Interview with Love Nudge Relationship App’s Creator Zack Williamson

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If you’ve ever heard of Gary Chapman, then you’ve definitely heard of the 5 Love Languages. It’s one of the most iconic and impactful relationship models ever—and that still might be an understatement. But what you may not know is that the Love Languages team has actually created a relationship app called Love Nudge. Described as “the personal assistant for your relationship”, this app helps you to set relationship goals, guides you in better supporting your partner, and even helps you track your progress. If you’re in a relationship and want to see it succeed, this is truly a must-download (and it’s free to join).

Today, our Matt Seymour got the privilege of sitting down with Love Nudge creator and manager Zach Williamson. The two discussed what separates Love Nudge from other relationship apps, who the ideal user of the app is, and also cleared up some misconceptions people might have about how it should be used. It was truly an honor to interview the creator of such an impactful app that has been Apple’s featured App of the Day three times since its launch!

Here’s the full interview in its entirety and a quick background on what Love Nudge is. Enjoy!

About Love Nudge:

Do you know your LOVE LANGUAGE? (Hint: There are five of them to choose from.) While some might jokingly misapply their preferred way of receiving love to chocolate, memes, or sarcasm, knowing your primary love language, and that of your partner, can help significantly strengthen and improve your relationship.

The 5 Love Languages®, by Dr. Gary Chapman, is one of the most iconic and impactful relationship books ever—and that still might be an understatement. But what you may not know is that Love Language Brand has also created a relationship app called Love Nudge, which takes the concepts found in the book to another level.

Described as “the personal assistant for your relationship”, this app will help you identify and consistently speak the love language of your partner. It will help you set relevant relationship goals and activities, guide you to better fill your partner’s “love tank”, and even help you track your progress along the way. If you’re in a relationship and want to see it succeed, this is truly a must-download (and it’s free to download).

Matt Seymour:

Hi everybody, this is Matt again from Healthy Framework. Today I’m super excited to be joined by Zach Williamson, the creator and manager of the Love Nudge app. Zack, thank you so much for joining today.

Zack Williamson:

Hey, thank you, Matthew. I appreciate it. It’s an honor to be here.

Matt Seymour:

Excellent. Yes, and thank you. So Zack, to get started, I want to ask you, what would you say separates Love Nudge from the rest of the dating apps that are out there?

Zack Williamson:

Okay, so that’s a great question. Love Nudge is an app that’s built to help strengthen relationships by utilizing the principles and the concepts found in the bestselling book, The Five Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman. So it’s built upon those principles, and those principles are not, this book is over 30 years old and it has continually hit the bestsellers list. It does on Amazon, it ranks super high, still 30 years later. Why? Because it works. The concepts work, people have found it helpful. It’s not just well marketed, it’s not just well-positioned. You don’t, after 30 years have those type of sales, which are over 20 million sales and not have something in that book that is working. And so that’s what this app is built on. It’s really built on those principles and helps people to not only discover each other’s love language, but also links them together so that they can use those love languages to help fill what we call the love tank.

That emotional capacity for which somebody feels loved. Oftentimes you might hear somebody say, “I feel loved.” Or I don’t feel loved in a relationship. And in those times, Dr. Gary Chapman would say, well, it’s because it’s not necessarily because somebody’s not trying to express love. They might say, “Hey, I’m trying here.” But what’s happening is they’re missing it and they’re speaking, maybe they’re doing the dishes, and this person’s like, I just need to hear you say it. Or maybe they’re giving gifts and they’re like, I just want time spent with you. So what the love languages does is it creates language, no pun intended, but it creates language around how people give and receive love, and that’s what makes it a very unique app in the market.

Matt Seymour:

Yeah, no, it makes total sense. And I’ve done quite a few of these interviews and it’s definitely a unique stance and take, and I’m familiar with the book. I’ve gone through it several times in the past with everything, and it is amazing to see the staying power of the book and the knowledge within the book after all these years with everything. So excellent. So I think that was a really good description of what separates you guys. And then kind of playing off of that, how would you describe the ideal customer that Love Nudge is designed for?

