Imagine dating someone who only speaks a foreign language that is different to yours. You find this person very attractive and having a translator on your cell phone helps, but when you don’t have it, it gets tricky. You listen to the words but don’t know what it means; it’s difficult to know if they're mad, happy and you have no clue of what's going on.
The truth is that even if we speak the same language when it comes to relationships; it's not that easy, sometimes it’s harder to understand someone the more we think we know them.
We have been daydreaming while watching romantic comedies. We want to be in a relationship because we want to feel loved and valued. We want to have somebody by our side who is there no matter what, and when we start knowing them everything seems perfect, right? It looks like that person has no defects, but after some time you realize that nobody's perfect, and that’s when you know if you really want to be together. So, after the Honeymoon phase passes, what is what makes us stay? What makes us wanna go?
Maybe you realize that this person has changed or maybe you thought that their behavior would improve after a few months, but they still do the same things. You kinda know they love you, but sometimes you're not really sure.
The truth is that we don’t show affection in the same way, love is different for everyone, there are almost as many ways to show love as people on the world, at least that’s what Gary Chapman author of 5 Languages of love says.
In the book, Chapman expresses that there are 5 ways to show love: words of appreciation, quality time, physical touch, receiving gifts and acts of service. We all can give and receive love using these 5 languages, but we prefer 1 or 2 of them and they always vary depending on the person.
Maybe Summer says “he doesn’t love, he never tells me I look beautiful even when I spend hours at the salon”, but Devon, her husband thinks something completely different: “I love her! I always do the dishes and take the trash out”
Both of them love each other, but they don’t speak the same love language, for Summer love is expressed through words of appreciation, that means that she feels appreciated when her partner gives her a compliment, when he encourages her to go for her dreams, when he says “I love you” or he congratulates her for achieving her goals, that’s when she feels loved.
Meanwhile, Devon believes in the power of actions or Acts of service, so, when he does the dishes, takes the trash out, does the laundry or anytime that he helps her with something, he is expressing his love for her.
For others this is not so important, they say “ they tell me they love me, but they never wanna hang out with me”. That’s because their primary language is quality time, that means spending time with someone and focusing only on them, so, checking your Instagram feed while you're on a date doesn’t count (and it's super rude, please, don’t do it!)
Some people feel very special when they receive a gift, it can be small or big; it doesn’t really matter, but they feel loved because they think the other person thought about them, for those people, receiving gifts is their primary love language.
And last but not least, physical touch is key for others, that means holding hands, a small touch, kissing, hugging and… I'll stop here, you get the idea.
I would highly recommend this book since things are deeper than the previous explanation, each love language has “sublanguages”, so, maybe you don’t mind if your partner doesn’t give you compliments, but you feel loved if they tell you they love you, both count as “words of affirmation”, but they are not the same, maybe they don’t need that, but encouraging words, it always depends on the person.
That doesn’t only happen with words of affirmation, but with other languages and it's important to learn about it because even if you're not dating right now you can apply it with your friends or family if you want to improve your relationship with them! In that way, you'll practice your intuition and finding out others love language will be a piece of cake for when you find “the one”.
The Five Love Languages: the secret to love that lasts by Gary Chapman