Lasting relationships, whether romantic or platonic, require intentional commitment and attention over time to truly thrive. They ask us to be empathetic towards others’ needs, understanding of their experiences, and in some cases require us to be willing to compromise and “meet halfway”.
When problems arise in our interpersonal sphere, it’s not always easy to know exactly how we might begin to remedy the situation. Thankfully, there are a few methods we can understand and employ to help bring us closer to the people that we care most about. One of these methods is understanding and applying Love Languages.
The Language of Love
Every person has a different way of expressing their love, as well as their preferred way of receiving it.
The 5 Love Languages® is a method developed by Gary Chapman, after years of work as a marriage counsellor, that presents us with a simple truth: relationships work best when we understand each other.
I like to think of understanding love languages is a bit like taking care of houseplants (bare with me for a moment). While houseplants generally need the same things to thrive and be healthy, each plant’s individual needs may be a bit different than the next. While your aloe vera is happy with long days of full sun exposure, your fern may quickly dry-out and burn under the same conditions. Your fern is happier in lower light next to the humidifier, but you may not know this unless you are paying attention to how it’s doing and making changes to help create the conditions it loves.
What Do They Need
Love languages help us to understand the way in which the people that we care for need to be loved. Knowing what affirms them, what makes them feel safe and secure, is information that can help you to dissolve conflict with more ease, connect in a deeper way, and strengthen your bond.
We are often quick to respond to others with what we need to feel better, but it isn’t always what they need. To use the house plant analogy once again, you may be giving your plant copious amounts of water with a lot of positive intention, but if it’s not what the plant needs, you may in fact be drowning it.
How Do You Love?
The first step to becoming fluent in the language of love is to get in touch with and understand your own needs. Take our short quiz to find out what your love language is, then share it with the people you love !
Take this short quiz or share it with a partner or loved one to find out what their love language is!