Lastly, physical touch or “skinship” is another love language. While touch may sound inappropriate or reserved for lovers, physical touch is more than just hugs and kisses. Physical touch is one of the earliest forms of love we receive as newborns, when we were cradled and breastfed by our mothers. As we get older, we can appreciate friendly gestures like a high-five, a pat on the back, or a soothing massage after a long day.
Are love languages only for romantic relationships?
It is natural to hear the word love and immediately associate it with romantic relationships. While it is especially useful for couples, love languages are relevant for all types of relationships. Non-romantic relationships include platonic friendships, kinship (or family relationship), and the relationship you have between teammates and colleagues (acquaintanceships).
The effect of love languages on relationships
Understanding other people’s love languages clears up a lot of avoidable misunderstandings. If you discover that your partner’s love language is predominantly physical touch, you may need to think twice before taking a job overseas and turning your relationship into an long-distance one. On the other hand, if you have a child that prefers quality time, they may not appreciate fully the expensive gifts you send if you are away on their birthday.
Misinterpreting or constantly using the wrong love language on someone can be potentially damaging to the relationship. The wrong gesture can still be acceptable from time to time, however, the other person may become tired or feel unappreciated. In addition, most people use more than one love language. Consistency may be key, but it can also get boring. Switch things up from time to time, but always remember your intentions when you do acts of love for others.