What does it mean to love in one’s own language, you are probably wondering … ?
Does it mean, that I have to speak to my life partner or spouse in a different language for them to feel loved ?
What is this so called love language? Is it like the common perception that French, is the language of love … ?
Do I have to learn a different foreign language for this ?
Simply, the answer is a resounding “NO” to all of the above given questions …
To be able to answer the question properly, first we need to understand what are the languages of love.
Psychological research has shown throughout the years that there exists five Love Languages known to man, of which we can proclaim “love” and/or show appreciation best to each other … These five love languages are:
– Words of Affirmation
– Quality Time
– Acts of Service
– Physical Touch
It’s a widely common misconception that if you say the words “I love you” to a spouse or a loved one, it should be sufficient to transmit your love to them. Oh how mistaken that idea is!
While you might be extremely sincere whenever you say the words “I love you” to your loved one, genuinely meaning every word of it, it might not come across as such to your partner. That is simply because each person values appreciation in a different way and perception than another. This statement holds true for both men and women. Let me further explain …
Words of Affirmation mean always giving a positive feedback to your loved one on any trivial or significant activity they make or undergo regardless of its magnitude, worth, or value, to you or to society itself. Meaning that you always give positive encouragement through constant constructive feedback to your partner, regardless of the activity he or she makes if any, to further push them in the direction of success and greatness.
To some people, constantly building them up through positive feedback, i.e. words of affirmation, is really showing them how much you love them. This means that the words “I love you” are only transmitted through merely saying them, but through your positive constructive feedback on your loved one’s behaviour and attitudes, regardless of what they do or what you are hope they would do.
You could give your spouse praise for taking care of a certain housework detail that needed to be done, even something as trivial as fixing a doorknob or installing a lightbulb in the kitchen. You could praise your wife for a meal she cooked after a very long day at work; even if the food wasn’t great you could at least praise her attempt to please you despite being exhausted all day at work. This is not lying or hypocrisy, you are praising her effort in doing something to make you happy despite her exhaustion and very busy schedule.
Quality Time speaks the most “I love you” to your partner. Spending quality time with your spouse could be the only way you can actually express love to your significant other, whether by sitting together at a coffee shop simply talking, at the dining table in your house, on your couch, or doing a certain activity together at the same time.
The focus of course is not on the activity itself, but rather on the time spent with each other doing that activity. This creates a feeling of oneness that emerges between the two of you, which creates a “love” atmosphere in your midst, while enjoying the wonderful company of each other.
Acts of Service are sometimes all what’s needed to show love to your significant other. This could be as simple as washing the dishes for your wife, taking the trash out at night, sweeping or mopping the floors, fixing doorknobs, the iron table, replacing a lightbulb in the dining hall, or painting the wall. It could be chores around the house, or taking the car to the mechanic to be fixed, taking the kids from school or to their music or soccer practice lessons. In short, it is doing something physical act for your significant other that would alleviate burdens on their backs, taking a responsibility away from them so they could feel more relaxed, not tensed up all the time. They could them blossom with you and your family.
It could be something small such as buying the groceries before going home, passing by the pharmacy to get a medicine, or simply driving her father to or from the airport on a weekday, while she is at work.
Think wisely: what’s the thing your spouse is constantly asking for and just do it. It will speak “love” to them, much more loudly than simply saying “I love you”.
Gifts, just as the word implies, is simply to get a gift for your significant other. In general, this is something women need more than men. For you to show appreciation for your spouse by presenting her with a gift which doesn’t have to be something expensive, but something as simple as a flower on your way back from work, or making her a handwritten cardboard-cut card cut which carries words that are part of you dedicated to her.
Use your imagination and, depending on your budget, you could easily satisfy this emotional need for your spouse. Maybe it could be by a special stone you found on the beach early in the morning, whether as a surprise for her or with her full knowledge that you went to the beach to specifically to get her something special. Or it could be of course something as expensive as a diamond.
The value is not in the gift itself, the value is in the “idea” of actually thinking about her, and getting her something special to make her feel special and she constantly on your mind. You don’t have to spend a fortune on the gift, but from time to time it would be a nice gesture to show extra appreciation on specific events, such as her birthday or your anniversary.
Physical Touch: while a widely-held misconception always associates physical touch to sexual activity, touch is not only related to that.
A physical touch emerges from the simplest tender, soft, gentle feeling of holding hands, a warm hug, never letting go of your arms, a pat on the shoulder, a feeling of physical closeness and oneness and, of course by mutual consent, the physical act between a married couple.
To some, simply holding hands while very close means the world, and it could even be of more value to them than actual sexual activity.
Sexual activity, is meant to be the last fulfillment of love in a marital relationship, not the sole “bond” in the relationship, which is a common misconception as previously mentioned.
God Almighty enabled such a possibility for a man and his wife to express the uttermost fulfillment of love for each other through the act of sexual intercourse, but it is never “the only way” to give or to receive love by any means. That is why it is important to explore the real meaning behind “physical touch.”
As you can see in the preceding examples, simply saying the words “I love you”, might have no meaning at all for someone, while it could mean the world for another and, in the majority of cases, the husband and wife speak different love languages in the same marital relationship.
As a matter of fact, it is very rare for both the husband and wife to speak the same love language, but if this is the case, then it wouldn’t be a problem for either one of them to speak and show “love” to the other. They would both express love and receive it as well, and it will work perfectly fine.
If this is not the case however, you will need to pay extra attention to the way that your husband or your wife best receives and perceives the meaning of the words “I love you”, in the love language they understand best.
If you don’t know the love language of your spouse, be very alert to their “needs” and their most common or often request, or the constant emotional need they lack or ask for the most within the marital relationship … If ever in doubt, simply ask your partner about his or her love language.
I believe if you are newly married, you should have a very good idea what is the love language of your spouse, because that’s probably what you have spent your engagement period finding out about each other.
If you have been married for a long time, look for clues your spouse gives you of what they need or what they lack, whether around the house, or something that would ease life for them.
We need to be very careful and deliberate in the way we express the true meaning of love to our loved ones, and how our life partners perceive it correctly in the love language they understand most; that is to put our love into actions.
That’s why it’s no secret that “actions” speak louder than millions of words …
And an action given in love, will speak endless love songs to your significant other and will make his or her cup overflow with happiness in the assurance of your true, deep, sincere love.
May your lives always be blossoming and nurtured with The Love of Jesus Christ our Lord and sincere true love towards each other.
Bless you in The Name of the Lord.
Emmanuel Ghali (Mano)
Accredited Christian Counselor, AACC
11 August 2019