We all have unique ways in which we best receive love. When we learn someone else’s love language, we are able to love them in the way they best like to receive love. Gary Chapman’s bestselling book, The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts lists five love languages, which include physical touch, quality time, acts of service, words of affirmation and giving or receiving gifts.
One of the core philosophies from the 5 Love Languages is that we tend to show or express love in the way that we want love shown to us. Knowing and understanding our loved ones’ love language not only ensures a greater understanding but also gives way for deeper and more meaningful connection.
In this article, we will explore how the 5 love languages can work hand-in-hand with one’s LQ to transform the way we love, making it a more meaningful and fulfilling experience.
Start with loving yourself first
Loving yourself first is the key to unlocking the full potential of what the 5 love languages can do for you and your relationships. Loving yourself first means knowing how to connect with your inner self, aka inner child, and love and embrace the parts of yourself that desire to be loved. This is how to raise your LQ.
When you start with loving yourself first, you are no longer dependent on others’ love as your primary source of love. Through cultivating a deep and meaningful relationship with your inner self, you will find that you are more ready to love others in a non dependent way.
“When we are unable to show up from a place of love for ourselves, we are unable to be authentic in who we really are with the world around us.” says health and empowerment coach, Bobbie Poulton.
The more deeply we love ourselves, the greater our capacity to love somebody else. When we love from a place of already having loved ourselves, and having increased our love quotient, we become the vessel from which love flows.
LQ helps us adapt to our partner’s love language
One of the main reasons we learn the 5 Love Languages system is that it empowers us to meet our partners needs better, by loving them the way they need to be loved, as opposed to demanding to be loved in the way that we want to be loved.
“Only when we are truly aligned with our own beautiful and unique spirit, can we completely and authentically give and receive real love. This is because when we love ourselves we know that we can give without becoming resentful, exhausted and depleted, and we can receive because we know we deserve it.”
Joyce Marter, Counselor
Raising our LQ, or filling our own cup first, ensures that we are not starting from a place of scarcity or deficit. When we have loved ourselves first, we are more able to approach others with a greater sense of flexibility in how we express love to them and it becomes easier to love others in ways that aren’t the most natural way for us to give love.
When we love ourselves, we replenish our own love tank
Chapman refers to the concept of one’s “love tank” throughout his books. The love tank, as mentioned by Chapman, implies that we are responsible for how loved our partners feel.
When our source of love is externally based, this means that we are dependent on someone else for love. In understanding and raising our love quotient, we take responsibility for loving ourselves first; and from this place, we are no longer dependent on others to receive the love that we want.
When we start with loving ourselves first, we put ourselves in a position where any love that we receive outside of ourselves can be received as a gift as opposed to something that we need or something that we depend on to survive emotionally.
This brings us to one of the common criticisms of the 5 Love Languages. Relationship counselors share that couples who have read the book and use the love languages tend to “keep count” of how many times each person makes an effort or the times their partners don’t. This is a great example of what happens when we rely on others as our source of love. When we raise our Love Quotient, we become the source of our own love, liberating us from this “neediness” trap.
Loving ourselves and raising our LQ allows us to love from a “tank” that is full.
LQ helps us hone our EQ, an essential skill for using the 5 Love Languages effectively
When we have developed our EQ, we have a greater awareness of our emotions and are able to accurately read a situation.
Raising our love quotient helps us to develop the sensitivity required to recognize and employ the 5 Love languages appropriately. It also gives us the ability to be with our partners when they are experiencing difficult emotions.
This is because greater internal love gives us greater internal safety to be with difficult emotions. If we do not have a high LQ because we are afraid to be with feelings like anger, sadness, jealousy or insecurity, we are not going to be able to fully hear what our partner is communicating.
When we raise our LQ, we have a greater awareness of how beneficial it is for our partner to feel and express what they’re feeling in that moment.
LQ is what empowers us with the ability or willingness to fully feel the full spectrum of emotions that may arise in our relationships.
LQ ensures that our use of the Love Languages is sincere
Raising your love quotient will ensure that you engage your partner with the deepest level of sincerity and compassion.
Chapman cautions us about using our loved one’s love language to manipulate them. When we have a high love quotient, we are less inclined to love someone with an ulterior motive. We are also less concerned with what we get back from the person.
For example, when we give someone a gift, the person receiving the gift is moved by the sentiment and can feel that there isn’t something expected back or an attachment to what is being given.
A high LQ helps inspire our hearts to give more freely and without attachment. When we raise our love quotient, we find that we have more love to give in whichever love language our loved ones are oriented towards.
Developing our LQ helps us receive love
Having a high LQ allows us to recognize when someone is giving us love even when it’s not in our primary love language. The more deeply we love ourselves, the more open we are to actually receiving love. Even when it’s not necessarily our favorite or primary love language, we can still recognize when someone else is expressing love to us, and we’re able to appreciate it as the gift of love that it was meant as.
“Love languages are a deceptively simple concept, and understanding them can be transformative if you put in the practical work.”
Julie Nguyen, Relationship Coach
Learning the 5 love languages and using that knowledge to adapt to our partners’ needs can be a great starting point for improving our relationships. When we raise our LQ
, our application of the love languages in practice amplifies, leading to far more profound results for ourselves and our partners.