Usually it is not enough to formally speak a common language. Parents who talk to their young students know that the citizens who go to the building authority know it, everyone who sits in front of the tax return knows it these days. And lovers know that, too. With the difference that the tax return doesn’t really care whether you like it or not – but this basic question in a romantic relationship isn’t entirely irrelevant.
In other words, speaking not only a common language of verbal communication, but also a common language of love can be beneficial to the success of the partnership. Let it be in five languages instead, as American matrimonial therapist Gary Chapman thought and defined the five love languages in the early 1990s with the following rules:
- Words of affirmation and appreciation: Those who speak this language of love express affection through praise, perhaps without even realizing it.
- Willingness to help and service work: Help is an expression of affection for people who have this love language.
- physical touches: Tenderness and closeness as a sign of love are above spoken language.
- Give a gift: It looks physical but it is an expression of appreciation. Not the equivalent in terms of money, but a gesture and the idea of a gift is a sign of affection
- Exclusive teamwork: He has a thing for gifts, but this is the time for focused and attentive teamwork as a sign of recognition.
Somehow, according to the idea of everything, everyone has a mother tongue of love. Great when both lovers speak the same language. But not everything. But as with languages, speaking and comprehension skills don’t have to be equally obvious: it’s at least a good idea to understand your partner’s language. It is also better if they learn something in their mother tongue, so that they can communicate in several love languages if necessary.
Love languages: a popular idea, a little explored
So far, Chapman’s concept is quite conclusive – and this may also be the reason why relatively little research has been done on its mechanisms. Olha Mostova from the University of Warsaw wanted to know more about her now, because in the end it might be completely irrelevant to our love language. The main thing is that the pheromones are correct and such.
However, a partner’s scent doesn’t necessarily guarantee an effective relationship after the first phase of infatuation (“Okay, baby, I’m going to do the laundry, take out the trash, and on weekends we’ll go to the coast, just the two of us, because you smell so good.”). In order to understand how love languages work, Olha Mostova’s team examined a total of one hundred heterosexual couples. The participants’ ages ranged from 17 to 58 years and between six months and 24 years old together. Participants had to rate the love language they would prefer to use to express their love. And any one a partner uses to make him feel loved.
Knowing foreign languages makes you happy
Using this data, the researchers were able to assess where opposites clash, how satisfied couples are in their relationship, how fulfilling their sex lives are, and what empathy the participants show. It has been proven that both men and women love it when their partner knows how to speak their love language. This is evident in both relationships and sexual life. At the same time, lovers seem happier to use their partner’s preferred language.
It is clear, however, that this actually has more to do with simple language skills than with empathy. The researchers were able to show that empathy played a small role in men’s relationship experiences, but not in women. In general, they do not see that their assumptions confirm a relationship between empathy, speaking and understanding a common language of love. Nor between sympathy and good sex.
Languages can be learned
Even if love languages can be assumed to be universal, the study must live with the limitations of having only heterosexual pairs on the board. Scientific follow-up studies can show whether the findings also apply to same-sex partnerships. Moreover, there is no data in the study about the role of love languages in the relationship lives of polygamous people. According to the researchers, it should also be checked whether matching the same love language actually leads to more satisfaction automatically.
However, the truth is that if the flirtation falters, it may help to consult a dictionary and improve your understanding of the language. This finding also applies to the couple’s occupational therapy. And then it’s like with Spanish and ancient Greek, with German for teenagers and taxes: you can learn everything. After all, it is about good cooperation. And good sex.