Other languages can be confusing, right? Maybe you’ve been travelling and been faced with communication struggles in a foreign country. Maybe the subtitles didn’t work on your movie and you have no idea what happened when the spy tried to get into Russia.
These are language barriers we know and are familiar with. What about the language of love though?
I first heard about Love Languages from my partner Matt. I found it really interesting so I thought I’d read the book ‘The 5 Love Languages’ to learn more about it. Well, as soon as I started reading the book I new I just had to buy the book (originally I borrowed Matt’s) and then I did the test.
When I did the test at the end of the book I realised I was Acts of Service and Words of Affirmation. It made me think about all the past relationships I had been in and how they became toxic over time and I had no idea why. Reading the book was so eye opening for me, I realise those past relationships burnt out because we had different love languages. The way we expressed our love didn’t fill each other’s love tanks.
Understanding the Language of Love
Understanding other people’s love languages has enhanced everything in my relationship. Just knowing that has eradicated those toxic fights, that silly bickering over the tiny things, but most importantly, when one of us is stressed out from running our businesses we understand what we both want and how to ensure what we deliver is the ‘I love you’ we’ve been wanting to say.
The information in this book has even made me look at other relationships around me and understand them better and have more positive outcomes with my family and friends.
Unlike cultural language barriers, love language miscommunication can be almost invisible. This invisibility happens for two reasons. The first one is we just naturally assume that we all speak the same love language.
If they reject it, don’t understand it or do something different as our automatic reaction is, they don’t love me.
Oops, actually, now I know about the love languages, it’s so obvious that’s not how it actually happens!
The second reason why love languages get so mixed up (this one is an even bigger issue) is because we don’t even realise we are speaking love. We do what we do automatically, never for a moment understanding that it’s a love thing.
It’s it amazing to think we are speaking all the time and we don’t even know it. So it’s not that surprising then that love languages get confused, misinterpreted or crushed.
The really great thing is, once you know that love languages exist and start paying attention to them, it’s so easy to share love and feel happy and content.
Origin of The 5 Love Languages
This concept was developed by relationship expert and marriage counselor Gary Chapman, who noticed that falling out of love seemed to happen all too often.
The cause of the bitterness and lack of love that came to poison happy couples, he ties back to differences in Love Languages. His book, The 5 love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts illustrates (rather unromantically) how different couples clash and fall out of love. This is the book I read. This is what I want to share with you right now.
Find Your Language of Love
The first thing to do is find your # 1 Love language. We are all capable of living all five patterns of affection, however, what we find is that we usually have a dominant one (or two). Knowing your love language, understanding it and expressing that is the first step to a happy relationship.
Which Love Language is strongest for you? Read through and guess your top two.
Words of Affirmation
Forget actions, you need words. It’s all about hearing words out loud.
You love Compliments, verbal thanks and appreciation, praise and acknowledgement.
Just as important as words, is the tone they are delivered in. Soft, gentle and slow tone gets a positive message across. Swift, biting tone or criticism will have even the nicest words feeling like bullet wounds. If this is your love language insults can leave you feeling shattered and will be long remembered.
It’s all about quality. You can have the most thrilling time in even the most boring of places if the company is right. You value experience and company over anything else. You adore deep and meaningful conversations and have little care for small talk.
“Can I have your undivided attention please? Thankyou. Now I know you love me.”
If this is your love language, even the most romantic candlelit dinner will be meaningless if your partner spends their time checking their watch, their phone or writing text messages. Being stood up is almost unforgivable.
There is nothing at all materialistic about this love language.
“It’s the thought that counts” is always true for the person who speaks their love through giving and receiving gifts. If you speak this love language you get warm and fuzzy thinking about the effort and thought that goes behind a gift. That you were on their mind, that they thought of you means everything.
There is nothing more crushing than a missed birthday or special occasion, or a gift that is purchased or given in haste or without care or worse still- a gift voucher!
Acts of Service
You say I love you by vacuuming the floor. Someone says I love you back by running to the shops and grabbing some milk because they noticed it was running low. (and you didn’t even tell them too!)
This is all about easing a burden. Anything you can do to take some responsibility off those you love is love for you. In return, you feel love when they help you out, or do something thoughtful to make your day easier.
If this is your love language you will feel taken for granted when nobody notices your hard work, leaves things laying around for you just to deal with and asks you to go out after they kick off their shoes at the door.
You love hugs, pats on the back, gentle touch and hand holding.
It’s not just “I love you”, it’s a whole range of expression from concern (hand on the arm lightly), care (touch on the face), fun (linked arms), excitement (strong grip) or love, (a soft and gentle embrace.)
Being there and within touching range is crucial. Long distance relationships are going to be confusing for you and empty. If this is your love language neglect or physical abuse can be crippling and unforgivable.
Find Your Language of Love
Knowing your Love Language and recognising that it may be different to other people’s is the first step. Being able to recognise the Love Language of others
is the second step to being able to shower them with love in a way that truly resonates with them.
To find out your love language, you can read the book that had a comprehensive quiz at the back along with great examples of languages. Or, you can take a mini quiz online at 5lovelanguages.com.au
Share your results with those who love you so they can understand why you do some of the things you do, and also help them learn to love you better.
It’s not just romantic relationships either. You can use love languages to help generate a deeper connection with your children, your parents, your siblings and even your co-workers. We all need to hear ‘I love you’ every day to excel at what we do and be our very best. When you learn the right way to say I love you, we can help the whole world shine a little bit brighter.
What’s your love language? Let me know in the comments!