The old term, “it’s not you, it’s me,” might not be as incorrect as you think.
A cop out, yes, but nothing short of the truth sometimes!
When I was in ASB in high school, the term “love languages” was shoved so hard into everyone’s brains that I carry them to this day with every relationship I create.
So when relationships fail or fall through, it’s really easy to sit back and go over every little thing you’ve done wrong, and blame yourself for what happened. But It’s really important to remember the following:
Not Everyone is Built to Love the Same Way
Just like different cultures and countries have different methods of communication, love works the exact same way. The following information regarding love languages is directly derived from the book, The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate by Gary D. Chapman, and the one and only “Choose Love,” advocate Houston Kraft who taught me everything I know regarding self-love and loving others. (If you ever need a pick-me-up refer to him please it’s so worth it)
I used to think this was insane. Back in school I brushed so much of this off claiming it was just some way to make a profit off of some made up concept. But then, slowly, I started to recognize it in others. I saw how my mother’s face would light up whenever I did the dishes for her. Something so casual and meaningless to me meant so much to her. It boggled my mind for days!
Then I’d notice how genuinely upset my friend would get when her boyfriend canceled on her, again, when they had plans. He had a good excuse, employment budges for no relationship. However it was the simple fact that they had set plans that got canceled that dimmed her light a bit.
Then I noticed it in myself, when someone I had given my heart to wouldn’t do as much as hold my hand in public. He thought it was okay, I took it as an immediate rejection and shut off.
So I investigated further. And the results were pretty wild and quite easy to detect. While incompatibility in love language cannot completely deteriorate a relationship, a lack of consideration toward other peoples love language can result in tension and a dissolving of communication. While it is true that everyone plays a role in relationships not working out, this could potentially be a conversation starter to get any failing relationship back into a place where communication and understanding is bountiful.
Rather than explaining it, I figured I’d make an infographic that explains it a little easier.
Taking it to Heart: The Takeaway
Knowing how your partner, friend, parent, loved one of any sort gives and receives love is absolutely crucial. You might be trying to hug them and rub their back to soothe them when what they’re feeling down, when what they really need is some of the load to be taken off, or maybe they need to hear that they’re doing okay and that things will work themselves out.
Try to make it a point to ask them how they would like to receive support, and pay attention to how they try to give you love. This works both ways. A loved one may hand you a gift and think that they’re off the hook because that’s what they think love is, and they simply don’t know that a hug or a phone call would have been much more effective for you. Knowing the difference between love languages strengthens any relationship by encouraging communication.
And also, if things don’t work out between you and a loved one, consider why that is, and it may just give a new meaning to, “it’s not you it’s me.”
There are many online tests out there to find out how you interpret love the most. I like to try and take the test every so often because as life stages continue the way I give love changes slightly. Have a conversation about how you give love with your SO or loved one, it might just be what strengthens your bond the most!
Curious? Find your love language HERE (just click to begin!)