Of all the languages that should come naturally to us, it should be the language of love that should be the easiest. But not everyone may have grown in a household full of it, so for some, the language of love requires a bit of learning. It may be awkward at first - and even downright mushy - but that's the beauty of love: No action or word is ever too sweet if the gesture comes from the heart.
The most successful and inspiring relationships are among couples and families who speak all the five languages of love: Quality time, words of affirmation, giving and receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. So if you feel you are not 'fluent' in one, maybe you can compensate with another that comes natural to you until you learn a few more. It's also important to learn how the other person speaks their language of love so you can talk to them in that language for complete understanding.
If you want to be ‘conversant’ in the language of love, you need to understand the following.
Infants learn the language of love early on when they suckle on their mothers. This physical bond creates the hormone oxytocin, which makes both mother and child feel good about being physically close together and crave for it more, creating a cycle of feeling good and craving for something that makes them feel good. We need this kind of physical bond as adults, especially as we find a significant other with which we share intimacy - not just in the bedroom and not just on special occasions - wherever appropriate and every day. Physically touching each other strengthens the pairing bond and our immune system. If the other person speaks this language, they would need a lot of hugging, kissing, stroking, caressing and patting to feel truly loved.
If love were to be expressed in numbers, it would be best expressed by the number of hours you spend with your loved one without the distractions of chores, television, and other people who might divide your attention. Going through the motions of the relationship - dinner together in front of the television perhaps - maybe the default mode of some couples who have settled into routine, but to truly tell someone you love them, you should be with them in spirit, mind and body. No wonder why housebound wives may feel neglected by their husbands, no matter how well the latter provide for his family, when he arrives home and buries his nose in smartphone or turns on the tube and lets the shows wash over him while his wife dies to spend a quiet evening talking about their days.
Acts of service
It is but a natural extension of your love to make life easier for the object of your affection. This could be in the form of doing things that they'd rather let another person do. By doing service like this, you ease their burden and spare them the dread of going through chores which don't make them happy or feel productive. Running errands, giving massage, taking out the garbage are all acts of service that make life easier for the people we love. Be aware, however, that if the other person speaks a different language - say a person who loves to be given your undivided attention - acts of service may not be appreciated for what they are (an expression of love).
Giving (and receiving) gifts
It's the thought that counts, so goes one popular saying. If given without love, gifts can easily be mistaken for materialism, but gifts that come from the heart, no matter how small the value, are those that have been devoted the time and sacrifice to bring the gift to the recipient. Gift-giving says that the other person is prized above whatever inconveniences endured to deliver the gift. In the healthiest relationships, this sacrifice is recognized by receiving the gift with utmost gratitude. This is perhaps the reason why extravagant gifts that were picked with utmost care and thought are all the more appreciated especially when received on special occasions.
Words of affirmation
Actions speak louder than words, and many couples (mistakenly) believe that if they take over the dreaded chores of the one they love - or wrap them up the most sparkling gift bought at the last minute - they are expressing their love in the most eloquent way. Not necessarily so. We in fact need to hear the reason why these people are doing it for us in the first place. "Because I love you," is a very convincing reason for their acts of service. So tell the people you love that you love them, and tell them often. It may sound overly sentimental, but letting them know that you love them via the sense of hearing reinforces the bond. Thanking the object of your affection for his or her love and for the acts of service that they do; letting your friends know how proud or blessed you are for the person's presence in your life; praising their strengths and criticizing constructively their areas of improvement; letting them know that they look good or that their cooking is great are all verbal affirmations that enforce the love expressed as acts of service.