On TikTok, a quiz that determines your primary love language is going viral.
The theory of love languages was developed by marriage counselor Gary Chapman in his 1992 book.
I tried the quiz to see if my preconceptions about how I express love matched up to my results.
TikTok users have been captivated by a quiz that tells them what their primary love language is.
Confession time: I'm involved in a deeply passionate love affair with personality quizzes.
I spend an embarrassing amount of hours procrastinating by taking different quizzes that match my personality to a type of food or emotion. They're a largely harmless way to spend an evening that often boosts my mood.
When I saw a quiz about the five love languages circulating on TikTok, I knew I had to add it to my list.
The quiz is taken from the "5 Love Languages" website, which was launched by a marriage counselor who first developed a theory of the same name in 1992.
On TikTok, participants have been going viral for screenshotting their results and sharing them on the platform, alongside a picture or short video of themselves. Many of the videos about the quiz use the same audio, a sped-up version of "Baby Came Home 2/The Valentines" by The Neighbourhood.
More than 104,000 videos have been posted on TikTok using this sound, and the majority of the most-viewed videos with the audio show people taking part in the "5 Love Languages" quiz.
The theory of love languages itself is also a popular point of discussion on TikTok, with the hashtag #lovelanguages amassing more than 318 million views.
The "5 love languages" theory was developed by an American marriage counselor in 1992.
Author and marriage counselor Gary Chapman first revealed his theory of the five love languages in his 1992 book, "The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate."
In the book, Chapman suggested that there are five main ways that a person expresses love toward a romantic partner: "quality time" (wanting to spend alone time with someone or do a fun activity with your partner); "acts of service" (performing tasks to assist them); "receiving and giving gifts"; "words of affirmation" (verbally encouraging them); and "physical touch" with a partner.
Chapman's book became hugely successful around the world and was on The New York Times bestseller list from 2009 to 2013. Chapman has since released other books expanding on his theory and launched the "5 Love Languages" website, which is home to an online quiz that's become mega-popular among TikTokers.
When I tried the quiz myself, I had set expectations about what my results would say.
I'd heard about the theory of love languages before Chapman's quiz started going viral, so as I opened up the quiz, I was already predicting what my results were going to say.
First of all, I am extremely into hugs, to the point where everyone I know finds it annoying, so, I was pretty sure "physical touch" would be my top result.
Second, I absolutely despise the concept of gift giving. Having to think of a good gift idea for a big birthday or occasion stresses me out to the highest extreme, and I roll my eyes at every predictable rom-com scene where the love interest turns up at the door with a bouquet after having just made a terribly awful mistake — as if a $20 gas station present is going to fix everything.
With that in mind, I was also convinced that "receiving gifts" would be my lowest score.
The first few questions of the quiz were very easy and straightforward to answer.
The very first question on the quiz asked if I was an "adult," "teenager," or if I was "taking this quiz for my child."
I was mildly confused about why anyone would want to take this quiz for a child because I felt like most people think about the theory in terms of romantic love. However, the description on the quiz says it is suitable for "couples, singles, teens, and children," so I guess I learned that it's something that can be used for parent-children relationships as well. (Chapman released a follow-up to "Love Languages," "The 5 Love Languages for Children: The Secret to Loving Children Effectively," in 1997.)
The quiz then asked if I was single or in a relationship. I responded with "single," and happily so, might I add.
I found that a lot of questions were geared towards romantic love, and I didn't feel like these were relevant to me as a single person.
The remaining questions in the quiz all followed the same format, asking me to choose between two options based on what is more "meaningful" to me in a relationship.
Lots of the questions were quite broad and could be applied to any type of relationship, such as a friendship or family bond. For example, I was asked to decide if it was more meaningful for someone I love to send me a text out of the blue or hug me.
However, I found that other questions were specifically geared towards romantic relationships, such as one question with an option for preference for a "back rub" from someone I love. I don't know about anyone else, but I don't often have the desire to ask my pals for back rubs, so I think this was more of a question for couples.
I feel like I wasn't really able to answer romance-focused questions, since I'm not in a relationship. I found myself randomly picking answers to some of these questions because I had no strong opinion on them, and I worried that this might skew my end result.
After a while, I felt that the questions got very repetitive and boring
There are 33 questions in the quiz, and answering them all was no small feat.
My interest in answering the questions dwindled as I progressed through the quiz because a lot of the options were very similar.
Of course, there are only five love languages, and all of the answers have to correspond to one of them, but I thought that even the way the questions were phrased was sometimes repetitive and unexciting.
For example, several options corresponded to the language of "receiving gifts" by simply asking if I thought it was meaningful to receive a gift during the day or on holiday. I feel the quiz could have been much more immersive if I was given examples of gifts or asked to imagine scenarios where I was given a specific gift, so I could think more deeply about how much that gift would mean to me in the situation.
I thought I would get "physical touch" as my top love language, but I actually got "quality time," which surprised me.
When I finally finished answering all the questions, I was pleased to see that I was right about "receiving gifts" being by lowest score. However, I was also shocked to find that my top answer wasn't "physical touch," but "quality time."
I feel like I had largely overlooked this love language, but when I read the description of how Chapman defines "quality time," I realized I identified with a lot of what it said.
The quiz's description of "quality time" did not just describe doing activities together, as I thought it would, but added that, "Distractions, postponed activities, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful" for a person whose primary love language it is. I felt that these extra details helped me to understand the love language better and realize that it was much more important to me than I originally thought.
The explanation of each of the love languages underneath the quiz helped me to understand them more deeply
The quiz did not just explain my top love language, but it also included a description of the four other love languages underneath my results chart.
The descriptions helpfully explained the nuances within each of the love languages and why they are important to people.
The descriptions even helped me to understand that "receiving gifts," which I've never been a fan of, is about more than just "materialism," but involves feeling "known" by the other person. It also explained that "a missed birthday or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous" for the person receiving the gift, which I felt was a useful tip.
Personality quizzes often go viral on TikTok, but I think this one was one of the more useful ones I have taken
TikTok is often a great place to find new quizzes to try, because of various trends that involve people sharing their results on the app.
However, I found that the "5 Love Languages" test is one of the more useful quizzes I've found on the app because it is based on an actual theory developed by an experienced professional, and not just a silly but entertaining quiz made by a random person on a quiz website.
By comparison, when I tried the viral TikTok "human feeling" quiz that matches your personality to a type of emotion, I found that the results were quite confusing because they did not offer a detailed description of what each of them meant in the same way this quiz did.
Overall, I enjoyed the experience of taking the quiz because it helped me to learn more about the theory behind love languages. And even though I'm happily single now, the knowledge I've gained from this experience has made me think differently about what my future relationship might look like.
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