Love is the language the heart speaks. Since it is not a verbal language that is expressed just in words, it makes communication quite difficult. Conflicts arise despite the love you have for each other. Imagine learning a new language as an adult, especially native English speakers who are almost always monolingual. It’s difficult. I’ve been learning French since my high school years and i still can’t speak it.
As though, to make things even more difficult, love has not one but five different languages. Dr Gary Chapman discovered this after studying and doing years of research. Thanks to him, it is easy to navigate the mystery of love itself which goes against the very selfish nature of humans. As said above, there are five love languages which are:
- Words of Affirmation
- Quality Time,
- Receiving Gifts,
- Acts of Service, and
- Physical Touch.
Just like the 16 personalities I spoke about in Discovering Yourself, each individual has two main love languages that apply to them. Love languages here means that it is only when these gestures are made, they are interpreted as acts of love, everything else could be interpreted as just normal gestures or just being nice.
The tricky thing however is that we show people love the way we want to be shown love i.e If the guy, for example in the relationship prefers when his partner spends time with him, he’ll begin to spend lots of time with her. To him, he is showing her love, which in all good intentions, he is, if she interprets spending time as an act of love. However, which is more often than not, she may prefer something very different, like Acts of service.
In this scenario now, she’ll begin to do things for him, such as cook, clean, iron, handle whatever he asks her to and just literally anything because that’s how she wants to be shown love. This would then result in her being to busy or too exhausted to spend time with the guy and he’ll get frustrated. While her annoyance would stem from his ‘ungratefulness’ as she has been doing everything to please him, when the fact is he doesn’t care about that.
This whole scenario is a complete misunderstanding. It’s not that he doesn’t love her or she doesn’t love him, but that they are both expressing it wrongly. What needs to happen is that she should now what makes him feel loved and vice versa and there would never arise another problem again.
Now, to define the different love languages:
WORDS OF AFFIRMATION
Just like the title says, people who like this, love being told words that re-affirm their spouse’s love for them. These should not be words of flattery but sincere compliments or words of gratitude. For example: ‘ You look beautiful in that dress’. ‘I love the way you smile’, ‘I’m grateful to have you in my life’ etc Simple words everyday or every other day could go a really long way.
In this day and age, spending quality time with anyone has to be deliberate and conscious. Mark me, it does not involve sitting beside each other while on your laptops or in front of the TV. It entails full undivided attention while talking or doing something that involves you two. A board game, a meal, a walk. Just put the electronics down and get creative
Our lovely friends whom you can apologize to with flowers and chocolates or a surprise puppy. i tell you it won’t work on me, but if you’re lucky to be with someone who loves gifts, it shouldn’t be that hard unless they’re very high maintenance. Be careful though not to overuse this to the point where you look insincere.
ACTS OF SERVICE
I think in this category, there are more women than men. Simple tasks like taking out the trash, remembering to pick up something she forgot, locking the doors, doing the dishes and sometimes your own laundry can be interpreted as heaven on earth to someone you love. A word of caution, if you must do an act , make sure you do it exactly as they will otherwise you’d spark anger and some other emotions you were never prepared for. It’ not about you it’s about them.
Of all, this should be the easiest. I have seen a hug solve arguments that had lasted hours. A kiss, a hug, a stroke on the arm can mean the whole world to the one you love. If you happen to master this art, you’ll discover a whole new side of your spouse.
I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I did writing it.
If you got this far, you may have realized that one or two of the languages describe you but just to make sure, here’s the quiz to find out. Take it with your spouse and be sure. Then, you can begin to practice fluency in your partner’s language. Trust me, you won’t regret.
I’d love to hear your results in the comment section, if you took the test or if you know them already. Share with a friend so they can find out. Have a lovely week!