Differing love languages: Why it’s OK if your relationship ended

Guest Column by Sanetra Richards

We all have probably heard something along the lines of this: “If you are still thinking or talking about it, you are not over it.” There is some truth to this statement under most circumstances. However, in my case the falsity outweighs the truth.

Recently, I have found myself thinking about a past relationship a lot, more so than I would like to. Does that mean I am not over the failed partnership? No. I think it is quite common for many with exes to sometimes have a moment of reflection.

I had a conversation with a friend a couple of days ago and they asked me why I thought the relationship was unsuccessful. It has been years since. I had not given this much thought because in my mind he and I were both immature when it came to relationships, so I could not fault only him for the breakup. I had to take partial ownership for our dead end drive down Honeymoon Avenue.

After setting aside my pride and ego, I realized the ‘five love languages’ were pretty existent in our situation.

According to the author Gary Chapman who coined the term ‘love language,’ there are five ways in which you show your partner your affection: quality time, gifts, words of affirmation, physical touch and acts of service. You can tell what yours or what your partner’s is by what they do and say in the relationship.

Although my past significant other was affectionate and easy to talk to with a charming sense of humor, I knew things would never progress because he lacked tremendously in the area of being supportive. Often times, what I wanted to do got swept underneath the rug.

One of my most prominent love languages is affirmation. What I was showing him in the relationship is what I truly wanted him to reciprocate.

If your “love language” is through words of affirmation and quality time, but your partner’s language is more so physical touch, no matter what you do, he or she will not consider it love because you are not speaking their language. So you are both showing each other love in two different ways although it may not be perceived as such.

You may want a supportive, ‘ride-or-die’ for your goals and dreams. They may want more affection and personal touch. Ultimately, your languages can go unbalanced, leading to a web of confusion and misunderstanding.

As I look back, I recognize that I do lack the emotion needed for a relationship in its beginning stages. This does not mean I am nonchalant. Let’s just say I am more fluent in the other love languages.

Those questions mentioned before may resurface, but take a moment to analyze why the relationship didn’t last. You will be surprised how the five love languages played a part and how they can lead to a successful relationship if meshed well.