18 Languages for Modern Love

18 Languages for Modern Love

Have you felt like the 5 love languages don’t resonate with you? MaJhane shares an alternative by introducing the 18 languages for Modern Love by Anne Hodder-Shipp. If you are interested in the transcribed version of this episode, click here. If you want to stay updated, be sure to check out this page!

Why The 5 Love Languages Might Not Work for You

the 5 love languages book cover photo

If you arent familiar, The five love languages were created by Gary Chapman, a marriage counselor and minister with academic roots in religious education, theology, and philosophy. This is all well and fine, but you already know that this book was created and intended for heterosexual relationships with that background information. If you feel like these 5 languages work for you, that is awesome! I’m probably still going to take the quizzes now and again to see if my preferences change. However, I wanted to use my platform to offer another more inclusive alternative.

Who is Anne Hodder-Shipp?

Anne Hodder-Shipp is a certified sex and relationship educator who’s worked in the field of sexuality since 2007. So you already know she is coming from a place of experience and passion. They saw the need for representation from all relationships, not just monogamous, romantic ones. While The Five Love Languages focuses on heterosexual relationships, the 18 languages for Modern Love focuses on an “interpersonal interaction,” which can range from romantic to platonic to everything else in between.

The 18 languages for Modern Love

Below I will label the 18 languages for modern love with an example of what it can look like and what it won’t look like. For a more in-depth look at each language, please be sure to check out the ebook, which includes visuals, examples, and background information!

a visual of the 18 languages for modern love: accountability, personal growth, platonic touch, solidarity, +14 more!
  1. Accountability
    • Ex: following through on change
      • What it isn’t: making a “both sides” argument
  2. Active listening
    • Ex: an open curious mind
      • What it isn’t: saying “hm, cool”
  3. Acts of empathy
    • Ex: saying “do you want advice or to just feel heard”
      • What it isn’t: waiting for your turn to share
  4. Affirming communications
    • Ex: supportive words during challenges
      • What it isn’t: saying “thanks, you too”
  5. Bestowing
    • Ex: something that has been given without expectation of reciprocity
      • What it isn’t: an apology replacer
  6. Emotional Labor
    • Ex: managing emotions in challenging situations
      • What it isn’t: women’s work
  7. Engaged experiences
    • Ex: watching each other’s favorite show
      • What it isn’t: an excuse to take an expensive vacation
  8. Intentional time
    • Ex: deliberately scheduling it
      • What it isn’t: piggybacking on someone else’s time
  9. Personal growth
    • Ex: setting & respecting boundaries
      • What it isn’t: expecting others to grow with you
  10. Platonic touch
    • Ex: weighted blankets
      • What it isn’t: foreplay or asking for sex
  11. Problem-solving
    • Ex: saying “What can I do”
      • What it isn’t: unsolicited suggestions
  12. Providing
    • Ex: sugar mamas/sugar daddies/sugar babies
      • What it isn’t: enforced gender roles
  13. Shared beliefs
    • Ex: preferred relationship styles
      • What it isn’t: agreeing on everything
  14. Solidarity
    • Ex: calling out micro-aggressions
      • What it isn’t: defending a perpetrator because they’re a friend
  15. Teamwork
    • Ex: doing a puzzle
      • What it isn’t: dependence on a partner
  16. Thoughtful service
    • Ex: holding the door for a stranger
      • What it isn’t: tit for tat scorekeeping
  17. Undivided attention
    • Ex: attentive body language
      • What it isn’t responding to texts during lulls
  18. Upskilling
    • Ex: receiving with gratitude
      • What it isn’t: lecturing or soapboxing

I am now aware of the 18 languages for modern love, now what?

If you’re like me, you probably wonder, okay, I know the different languages, now what? Eighteen doesn’t seem like too high of a number, but it’s a pretty big stretch compared to the 5 love languages. I decided to reach out to Anne Hodder-Shipp to see if she had any supplementary tools to put this information to use. She informed me that her LL’s (love languages) aren’t as quizzable because she felt it turns the process into a “tell me which one I am” instead of a “let’s see what resonates with my mind and body.” And I 100% agree with her! Instead, she is in the process of working on a yes/no/maybe worksheet to help people see what resonates with them. If this is something you are interested in, make sure you connect with her socials so you can stay updated on her latest drops!

To summarize

The 5 Love Languages may continue to be a great fit for you and that is awesome! If you have anyone in your life who may not resonate with those languages tell them about this version and see if something sticks! Keep in mind that focusing on interpersonal relationships may fare better for you in the long run. Don’t say MamMaJ didn’t put you on game 😉


This week’s challenge is to spend some time looking into these modern love languages. If you don’t want to purchase the ebook (you should reconsider), look at the other free resources Anne Hodder-Shipp offers on her website! The goal here is to tap into other parts of ourselves so make sure you go back and look at the list of languages and see which ones resonate with you the most. Remember, the beauty of this list is that more than one language can connect with you, so don’t worry if the languages add up!

If you find this information helpful, be sure to check out my other posts! Until we meet again, please be kind to one another, and from the bottom of my heart, I love you.

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