Zack Williamson:

Well, Love Nudge is really designed for the kind of customer that they’re not necessarily … It can work in a dating relationship, but it’s also in just really someone who wants to improve their relationship. They want to learn how to express love and have sort of a digital coach, so to speak. We look at it as sort of a personal trainer for relationships that helps you do what you want do, and that’s to express your love well. And so the ideal customer is going to be somebody who is just willing to try, somebody that’s willing to say, “You know what? I’ll put the work in, I’ll do what I need to do.” And that’s when it really turns from theory into a reality for people and their relationship starts to get better. So ultimately, it’s somebody that decides that love is a choice that you make every day, not just a feeling, that’s immaturity, but maturity is when you say, you know what? I’m choosing to love this person, and I want a little help in how to do that well [inaudible 00:03:46].

Matt Seymour:

No, that’s a great description, especially for our readers or people watching this to help understand that it can be for anybody, not necessarily in a relationship, with the fact that they they’re choosing love there on a daily basis. Excellent. Changing gears a little bit, what would you say is one area where you feel Love Nudge could be doing a better job on?

Zack Williamson:

Well, Love Nudge is really based on the attitude and the discipline of the user. So it’s kind of like I was saying, say you download an exercise app, well, that app isn’t going to work for you. If you don’t work out, it’s not going to work out for you. It’s not going to put in the work. And so that ideal customer that’s willing to put in the work, this app will serve really well because it can track the effort and the improvement that somebody makes. And with what’s at stake there, it can really help encourage the kind of discipline that leads to real change in somebody’s life. And so I think it does a really good job of that. And one of the things that when we first dove into the what could this look like, what could it do? I was reading a book called Triggers by Marshall Goldstein … I think it’s Goldstein. Goldsmith, Goldstein, something like that.

And anyway, so the book’s called Triggers, and in that he was talking about how do you help habit formation? How do you help get people acquainted with that? And when I thought about that, I was coincidentally working on the Love Languages project, and I thought, you know what? How can we get people going from taking the quiz online, which over at this point, which is astonishing, just since 2010, we’ve had over 130 million people take that quiz. So it’s a widely popular quiz, and how can we take people from just taking a quiz and then two weeks later, what’s your love language? I don’t know, chocolate. We want to really begin to reinforce these things so that people can see the benefits and the growth of what they’re learning. And so we think the app does a really good job of that. And think of it almost like a cross between a fitness app, like a goal setting type fitness app, and something that you can sort of track your progress in, with streak technology.

It’ll really help you to not only set goals that are related to whoever you’re in relationship with their love language, how to do that in creative and fun ways, but also what it does is it tracks that. And so over time, there’s some stats ability to this where it’ll actually show you where each day somebody has the opportunity to set the level of their love tank. So it has a love tank status, and every day, if you’re committed to it, you can set how loved do I feel today? And what you can do is you can actually correlate the love tank status to your completion of certain goals with that love language. So maybe you see, maybe you’ve done something and maybe the person that you’re trying to speak their love language has quality time as their love language, and you put date night in the app as a goal, and that goal will pop up as often as you want.

It could be monthly, it could be daily, it could be weekly. And once you complete that, it sort of adds a completion. So you could see where you completed it, what day, and where was the love tank status. And so if you’re doing certain ways of expressing your love, but then all of a sudden you see a correlation with, oh, that person, they feel really loved today. Oh, that was the same day I did the date night. Oh, I haven’t done anything in a while. Oh, their love tank is getting a little lower, but inadvertently sometimes you’ll be speaking something and their love tank is still low. And so it gives you the opportunity to then get outside of the app and have a conversation and say, “Hey, you know what? We had a date night the other night, but I noticed your love tank was a little low and I want to speak love to you in a way that really matters to you. And so what’s going on there? Let’s have a conversation.”

And so that’s one of the areas too where people could kind of misunderstand the app a little bit that they think that it’s going to do that work for them and have those conversations for them. But sometimes it’ll identify things as well that can improve relationships, but they won’t be improved unless you have those conversations, and it can’t do that for you. But I think one thing in moving forward into new features or new things would be what could we do a better job with is sometimes is people have utilized the love tank in a very vindictive way.

