How Knowing a Person's Love Language Can Improve Your Relationship
We've discussed what the five love languages are, but here is how knowing a person's love language can greatly improve your relationship and ability to communicate with others.
Disclaimer: As with anything like this, the information provided is not some magical guide to resolve all relationship problems nor take the work out of building a foundation of trust, compassion, and closeness with another person. This information is strictly provided to allow you to learn a bit more about five of the common "love languages" that apply in many situations and help you gain better insight into the perspectives of those you care about.
What are the Five Love Languages?
As mentioned in our last post, these are the "languages" in which people give and receive love. The five languages are:
Acts of Service
Words of Affirmation
Additionally, anyone can have a mixture of these love languages and they're subject to change as well. Some days, even if a good hug is what you normally prefer from loved ones, you may benefit more from them praising an accomplishment you've managed to pull off. Please keep this in mind when learning more about your own love language as well as those of other individuals in your life.
The Benefits of Using Love Languages
There are quite a few ways that learning about the best ways to communicate love, affection, and appreciation for someone can benefit those relationships.
Making Interactions More Meaningful
Knowing the love language of someone close to you allows the two of you to have much more meaningful interactions as you grow to learn more about how each of you gives and receives love.
Rather than simply showing love to someone you care about in the only way you know how, you can now take meaningful actions to ensure that you're making an effort to properly communicate your feelings in the best possible way, whether it's to your child, your partner, a friend, or a family member. Even if you think a long social visit with someone is better than a handmade card, that relative whose language is "receiving gifts" will be over the moon to have something that was created with love and especially for them.
It will also be beneficial on your end as well to start noticing those that you're close to begin acknowledging your own love language and adjusting their actions and words accordingly to let you know how important you are to them.
Empathy is when you're able to understand as well as share in someone else's feelings and emotions. When you become aware of another person's love language, this helps give you some insight into how they think, how they perceive certain things, and what they may feel based on certain interactions.
Knowing a person's love language is just another step in the direction of getting to know them better and understanding them as an individual person on a deeper level.
As you get to know those close to you on a deeper level, this also deepens your relationships with those individuals. Many people have plenty of shallow relationships where they may get along with someone just fine but have no clue about their deeper thoughts, desires, or goals in life. Learning more about a person's love language is just another factor in getting to know them better and understanding more about who they are.
Additionally, when you take the time to discuss something as personal as love languages and make an effort to communicate on someone else's level, you're putting far more work into the relationship compared to the average person. When those actions are reciprocated, you'll know that you've found someone who cares about you in return as well.
Encourages Personal Growth
One of the best ways of improving a relationship is by also improving yourself. Not by changing yourself to meet someone else's needs or preferences but by becoming self-aware and understanding the part you play in others' lives and how you like for those people to exist in your own world as well.
By understanding how your own love language affects your interactions with others, you will gain a different perspective on situations that otherwise may not have occurred. You will grow more as a person, not only through your new level of awareness but from the changes you'll be making that will likely take you out of your comfort zone when communicating with others in their own love languages.
What to Avoid When Learning About Love Languages
As with any good thing, there is also the need for caution when learning more about yourself and those close to you.
Learning about love languages should be a positive opportunity for deepening relationships, learning more about those important to you, and improving communication. However, using your newfound knowledge of these languages should not mean holding loved ones to unreasonable standards for meeting the preferences of your love language.
It should not become a competition to see who in the relationship can do more for the other based on their love language nor should the concept be weaponized in a way for one to accuse another of "not caring enough" or any other similar ideas simply because they aren't going overboard with indulging in another's preferred love language.
It should be acknowledged when a loved one properly engages in your love language and does well expressing themselves in the "language" you prefer, especially if it's something new to them and outside of their comfort zone. This should be an opportunity to connect over the effort they're putting forth, not a time to criticize them for "not doing it properly."
What's important in any relationship is that the two individuals involved are making an effort to understand each other and communicate better, and that's something that will likely always be a work in progress. Love languages can be a great tool in a person's arsenal when they're ready to learn more about someone and have that person gain more insight about them as well.
For more information on the five love languages themselves, check out our post on What Are the Five Love Languages? Stay tuned as well for our upcoming post on Love Languages for Children.