Why You Should Learn to Speak Every Love Language

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Knowing your coworkers’ love languages is helpful.

Knowing your parents’ love languages is helpful.

Knowing your roommates’ love languages is helpful.

Additionally, if you have multiple partners, keeping track of everyone’s love language is especially helpful to navigate the essential communication of polyamory.

So it’s important to learn and be able to communicate within each of the five love languages.

Why you should learn them all

Knowing someone’s love language is like having a cheat sheet for making them feel better.

When I’m having a bad day, friends who know my love languages will write me really nice messages about what I mean to them, because words of affirmation and reassurance are the best way for me to feel loved.

But words wouldn’t necessarily help someone who needs quality time — that person would feel loved if I made plans to chat with them about their life over coffee or invited them over to hang out together.

Knowing someone’s love language is like having a cheat sheet for making them feel better.

I have made lists of my friends’ love languages before so that I could have a quick reference guide to what each of them needed. It’s not disingenuous to have to write it all down either. There are a lot of people in my life and keeping track of their love languages makes sense to me.

I am a helping, loving person, and I want to love people in the ways they need it. People don’t always feel empowered to ask for love the way they want it, so knowing their love language lets me tailor my offerings.

It’s important to me to speak love in their language instead of just offering love in my own.

  • Touch: Can I offer a hug or cuddle? Would it help them feel reassured if I held their hand gently while they talked to me about their problems?
  • Words: Can I say something really affirming for them to let them know I see what they’re working hard on and that they’re worth the effort?
  • Time: Can I schedule a phone call or a time to hang out together so they know someone values time with them?
  • Acts: Can I order dinner for them so they don’t have to think about what to cook tonight? Can I come over and help them clean their room or catch up on dishes?
  • Gifts: Can I bring them something small to let them know I’m thinking of them?

I have people in my life across the board of love languages, and it’s important to me to speak love in their language instead of just offering love in my own.

Normalize asking for love

The more I communicate with my loved ones about how I feel the most loved, the more they show up for me.

I live for the day when it’s perfectly normal to discuss your love language and how you prefer to receive communication and reassurance. I did it myself when I made a Google Slides presentation entitled, “How to Love Caitlin” and sent the link to my friends.

It felt really uncomfortable at first, because asking for a specific type of feedback or love can feel like you’re being ungrateful for the love you are receiving.

But it’s normal to ask for it differently.

Communication breakdowns happen when one person is communicating in a way that the other person doesn’t understand. I’ve had my share of communication fails. Trauma makes it more difficult to know what’s okay or not, but the only way out is through, and I have to keep showing up at the awkward conversation table in order to make my voice heard.

It turns out it’s never as awkward as I think it will be.

The more I communicate with my loved ones about how I feel the most loved, the more they show up for me. Because I made it really easy. I don’t expect them to read my mind, which is why I wrote it all down.

Even if it feels silly, try taking the Love Languages Quiz and telling a few people close to you about your love language. See if they adjust the way they interact with you to make sure they’re loving you in your language.

And also do the work to speak theirs back.

Prone to sudden bursts of encouragement. They/them. Queer, autistic author of bit.ly/GaslightingMillennials

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