And I say that, like I said, you’ve got to be willing to do the work, but sometimes when people are immature, what they’ll do is they’ll have an argument with somebody and then they’ll go in their app and just drop the love tank to zero. And it’s very accusatory, vindictive. But if a couple is committed to, and we’re working on some technology things that we might possibly end to put some stop gaps in there so somebody can’t just totally drop it. I mean, maybe incrementally or something, there’s some things that we’re working out based off of some feedback, but ultimately if somebody uses the tool in a very healthy and honest way and is willing to not just be vindictive or immature about it, it could really be of a benefit to them.

Matt Seymour:

That’s awesome. I like it. And that’s a really good segue into my next question, which was asking about, and I think you painted a little bit there, but are there some new features and things coming in the future months or years that you can speak to? Obviously we don’t want the secret sauce or anything that’s too far behind the curve, but maybe a little peek of things that people could maybe be excited about that they could be seeing sometime soon.

Zack Williamson:

Absolutely. Yeah. We’re always thinking, I’m a creative person, so I always have a lot of different ideas, but some of the areas that we want to expand into are, we’ve had some feedback where people have asked for different relationships outside of a romantic relationship like family or friends, or they want to be able to add other people. And so that’s something that we’re looking to try to move towards a little bit, make it a little broader, make it so that you could set goals with family members or friends or people that you just want to express a love or appreciation to in a way that makes sense to them.

And so that’s something we’re working on. And then another thing that we also envision is, and this kind of coincides with the love language quiz online and the website as well, is we want to move into different language translations. So currently we only have it in English, but we also want to start incrementally rolling out some different language translations, probably the first of which would be Spanish, and help people that speak different languages grow closer in their relationships as well. We already have books translated in over 50 languages, so it just makes sense that people that are coming to our website from all over the world, that they’d have the opportunity to also use this app in a way that helps them in their relationships.

Matt Seymour:

That makes sense. I think the idea of getting the app in more languages just helps increase the reach, but then also the help that the app could provide. Excellent. So unless somebody’s been under a rock for the last year and a half or so, there’s been this little buzz of this small thing called AI technology and it’s being used all over the world in all sorts of different industries and things. So next question is specific to Love Nudges. Are you guys using AI technology at this time, or are you planning to sometime in the future?

Zack Williamson:

We are not currently using it in the app. So the app does not have any AI technology right now. It really just helps the user from a manual standing point of entry not only determine their love language, so the love language quiz is embedded in the app and helps them to then link to their partner and better understand the love language of their partner or their significant other. But when it comes to AI, we’re always, like I said, we’re creative and we’re always looking for ways we can improve. I don’t think that we would go into sort of like a … Can’t say it. Generative AI in terms of it’s actually creating or writing things out, but what we might do is utilize it to recognize patterns.

So for example, we could fine tune some of the goal recommendations based off of things where the love tank goes up that are related to certain goals. We could have it sort of read the data a little bit and then help improve the experience and based on the nuances and behavior patterns of the customers that are using it. So we’re not there yet, and it is new. None of that is actually a guarantee that we’re going to use it, but it’s something that we’re exploring and it’s certainly an exciting thing to think about on the horizon.

Matt Seymour:

Yeah. No, it makes sense. And I think you just pointed out some great ways AI can be used with you guys. And then my next question, I enjoy asking people because great to see people in the industry kind of flipping that and looking more dating industry as a whole. But do you see potential concerns related to the use of AI in the dating industry as a whole?

Zack Williamson:

Well, I’m not an AI expert yet, so I mean, I’ve been dabbling a little bit, been reading a lot of articles. I’m still learning. I mean, if people can blow up the world with it, then maybe they could blow up their relationships. I don’t know. But in terms of the industry in general, I think that as an app, I can speak for us, as an app, we’re always looking for ways to stay current and to enhance our user experiences and our efficiencies. And to that extent, the development team that I work with, a lot of times we’re early adopters of things.

