Let’s kick this post off with my status: I am super single and, simultaneously, in several important relationships. That’s right, I get good morning texts, the one-off drunken “I love you” texts too. In these relationships, we go out for meals, surprise each other with gifts on our birthdays, and mutually feel we are kindred spirits.
Regardless of your love life, all relationships can be boiled down to Joseph Campbell’s 5 Love Languages. Bare with me, it’s not cheesy. In fact, it is stupidly simple. Each of us has one or two dominant languages – you can take a quiz but I’m pretty sure you can self-identify from the options below:
- Words of affirmation
- Quality time
- Receiving gifts
- Acts of service
- Physical touch
Once again, keep in mind that in any relationship, both people will have their own language of receiving. When it comes to giving, it might not be a person’s first instinct to do things differently from what they would’ve liked to receive. And, quite obviously, if you’re more self-centered, you probably shouldn’t go for someone who wants acts of service. If spending money makes you want to cry, don’t go for someone who expects gifts and seems extravagant. Likewise, don’t try to change someone’s innate language. This is what we call a square peg, round hole situation. You’d have a hell of a hard time trying to teach a person “WoA” if they already struggle to express themselves.
So, if you’re trying to figure out whether someone is a good fit with your lifestyle, try this simple test. Don’t tell them about it, otherwise, you’ll look like a little freak. All you have to do is listen, and then figure out if you know how to speak their language.
Personally, I predominantly enjoy both giving and receiving words of affirmation. Most of my energy (in any relationship) goes towards understanding the other person’s emotional information. This can be great in small doses, but providing such counsel can enable the other person to use you as a crutch. With each language, we can put up barriers to keep our relationships from turning toxic or co-dependent. We all know what can happen with too much of a good thing.
So tell me, which was your dominant trait and has it changed over the years?