In a country where lovers are more familiar with breakups than they are with romance, and divorce is more common than marriage, successful relationships seem as realistic as a castle in the sky.
Is that because we don’t want to make relationships last? Is it because we just don’t care? Maybe it is because we don’t know how to nurture these relationships and make them last a lifetime.
In the book, The Five Love Languages, Dr. Gary Chapman describes the importance of learning and speaking your partner’s “love language.” According to this concept, to develop (or maintain) a healthy relationship you must learn to love your significant other in a way that he or she can interpret.
Consider this: If you speak Dutch to someone who only understands English, communication is not taking place. No matter what you say or how beautifully you say it, that person won’t receive the message as you meant it. By the same token, we all seem to express and comprehend love according to different “love languages.”
Communicating Love in 5 Languages
What comes to us all naturally is to communicate with others in the way that we know how. However, relationships challenge us to think and behave outside of what comes to us instinctively.
Here’s an example: Sharon feels most loved when her husband showers her with reassuring, flattering statements, such as, “I am so happy to have you as my wife” and “You are still the most beautiful woman in the world to me.”
Her husband Rob, on the other hand, feels most loved when his wife showers him with physical contact. By simply brushing against him when she walks by or straddling him when he gets home, Sharon can reassure Rob of her enduring love for him. But there’s a problem.
Because Rob recognizes touch as a means of communicating love to him, he uses this technique to communicate his love to Sharon. He attempts
to kiss, rub, fondle, and brush against her at every chance he gets. He feels completely defeated, confused, and undesired when his attempts to show love are met with rejection.
Because verbal confirmation makes her feel loved, Sharon communicates her love to Rob by thanking him for everything he does and reminding him of how handsome he looks to her. She silently wishes he would return the favor by being more vocal about how he feels. Furthermore, she even assumes he doesn’t appreciate her because he doesn’t say so.
Sharon and Rob speak different love languages. They both try to communicate with the other using the language that comes naturally to them – their own primary love language. Unfortunately, communication is the one thing that is NOT taking place.
These situations happen all the time and they often result in unhappy marriages or bitter divorces. Fortunately, you can save your relationship rather than winding up amongst the negative statistics.
Maintaining Healthy Relationships
By simply realizing that we may speak a different love language than our significant other, we can get the wheels of relationship success turning. Many couples break-up because one or both partners become fed up with putting forth so much effort to show love – only to feel that they’re not appreciated by the other person. It may not even cross their minds that a basic communication issue, rather than a true lack of appreciation, may be at the core of their relationship problems. In order to communicate love effectively to your partner, discover which one of the following is his or her primary love language: