On being Mindful: The Importance of Translating Love Languages

By: Cat Bigley 

If you walked up to someone who was speaking a language you didn’t know, you might be able to understand their basic needs, but getting there will be kind of awkward — with pointing, gesturing, grunting and shouting things like “this!”  “ that ? “…… “ you and me ?”  

This time of year can come at us in so many ways — love is in the air, or not. Cloudy skies lead us into the warmth of home where we expect to find comfort and love. Do you feel it? It might be there, but maybe it’s just a matter of speaking (or hearing) the wrong language. For example, in French, “yes” (oui) is pronounced like “we” in English. Can you see how it might get confusing? You may have experienced this if you visited a non-English speaking country on vacation. It can be funny — or extremely frustrating. 

In a similar way, are we miscommunicating love in our relationships? 

If you take that into consideration, your current or most recent relationship may make you smile, or facepalm.

This concept of love languages has helped me be more mindful of my love for everyone in my life, even in the way I show and accept appreciation at work, or in the way I parent each of my five children. 

The five love languages describe the way we feel loved and appreciated. Depending on our own personality types and past relationships — including with our parents — we may feel loved differently than how our partners do. We may be communicating love the way we feel loved but that may not work for our partner. Understanding and decoding these different ways of showing love will help take the guesswork out of your partner’s expectations and needs.

According to Dr. Chapman, there are five love languages: words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch. These are described in detail in his book “The Five Love Languages:The Secret to Love that Lasts.”  

So, what’s your love language? It may be more difficult than just what first comes to mind. 

As the Beatles may have us believe, is all we need is Love? If so, be sure you have a translator. 

I highly recommend going online and taking the free quiz — https://www.5lovelanguages.com/

The concepts of The 5 Love Languages® have been shared with permission. ©1992, 2015 Gary D. Chapman. All rights reserved.

Cat Bigley is a mother of 5, the COO of Mindfulness,LLC, a Mindful Movement seeker, and teacher.