I did a little snooping around in books, and inevitably on line to find out what age we learn to love. In short, it all seems a bit confusing. There is a general agreement children show signs of love from birth. Some differences on how that is shown are there, but they seem more gentle variations.
What is interesting for me is; at what age do we select our “language of love”? If we examine them they each seem to link to a very different time in childhood development. I have multiple conjectures about what this might mean; and the main two are almost diametrically opposed. They are:
- Our language of love becomes settled when our brain development recognises “love”; so Touch would be very early and Words would be very late.
- Our language of love becomes settled when we have we have stopped developing our ability to learn/sense new forms of love; Touch being early and Words be late and effectively more emotionally expansive.
They seem mindbogglingly oversimplified and I’m sure neither reflects the truth. There’s no doubt that the environment you grow up in would have some influence; even your genes may be at play here. What is certain is that we all have a language and our own tone/accent. Where and when we learn it is another matter.
There is a path somewhere between our childhood and our adult relationships that should be explored. Maybe it’s out there and I’ve missed it; I’d love to hear from someone if it is. If not I am sure there are subtle gains to be made in relationships and happiness. There’s a challenge for you “real shrinks”.