When you love someone, in terms of romantic relationship, you tend to focus everything on him. You learn what he likes and dislikes, his hobbies, strengths and weaknesses, moods, insecurities, and… verbal and non-verbal languages. You push and pull, adapt, have breakdowns, but you refuse to give up because you want to have a deep meaningful connection. Why? For a deep meaningful connection provides us security and safety, both physically and mentally.
Basically, it doesn’t only apply to your beloved one. This also applies to those we deal with in our lives on daily basis. They can be your co-workers, acquaintances, neighbors, good friends, siblings, parents and/or children. We do this because we tend to seek a deeper connection with others, albeit it gives us complexities of life. We like to make something meaningful because then it will make us have meaning to others. And on the top of all, it’s simply because we’re humans.
And language is the bridge to connect all relations humans can possibly create and it’s more than something that has linguistic features with structure and sound conveying ideas, meaning and emotion. I’m referring to the non-verbal language that can make others feel loved and secured and later confident about themselves: the language of love.
There’s a good reference about this particular language. It’s entitled The Five Love Languages and written by Dr. Gary Chapman. To sum up, everyone has their own love languages. He divides the love languages into 5 types:
– Words affirmation: they need to hear that they’re wonderful, awesome, beautiful. And if they make something for you, say cooking, they need to hear from you that their cooking is delicious. A simply comment such as ‘yummy!’ can make them happy. And of course a thank you. It will build their self-image and confidence.
– Quality time: they need to spend some intimate moments by doing things together with their loved ones. If they like gardening, they need you to be there doing it with you happily. If they like hiking, they wish you to participate actively in it. Doing things together and focusing on one another in given special time even though it’s only short but consistently is what they see as a way to show their love.
– Giving presents: they believe that giving presents to their loved ones is a language of love. They will remember your birthday, anniversary and other special dates because they think these dates are important to you. If you forget theirs or you do remember but you don’t give presents, they will feel neglected and unloved.
– Acts of service: doing little things in house for your loved ones, such as helping them with dishes, cleaning and dusting are viewed as acts of love. Imagine if they’re busy doing the house chores alone but you’re just sitting there reading or watching TV. They will feel so much unloved and you’re being indifferent.
– Physical touch: They like holding hands, touching your hair, cuddling and even dancing with you. When their partner can be reciprocal speaking this language, they will feel loved and special.
Everyone may speak the same language(s) with their partners or totally different, mostly due to their own background such how they’re raised. Yes, we can’t ignore this important issue because that’s when they learnt their first love languages (a bit of it or not at all). Further, things will collide when people use different language(s) but refuse to learn their partner’s language(s). Imagine if you have the physical touch language but your partner didn’t learn it when s/he was little and so s/he never realizes that it is important to you. On the other hand, picture if your partner ‘speaks’ quality time language, but you’re too busy with your gadgets and works even when you’re at home rather than spending some hours together after a long day. Analogously, when one wants to communicate with someone who speaks a different native language, s/he will do any efforts to use a language that the other can understands, instead of insisting to use his or her own language, or s/he won’t get there. When the connection gets deeper, s/he will learn to speak the other’s native language to understand him or her more for the more you understand, the more things will get easier, the connection gets deeper and the bonding gets tighter. It will make us secure the insecurities and feel safe physically and mentally. For the sake of it, we will do that in any level of relations: business, friendship and even romance.
As for me, apparently I speak at least four languages. The one language that has less importance – not that I don’t think it’s necessary – to me is acts of service simply because of the way I was raised. I never saw my dad there to help my mom with house chores and my mom would whining whole days 24/7 because of tiresome (well, 5 children and doing the house chores alone, it’s automatically understandable). But this language can be replaced with another one: quality time. And I think it’s more valuable and powerful when doing house chores together because you want to have quality time with your partner, than simply as an act of service.
I personally think it is nice to have someone who understands your language(s). I believe, it feels wonderful and comfortable. You will also feel so much loved and understood without having to be mentally exhausted when relating to others – despite of all possible breakdowns. It will weigh you down when your partner enjoys your company and feels comfortable with you because you understand his or her languages but they don’t strive to use your languages in return. No matter what, we have to admit that everything tends to be reciprocal in general. And when loving someone becomes a noble idea (you give more than take), we must question ourselves how far we are willing to learn and ‘speak’ our loved ones’ language(s) for it will take a lot of efforts, energy and time. Yet, before coming down to the answer, you must love yourself and find the clues of this followingquestion for yourself:
What is your love language(s)?