We first talked about what the five love languages actually are. [The initial posts in this 3-part series may be found here and here. I divided them into two parts – give yourself some time to review that before you go on here. Much of this will NOT make much sense if you don’t.]
Now, the question is – Why are we talking about this anyway? Why does it matter?
The linguist in me ever so clearly sees THIS (once a linguist, always a linguist):
Using the inappropriate love language with your spouse is like talking to a French man in Chinese.
Unless one or both of them are proficient in the other person’s language, they are never going to be able to communicate their issues because they are unable to connect.
Or, like I mentioned earlier, uttering the words I love you to someone even if it were a million times a day will not mean a thing unless their love language is words of affirmation.
You have to realize that when talking to the French man in Chinese, you are wasting your time.
And your time could be much better spent if you, in fact, started learning their language and using that in conversation instead.
This would be both for your own wellness and for the wellness of your relationship.
So, where does that leave us?
First of all, you and I have to know what our spouse’s love language is.
And then, you put it to work.
When in doubt, you ask them. It’s really easy.
Now, remember that only because at one point in your life together their top two love languages were A and B, that doesn’t necessarily mean that that’s what they are today.
Or even less so, that that’s what they are going to be twenty years from now.
As life circumstances change, so may our love languages.
And there is nothing wrong with that.
Again, when in doubt, investigate — Your best resource (AKA the expert) is standing right in front of you.
Pay attention to the things they are doing for you and learn from that.
More often than not, it is a good indicator of what they want done.
We often tend to use the love language that we prefer for our loved ones. Particularly before we realize the whole story of love languages.
So whatever our spouses are doing (or not doing) is valuable Intel.
Don’t ignore it.
And lastly, you will have heard talk of love tanks.
If you want a happy spouse whose love tank regularly gets refilled as needed, you and I want to take what we find to heart. I guarantee you will see the difference it makes.
Let me leave you with this (going back to the languages analogy from before, if you don’t mind):
The point in knowing your spouse’s love language is NOT that you will continue yelling “I love you” in Chinese, over and over and over again.
It’s that you will learn how to say it in French and then start saying that.
And yes, French may be hard for you.
And it may not come naturally.
And it may not be something you care all that much about.
You may never have spoken French to anyone before, ever.
You may be just fine living your life in Chinese.
Yes, and…. if you care and want to make sure that your spouse knows what it is your have been ‘yelling’ at them in whatever the foreign language of your choice is — you. will. learn. their way.