Are You Speaking The Same (Love) Language?

Phoenix Relationship Coaching’s Associate Head Coach Robin Wright-Thurnley’s take on relationships and marriage.


Poor communication ruins the majority of my clients’ relationships.

The need to ‘feel heard’ can be overwhelming, and frustration sets in fast.

Before you know it, you’re divorced and wonder what happened to end your marriage.

How do you know if you are even speaking the same love language as your partner?

I’m from Italian parentage, but grew up in England. I still have a slight Italian accent, and I am very fluent;

the same way my British-born Wife is from West Indian parentage and is fluent in Jamaican Patois.

Often we revert to type when we argue, and I’ll curse in Italian, and she’ll respond in Jamaican Patois.

When we have both calmed down we speak the same language – the language of love.

I whisper in her ear the romantic Italian words of love, and she melts in my arms, argument forgotten.

With relationships, sometimes, we talk to our partners and our meaning is mistranslated; there is a disconnect between the emotion we feel and the words we use.

One of the ways we overcome this is to be completely clear when we say anything to each other, and ensure the true meaning is understood.

My Wife happens to speak Italian very well, which helps us enormously.

Breaking Down Language Barriers

If you’re in a relationship with someone who speaks a different language and you’re struggling to be heard and understood, it may be worth learning their language so you can learn how your partner sees the relationship in their own language.

Having to explain your jokes and explain your friends’ jokes to each other will wear thin very quickly if you don’t.

My first girlfriend was Portugese and I couldn’t speak her language. I was very young and didn’t want to learn to speak another language, and we didn’t get beyond two dates. Lesson learned.

I can speak a little Jamaican Patois but it still sounds ridiculous, and my Wife laughs every time I try, but I will still learn because I want to be able to talk with her in the clearest way, her own language.

In your relationship, learn what love means to him/her in his own language, and he will reciprocate in yours. In the same way that taking a cookery lesson together, or a sculpture class together brings you closer, sharing the same language increases your bond too.

If I’m on a phone call with my Russian or Czech friends and my Wife is in the same room, I try to speak in English so she doesn’t feel unable to understand what I’m talking about with my friends.

It took some time for me to understand why she felt left out if I spoke in Czech or Russian but once I understood how it made her feel, it made perfect sense to me.

About Robin Wright-Thurnley

Robin is an Associate Coach at Phoenix Relationship Coaching where he guides men towards achieving their dreams of lasting love.