The 5 Love Languages: Are You Fluent In Love?
HOW MANY OF US WERE ADVISED TO TREAT OTHERS "THE WAY YOU WANT TO BE TREATED?"
I vividly remember my 3rd grade teacher trying to instill this into my classmates and me. now that i'm all grown up, i've learned - through emotional maturity and Through trial and much error - that this might actually be the dumbest piece of advice we could ever take heed to. WHY?
- BECAUSE NOT EVERYONE WANTS TO BE TREATED THE WAY YOU DO. and by that same token, not everyone wants to be loved the way you do.
- treating/loving others based on our desires is a self-centered and overly simplistic way of navigating something that is actually very complicated. it's a cop-out!
- half of us barely even understand ourselves on a deep and intricate level; why would we treat others based on something we barely understand ourselves?
I am by no means a relationship counselor or life coach. i am by no means "fluent in love." Like you, I'm just a fallible human being who happens to be extremely reflective and motivated to improve. like i've said before, i love love. i want to be the best lover that i can, to get as close as possible to fluency. in trying to be better and do better, i thought that i grew out of the "love others like you want to be loved" adage. but in all actuality, when it came to love, i wasn't loving others based on how they wanted to be loved, but based on how i felt comfortable loving.
and understanding how and why we came to love the way we do, it requires some history.
MORE ON THAT HISTORY LESSON IN A MINUTE.☝🏼
but first, for the purposes of the rest of the post, i'm going to outline each of the five love languages from gary chapman's book "the 5 Love Languages." if you haven't taken the 5-min Love languages assessment, take it here. you'll be happy you did.
WORDS OF AFFIRMATION
Actions don't always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, "I love you," are important – hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten. Kind, encouraging, and positive words are truly life-giving.
ACTS OF SERVICE
Can vacuuming the floors really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an "Acts of Service" person will speak volumes. The words he or she most want to hear: "Let me do that for you." Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don't matter. Finding ways to serve speaks volumes to the recipient of these acts.
Don't mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you. A missed birthday, anniversary, or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous – so would the absence of everyday gestures. Gifts are visual representations of love and are treasured greatly.
In the vernacular of Quality Time, nothing says, "I love you," like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there – with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby – makes your significant other feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful. Quality Time also means sharing quality conversation and quality activities.
This language isn't all about the bedroom. A person whose primary language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face – they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive. Physical touch fosters a sense of security and belonging in any relationship.
Ri'S LOVE LANGUAGE RISULTS & RIFLECTIOn 😜
I took the 5 love languages test in 2015, when I was in a pretty complicated relationship that lacked communication. I've included my results below for your entertainment. 😜
LOVE LANGUAGES RIFLECTION:
i was so shocked by my own results! but they were true. Only upon reflection did I realize how much I actually cared about being physically close to my loved ones, how much i valued things like hand-holding or hugging. honestly, even an annoying pinch goes a long way for me in making me feel loved. IT MAkes perfect SENSE THOUGH. MY FATHER AND ALL OF HIS SIBLINGS EXPRESSED LOVE THROUGH TOUCH: KISSING, PINCHING CHEEKS, HUGGING, SITTING ON LAPS, AND OTHER THINGS THAT THE AVERAGE READER WILL FIND REALLY WEIRD AND INAPPROPRIATE lol 🤷🏻♀️ anyway, my whole life, touch was how i spoke "love," and i naively thought that most people were like that.
with that being said, the most humbling part of seeing my results was trying to guess the ways in which I GIVE love most commonly. the test tells us how we receive love, but if you're honest with yourself, you can probably accurately guess the top 2-3 ways that you express your love to others.
MY FATHER'S FAMILY MADE ME A "TOUCHER," so my "giving" and "receiving" were consistent there. BUT MY MOTHER'S FAMILY MADE ME a gift-giver. MY MATERnal GRANDMA, TETA LILA, WOULD BUY US GIFTS FOR EVERY OCCASION (what muslims got easter baskets growing up? 🐣), AND OFTEN FOR NO OCCASION AT ALL. anything to see us smile. WE USED TO JOKE THAT TETA LILA WOULD DROWN US IN GIFTS BEFORE SHE EVER SAID "I LOVE YOU." BUT WE all KNEW HOW MUCH SHE LOVED US, AND WE ACCEPTED HER LOVE LANGUAGE IMMEDIATELY. I am LIKE my TETA LILA IN this WAY: If I love you, i may not tell you as much as you want to hear it, but I will happily buy you lots of gifts.
BUT HERE'S THE IRONY: When you look at how I wish to receive love, you'll notice that RECEIVING gifts IS AT THE VERY BOTTOM, with words of affirmation at the very top. OF COURSE I APPRECIATE any gift - WE ALL DO, BUT IT DOESN'T MAKE ME FEEL LOVED THE WAY THAT TOUCH OR WORDS OF AFFIRMATION DO.
think about the ways you most commonly show your love: are they consistent with the ways you want to receive love?
Let's forget about the other person in the equation for a minute. IF I AM INCONSISTENT WITH HOW I CHOOSE TO gIVe and HOW I wisH to receive love, how could I try to make judgments on how someone else shows me their love?
all my life, most of the people closest to me did not show me love through both words of affirmation and touch, my preferred modes of receiving love. admittedly, this caused some issues in past romantic relationships because neither of us were able to understand the other person's mode of communicating love. i had no clue that my partner warming up my car, filling my gas tank, folding my laundry, or spending the whole day with me were acts of love. by that same token, i felt so unloved if i wasn't sitting by my partner at a restaurant, or if he didn't verbalize his feelings often. learning of the various ways people could show love truly humbled me and forced me to open my eyes when these things were happening.
YESTERDAY, I POSTED THE LOVE LANGUAGES ASSESSMENT ON MY INSTAGRAM, AND A BUNCH OF PEOPLE IMMEDIATELY STARTED SENDING ME THEIR RESULTS. IT WAS AWESOME. THEN, THEY STARTED SENDING ME THEIR PARTNER'S RESULTS TOO (lol so cute!). i had such great conversations with people as a result. from these conversations, I NOTICED THAT IN EVERY SINGLE INSTANCE, both people in a relationship NEVER had the same top two love languages; most of the time, they didn't even share one of their top twos. before we get ahead of ourselves, this doesn't mean that the couples are doomed for life.
so what does it mean? It means that these people have had to learn to set aside their personal preferences and instead love their loved ones the way they want to be loved. our loved ones could be doing so much to no avail, simply because we don't realize that their behaviors - whether they help with chores, hold our hands, take the day off to spend with us - are rooted in love. he cares about acts of service? help him with some things around the house. she cares about quality time? devote a day to her and only her. he cares about touch? it won't kill you to hold his hand or hug him if it will save a relationship.
relationships are such hard work, but anything worth loving is worth working for - don't you think?
let's start a conversation. what have you learned about yourself through understanding your love languages?
COMMENT BELOW ⤵️
only love (in its several forms),