Lost in Translation: “I Love You”

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Have you ever dated someone and in the beginning you couldn’t get enough of them?

And by the end of it all you’d wish you couldn’t recall those times. Or maybe things just started to fall out of sync between you two.

In the New York Times Bestseller, “The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts”, Dr. Gary Chapman, a family and marriage consultant, discusses the 5 different “languages”  he feels people use to express love. Chapman defines the 5 love “languages” as: (1) Words of Affirmation, (2) Quality Time, (3) Gifts, (4) Acts of Service, and (5) Physical Touch. Through his characterization of each love language, Chapman gives insights to help you define your own love language. (There is even a 5 Love Languages personal profile at the back of the book!)

Chapman begins the first chapter with a gentlemen posing a question you see examined throughout the novel,

“What happens to the love after you get married?”

While I am not married,  I paralleled the comparisons to my experiences with relationships. As he contends, after the infatuation phase has faded, we sometimes have a harder time conveying our love. Think of the real world, if you are not fluent in a language, initial greetings and salutations may come easily, but everything else will come with some effort.

Imagine if the person you loved most told you they didn’t feel loved by you?

You’d probably respond shocked since you love them the best way you know how. Chapman exposes different crutches people hide behind to show love.

One of my love languages (you can identify with one or two) is “gifts.” Growing up, I can say it was a language I learned from my father. All the same, the people I love have grown to know me and can attest that rather than addressing my true sentiments, I express my love via gifts. Whether I’m at the gas station and spot your favorite White Chocolate Kit Kats at the register or bring you back a lighter from Ibiza, I love giving gifts to people I love, monetary or not.  Making my loved ones feel special with a simple gesture, inadvertently makes my day that much better.

From experience, I can conclude that love blooms from genuine experiences; but only the absence of pride and the practice of constant communication (of your desires and perspectives,) will allow your love continue to flourish. I say that to tell you, if you love someone, give them your best genuine self. Your genuine self is powerful, so be careful. Not everyone can handle it. But your genuine self is perceptive. Willingness to work with someone and interpret their love language, and all its dialects, could having you two speaking your own language — one that no one else can speak as well as you.

We all want to be loved. Better yet, we all need to be loved. I don’t say that to be a sap; it’s part of simple psychology and is essential to developing our full potential. And while Dr. Chapman didn’t reveal any ground breaking news to me, he presented scenarios and moments I could relate to my own relationships, both past and present, allowing me a mindset that is guilt and blame free. Sometimes love just gets lost in translation. Learning and appreciating another language can be difficult. It takes time, patience, and perseverance. But if your passion is to be fluent, you’ll make it work.

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