And so we like to get out there, see how things can be used, but then we decide how to move forward with those. So rather than focusing on the threats of AI at this point, we’re going to choose to focus more on the opportunities of how it can further our personal mission, which is to improve relationships. And so I’m sure there’s people in the dating industry that could use that to game the system or in a way that probably isn’t super helpful or might even be a little bit evasive, but that’s not our intention and that’s not where we want to go with AI.

Matt Seymour:

That’s good feedback. And listen, I think we’re all learning at this point in terms of the impact and the good and the bad that comes along with it. So it’ll be interesting to see how the industry continues to adapt with everything. Excellent. So last question for you, Zack, is just simply, are there any misconceptions about Love Nudge that you’d like to clear up?

Zack Williamson:

Well, kind of like I mentioned earlier, just Love Nudge should never be used as a vindictive tool. It shouldn’t be used in that way. It should really be used by healthy people in a healthy relationship. If a person’s relationship is unhealthy or you’re dealing with a narcissist or you’re dealing with some type of dysfunction in a relationship, the app may not work best for you. But that’s not necessarily a misconception. It’s just, hey, can you honestly use it in a way that’s healthy, productive, and really giving grace to that other person and working with them. So not getting upset if the love tank goes down about 25% a day. Like what? Trying, literally just saying, having conversations, communicating, learning to talk about those things. So that would be one. But one of the other ones that I think is quite, when it comes to the five love languages, a lot of people tend to have this misconception is the love languages are about me.

And I think that’s because a lot of people have taken the quiz and they’re like, I know my love language now. Everybody, you speak it. And that’s true, you can communicate that. But the real power of the love languages is found in not focusing on yourself and directing your attention towards another person. It’s saying, wow, my love language might be quality time, but your love language might be words of affirmation. And our propensity with the love language is often to speak our own language. So what we think what makes us feel loved is what we show to other people. And so if I think quality time makes everyone else feel loved just because it makes me feel loved, then I’m doing quality time for people. And if they’re a words of affirmation person or they’re an access service person or receiving gifts or physical touch, then I’m totally missing the mark.

And so instead of it being about me, it’s about learning the love language of someone else and being willing to speak it, even if that doesn’t come naturally to me. Sometimes we have to learn. There’s a lot of people that probably haven’t grown up in homes where complimentary words were spoken or maybe quality time or even physical touch in the sense of hugs and care and just high-fives, whatever. And so they’re uncomfortable with some of those things. But if that’s the person you’re in a relationship with and that’s their love language, it serves us best to learn how to do that. And we might learn how to do that in very small ways at first. But if we really want our love life and our relationships to thrive, then we need to learn how that it’s not just about me and what I can get out of them.

I’m not using the love languages to get something. I’m using the love languages to better connect with people. And so my focus outward is probably one of those biggest misconceptions that people have, and that’s probably one of the most important because it’s really not about us at the heart, it’s about how we can love other people well and inadvertently when the other people know that they love us well. And then just the cycle continues and it just continues to grow and strengthen relationships. And then the last one is you’ve just got to do the work. That’s a misconception. Like I said, offline off the app, technology is not going to improve your relationship, you improve your relationship. This is just a tool to help you get there.

Matt Seymour:

Yeah, I mean, listen, if anybody could invent the gym app that does the work for you, or the dating app that does the work for you, I think we’d be multi-millionaires and out on our yacht or whatever.

Zack Williamson:

Exactly.

Matt Seymour:

But yeah, no [inaudible 00:18:09].

Zack Williamson:

That’s the app, if anyone’s listening and wants to develop that app, do it now.

Matt Seymour:

Yeah, call me. Perfect. Excellent. Well, Zack, thank you so much for joining today and for giving us amazing color on Love Nudge and everything. And I think maybe it’d be great another three or six months to do a check-in and see what the latest is, especially as AI continues to shape things. But we’re thankful for your time. Excited to see where the future of love Nudge takes you and just love how different it is from most of everything else out there and what you’re doing. So I think it’s a great application out there for the team.

Zack Williamson:

Well, thanks Matthew, I appreciate it. And thank you so much for the opportunity.

Matt Seymour:

Yeah, of course. Thank you, Zack. Appreciate it.