Prevent Love From Getting Lost In Translation
Do you sometimes feel that you tried your best to show love for your spouse or significant other, and they did not appreciate it? Or perhaps, you love each other greatly, and yet at times you feel you are not loved the way you want to be loved, even if you cannot exactly put a finger on it.
The concept of Five Love Languages is a good starting point to understand how best you and your partner feel loved. What are the things that make you feel loved? And even when you know this, it may still turn out to be difficult to convey it to the other person, who may even get defensive about all that they put in to make you feel loved. Carol Bruess presents a great analogy: like the value of a country’s currency, different people can value different demonstrations of love. It is important to understand the other person’s emotional currency.
The 5 Love Languages is a concept first introduced by Dr. Gary Chapman in his best-selling book “The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate”. The Five Love Languages presents a framework that can help you recognise your own love language and communicate with your partner with greater openness and ease about how you can make each other feel loved.
According to Dr. Chapman, everyone has a love language, or a preferred way of receiving and expressing love. Understanding your own love language and your partner’s love language can strengthen your relationship. The five languages are: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch. Not just for a romantic partner, you can use these five languages to show love and affection to your friends and children as well.
Words of Affirmation:
People who have this love language feel loved and appreciated through kind and encouraging words. Compliments and affirmations can make an enormous impact on their self-esteem. If your partner has this love language, you can use positive and encouraging words to show your love to them. This can include compliments for something they worked hard on, expressing gratitude, and acknowledging their efforts.
Acts of Service:
People with this love language feel loved when their partners do practical things to help them, such as running errands, cooking dinner, doing a chore that usually they handle, or fixing a broken item. It’s not about grand gestures, but simple acts that show someone cares.
People who have this love language feel loved when they receive gifts, even if they are small and simple. Gifts can include anything from a small token of appreciation to a big present. An act of giving can even be everyday gestures like bringing home their favourite food or sweet.
People who have this love language feel loved when their partner gives them their undivided attention, such as a date night, a walk in the park, or simply listening to them talk. Quality time is about being present and focused on the other person. Even with friends, sometimes, spending a quality time can mean having a distraction free conversation, watching a movie, or having a meal together.
People who have this love language feel loved through physical contact, such as hugs, holding hands, or cuddling. Physical touch is a way for them to feel emotionally connected to their partner. Sometimes, even sitting close to a person who has this love language can make them feel loved, secure, or calm.
How many languages do you speak?
It is possible for a person to have a primary (main) love language and a secondary love language. every individual has a unique combination of love languages, and they may vary in importance depending on the individual and the situation. When it feels like that the other person doesn’t appreciate or value your love language, it is often because they cannot understand that what they value little actually matters a lot to another person.
Keep each other updated: talk!
A person’s love language can change over time, depending on different life circumstances or experiences. Just like for all aspects of life, it’s important to keep communication lines open with your partner about your needs and preferences in the context of your love language, and to make an effort to understand and speak each other’s love language. In a relationship, it is beneficial to understand and utilize each other's love languages. This can help to avoid misunderstandings and conflicts, and lead to a more harmonious and fulfilling relationship
For example, imagine a couple where one partner has Words of Affirmation as their primary love language, and the other partner has Acts of Service as their primary love language. If the partner with Words of Affirmation is feeling low, they may crave words of encouragement and positivity. However, the partner with Acts of Service may feel the best way to show their love is by doing something practical to help, such as doing the dishes or folding the laundry. The key is to understand and respect each other’s love language, and to try to speak it, even if it doesn’t come naturally to you.
Now that you know the concept of the Five Love Languages, try to use them to understand your own needs and try to recognzie the language of the people closest to you. To determine your own love language, consider how you naturally express love and what makes you feel loved. Observing how your partner expresses love and what they enjoy can also give insight into their love language. Use the concept to discuss with your partner about your languages. Once you understand your own love language and your partner’s love language, you can easily communicate your love effectively. By recognizing and utilizing each other's love languages, you can create a deeper connection and build a stronger relationship.