard to reconcile for this love language too.

What to avoid with the Words of Affirmation love language

Speaking positive and encouraging words is a must for this love language. Whether in the form of a note, a text, a flurry of loving affirmations from your TikTok scrolling, or otherwise; what you say counts. Considering that this love language feels most held when you put your words to work, they are hyper-alert to the effects of a harsh tone, insulting language, and a reluctance in praising them. Avoid keeping them in the dark about how you feel too, they don’t enjoy emotional withholding. Using your words negatively or diminishing their efforts or things they’re passionate about won’t go down well at all.

What to avoid with the Acts of Service love language

If actions speak louder than words, then non-action is the greatest turn-off possible for this love language. It goes without saying that breaking your promises, false commitments, and unreliability will ward off this love language individual from keeping you close. This love language is all about feeling their load lifted, in grand and everyday ways. Even if you do offer to help, doing so in a way that creates more work or shows an unwillingness is the opposite of what counts as loving in this context. Love is definitely about service (i.e. support) for this love language, and so it says a lot when they are met with an unsupportive or ‘moan and groan’ response to their needs.

What to avoid with the Quality Time love language

Quality time individuals really aren’t into feeling secondary. It may be unintentional or a consequence of living in a fast-paced, short-attention-span-wielding society, but for most, the greatest challenge will not be multi-tasking when dealing with this love language. Yes, that includes being on your phone while enjoying time together, or being otherwise distracted during outings. Think of this love language as feeling most loved when they receive reciprocated VIP treatment. In this sense, making the effort seem one-sided, postponing dates, drifting off when they’re speaking to you, and not making them feel like a priority might be triggering and signs of lovelessness for these individuals. They may also feel unimportant if the quality time is not high quality. For example, planning the same routine or type of date every time you meet rather than tailoring it to who they are may ruin the chances of getting closer to this person.

What to avoid with the Receiving Gifts love language

People who enjoy receiving gifts as their primary love language may feel unloved, or unlistened to, when the gifts don’t actually represent who they are. This love language, on the surface level, is rooted in feeling loved with a physical manifestation of your care for them. At a deeper level, the gift should speak to your intimate bond with the person. Thoughtless or generic gifts aren’t going to encourage a sense of being seen. It’s also recommended to avoid showing resistance in giving and receiving gifts. This makes the process of exchange seem less precious than it is for this love language. Gifts for birthdays and noteworthy celebrations will be highly expected, and forgetting special dates like these will not go unnoticed.

Related: How To Show Up For The Physical Touch Love Language Girlies