Discovering your 'love language'

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 13) — Have you ever been lost in a foreign country and tried asking a local for directions?

And as hard you two may try, you just can't understand each other's words.

Apparently, this "language barrier" can also exist with the people we love most.

"Na-realize na minsan, 'pag iba ang sinasabi ng partner, tapos iba yung expectation nung partner, nagkakaroon ng hidwaan," AMD Love Consultants Relationship Expert Aiza Caparas-Tabayoyong told CNN Philippines "Newsroom Ngayon" on Monday.

[Translation: They realized that sometimes, when a partner says something, but the other partner has a different expectation, conflict arises.]

"Ito yung pinag-aralan ni Gary Chapman sa States among couples na meron pala tayong kanya-kanyang paraan ng pagpapakita ng pagmamahal sa ating mga partners, sa ating mga kamag-anak, sa ating mga anak," she added.

[Translation: This is what Gary Chapman studied in the United States among couples, such that they have different ways of expressing love for their partners, their family and their children.]


Gary Chapman, a U.S-based pastor who studied anthropology and philosophy, identified "The Five Love Languages," which include:

  1. Words of Affirmation — verbal or written words of appreciation or praise
  2. Acts of Service — taking the initiative to help others
  3. Receiving Gifts — giving thoughtful material things
  4. Quality Time — dedicating time to someone you love, without distractions
  5. Physical Touch — physical contact like holding hands, hugging, kissing, sex

Chapman said although all people communicate their love using these languages, a person primarily speaks one love language.

Acquiring love languages

Caparas-Tabayoyong said most people don't speak the same love language.

"Pwedeng growing up, diyan ka nakasanayan," she said. "'Yan yung ginagawa ng magulang mo sa iyo, so 'yun yung naiintindihan mo. Kumbaga, ang salita niyo sa bahay Cebuano, you grow up expecting sasabihan ka "I love you," Cebuano. 'Pag bigla kang sinabihan ng Nihonggo, 'di mo maiintindihan."

[Translation: It could be that growing up, that is the language that you were used to. That was the language that your parents taught you, so that's what you understand. In other words, if you speak Cebuano at home, you grow up expecting people to say "I love you" in Cebuano. So if someone suddenly speaks to you in Japanese, you won't understand.]

Caparas-Tabayoyong also said people may acquire a love language because they were deprived of it.

"'Pag nakuha nila sa iba, "Ay, ang lakas ng dating," she said. "Mas nagugustuhan nila. Mas meron silang magnetism dun sa pagpapakita ng pagmamahal na ganun."

[Translation: If they get it from somebody else, they say, "What an impact." They prefer it. They have greater magnetism for those who express love in that way.]

Learning each other's language

Caparas-Tabayoyong said good relationships are about give and take, including striving to understand each other's love languages.

"Kung ang love language niya pala ay Words of Affirmation, hindi (Receiving) Gifts, then you might as well devote your time and energy writing or saying good things about the person, kaysa naman mag-aksaya ka ng oras at pera mag-shopping ng regalo na hindi naman pala niya mas ma-appreciate kaysa dun sa affirmation," she added.

[Translation: If your partner's love language is Words of Affirmation, not Receiving Gifts, then you might as well devote your time and energy writing or saying good things about the person, instead of wasting time and money shopping for a gift that he or she may not appreciate as much as affirmation.]

Caparas-Tabayoyong said it could just be a matter of keen observation.

"Usually, kung ano yung ginagawa sa iyo ng partner at hindi niyo pa napag-uusapan ito, malamang-lamang, 'yun yung love language nila," she said. "Halimbawa, lagi siyang nagre-regalo sa iyo tuwing okasyon, pero hindi naman siya nagsasabi ng "I love you."

[Translation: Usually, if you haven't talked about it, whatever signs your partner shows most likely indicate his or her love language. For instance, he or she always gives gifts during special occasions, but doesn't say "I love you."]

Alternatively, Caparas-Tabayoyong said people can take the Chapman's Love Language Quiz online.

"Learn your own love language and communicate that with your partner para hindi kayo naghuhulaan," she said.

[Translation: Learn your own love language and communicate that with your partner so you don't engage in a guessing game.]

"Kasi 'pag naghuhulaan at hindi nabibigay yung gusto, pwedeng maging source ng tampuhan," she added. "Pwedeng maiwasan by learning yourself, learning your partner, and give and take."

[Translation: Because if you're just guessing around and you don't get what you want, it could be a source of spats. You can avoid this by learning yourself, learning your partner. and giving and taking.]