As soon as you read the title of this article, you might have instantly thought that this section would talk about a romantic relationship or something on the similar lines and would provide you a rulebook or guidelines or “5 things” that you should do to keep and maintain a happy relationship. But, there are no specific number of instructions or lines on the rock, rather, various concentric loops forming a ripple effect on water, when we talk of Relationships.
Most often than not, we all experience the feelings of getting hurt or disrespected or unimportant, more from the people who are very close to us or whom we love beyond measures, than from the people who are simply acquaintances. Ever wondered why? To say the least and settle the query,
“different people have different love language(s).”
The word love, carries with itself a bundle of expectations and ‘a need to be wanted by someone.’ The way we convey and express these two aspects of love to others, is what differs amongst the all of us. There are in total 5 love languages-
• Words of Affirmation (“You are beautiful”, “I love you”, “I care for you”)
• Physical Touch (Intimacy, Caressing your loved one, a warm hug)
• Receiving Gifts (gifting each other a tangible thing of desire)
• Quality Time (spending time with one another towards the end of the day, going out for evening walks together, engaging in hobbies over a weekend together)
• Acts of Service (helping out to clean the dishes after the dinner, cooking the favourite dish, sharing responsibilities).
In a relationship, two people might or might not have different and multiple sets of love languages. If we consider that two people have different mode of love language i.e., one might express it through words of affirmations and the other through acts of service, it might lead to a blind spot where people could either misinterpret or overlook the subtle pointers of love that the other person is trying to convey. This, in turn, would lead the person to feel hurt or unloved in certain ways possible. Hence, it becomes very important that we understand and become sensitive towards each other’s emotional communication. If we do so, each and every effort would be noticed and appreciated and one would feel Loved!
Speaking of love and relationships, we usually bracket it together with happiness. We look for our soul mates, brotherhood/sisterhood with whom we resonate the most and look up-to the bonds of togetherness, ‘the legendary bro-code’. We look for our parts, the puzzled missing parts, in our tribe and derive happiness from them. But we often forget that happiness in our relationships can be maintained over a long period of time only when we are ourselves happy, individually and not enmeshed as one entity. Upholding an individual identity and individual happiness that is not ensnared with the other person, but, acts a catalyst in a relationship is what will let the interest in the other one intact.
“The opposite of love is not hate. Hate is just love gone bad. The actual opposite of love is apathy. When you don’t care a damn as to what happens to the other person.” – AmishTripathi, The Secret of the Nagas.
We must have often heard the phrases like- “I don’t love you anymore.”, “I think we lost the spark we had.” Etc. What is it that people in so much love with one another, heads over heals for one another, over a period of time start to lose interest or feel that they don’t love the other one? According to many researches, it is a simple thing as Communication. Apart from the physical distance between two individuals, the emotional and intellect void that gets created, starts occupying more space in a relationship and people start feeling hesitant and start inculcating a fear of judgment from the other one. This leads to a vicious cycle of individuals yet again not able to communicate their feelings and emotions to the other person and hence, becoming furthermore distant from one another.
Therefore, it is very crucial that in relationships, people leave their “political correct” approach and step out of their comfort zones to be more free, honest and open with one another. From psychological point of view, next time you find yourself amidst a red flag situation in any relationship, remember to- be assertive and not aggressive to put forth your point; do not over-commit and under-deliver. Keep it realistic. The moment when one is able to comfortably be vulnerable in front of the other person, they will be able to place their emotions on the table and build a more healthy, strong and reliable relationship.