What is love? Can the five love languages help cement a relationship?
There are around 6500 languages throughout the world and somehow we manage to keep communication flowing. Thankfully when it comes to Love, there are only five according to the love languages, and yet couples can still run into difficulties and confusion when they speak a different love dialogue, turning their worlds upside-down!
Can the five love languages be the key to a successful relationship? Can the love languages help us to understand –what is love? By analyzing the interviews I have conducted with couples from around the world who enjoy happy and fulfilled relationships, I have uncovered some of those answers.
One thing that I have observed in how successful relationships sustain is that if a couple perceives and display love in the same way, then they seem to be happier. For example, if a person appreciates words of love and affection and finds that in a partner, then the relationship runs smoother and can maybe contribute to its longevity.
In my interview with Leonie and Patrick, a couple who have been married for forty-five years, Leonie commented that “he was very kind, loving and unafraid of showing his love and using romantic words,” we can see that words of affection are important to her and so Patrick made her happy. Possibly, a defining feature of their long marriage. He satisfied her love language, and so she wasn’t left feeling devoid of what she needed.
Five Languages of Love
An interpretation of love is provided by Dr. Gary Chapman in his book, The Five Love Languages, in that he explains that there are five ways in which we show love,-
· by using words of love,
· acts of service,
· physical affection,
· giving of gifts and
· quality time together.
He explains that we each have a primary love language with which we communicate. Do you know which is your primary love language? If not, take the test here.
If a couple share the same way of expressing love, then arguably they will have less friction and fewer arguments and feel at ease around each other, as they both feel that they are receiving love. I have seen many times that couples explain that a feeling of comfort is what led to them to know that they were right for one another.
In Christie and Robbie’s interview, Robbie talks about a trip they took to New Orleans and how it was then that he realized that Christie was one, he said, “We drove down together; it took twenty-four hours. The journey and the vacation were completely easy. I knew then that she just fits. We had the best time.”
I hear that time and time again in my interviews, it is when people find ease in a relationship that they know it is right. It is also the advice that the couples seem to regularly give to others in the interviews, for example in June and Peter’s story, a couple who were married for fifty-six years, Peter in his advice to others states “Get to know the person first. You've got to live with someone first really, as it gives you a chance to get to know them. June and I lived together for four years before getting married. It was very easy to live with June.”
Sometimes Reality brings reality
In the reality TV world, we see how the love languages can cause upset and confusion. On the widely popular 90 Day Fiancé, not only do we see the challenges presented with language and cultural differences but also with the different love languages. Larissa and Colt, participants in the show, are at the beginning of their journey when Colt picks Larissa up from the airport as she arrives in America for the first time. Larissa is upset as he didn’t give her a bunch of flowers when he greeted her. This is a clear love language miscommunication that led to unhappiness. Larissa clearly communicates love through gifts but Colt, who doesn’t use this language, cannot understand why she is so upset about some flowers. To him, using a hug and kiss and greeting with affection is expressing his love language, physical affection.
Having someone that understands you is so important, I often think that when couples break-up it is because one partner does not get what the other person needs or that they show their love in differently and so, in turn, the other person feels neglected, often not the fault of the other. It then leads to a break-down in communication; their language of expressing love is not the same.
Similar personality or same love language?
Ultimately, a similar mindset can lead to a relationship that is smooth and problem free, whether that means love language of otherwise. Identifying what you need in another is an essential key before choosing whether or not to settle down. When you get to know that person, see if they communicate in the language that you like or need and if they don’t, decide if you can live with that or not. One essential relationship skill is to recognize when a person is showing affection, and this can then help you perceive their love better. If your partner gives acts of service as their love language, but you like physical contact or romantic words, view those acts of service as words and physical contact, as to them that is what they are providing.
And so, it would seem that the same love language can lead to a more harmonious relationship but if the two understand each other’s differences and how they express love it can still lead to a thriving relationship.
Has sharing the same love language helped sustain your successful relationship? Comment below with your thoughts.
If you like hearing advice on love and relationships from real life couples who have made it work, read my interviews at www.whatislovetales.com