I’ve been reading about love recently, researching my way into crossing off life bucket list item #44 and I came across the love languages. Apparently, there are five different ways people communicate their affection and if you can figure out your honey’s preferred way and do that, you’ve got a better shot at a healthy relationship.
Here is a list of the love languages in the reverse order of how I speak my love.
Some people, when they’re sweet on another person, will buy their darling presents to signify their sweetness. These people also tend to like receiving thoughtful presents from other people.
Blech. I received a big fat zero on this part of the quiz. Shopping sucks. Especially shopping for other people. I suspect a mate with this love language would not be quite right for me.
I’m ready to dismiss this love language out of hand, but I’m pretty sure my sister shows her love through gifts. For my Cousin’s bachelorette/hen party, Sister ordered personalized underwear, wrapped it and sent it with me weeks before the celebration because her pregnant self couldn’t attend a weekend full of drinking in another state.
In contrast, for my own present to said Cousin at said party that I did actually attend, I forgave a $30 debt incurred earlier that day in exchange for an extra present Cousin’s Sister (also my cousin) had with her the night before the scheduled gifting party.
Maybe I’m a horrible person. Or maybe I just show my love in different ways. I like the latter explanation more, but it’s probably a combination of both.
I should remember this fact to show my love to Sister.
4. Acts of Service
Some folks show their love by doing shit for you. These folks generally appreciate it when you do shit for them too! Like going to the pharmacy for you when you’re sick. Or bringing you another taco bell hot sauce packet when they see you’re rationing out of laziness.
I think my father would score highly on this part of the quiz. When I’m visiting him during pomegranate season, he buys a bunch of these perfect fruits and carefully takes out the delicious juicy seeds that tend to stain everything it touches. As a result of his labor, this bowl greets me in the fridge.
I should keep this in mind when I want to show my love for him.
3. Words of Affirmation
Some souls prefer whispering sweet nothings and hearing them whispered back. They need to be told that they are appreciated, that they are loved, that they look tall.
I can’t think of any examples from specific family members.
2. Quality Time
Quality time! Now you’re speaking my language. I do understand the desire for words of affirmation and acts of service, but I am fluent in the dialect of quality time for showing affection.
Especially now that I’m retired, I believe that time is the single greatest gift anyone can give – themselves. You want to hang out with me? A lot? That means more than anything else. Your time is something you can’t fake and you can’t fob off on your secretary.
I talk about making friends (ask people to do things with you), making close friends (do things with the same people a lot) and I’m always nagging you about how spending your days doing things you love makes life better. You are what you do everyday. Doing things you love with people you love? That’s all I could want in life.
1. Physical touch
Okay, now I’m starting to understand why I’m single.
Physical touch was my largest love language by far. Anyone in my family will tell you that I’m a cuddler. Especially when it comes to romantic relationships, touch is paramount. In my opinion, touch is the single biggest difference between a friend and a more than friend.
Some cultures are a lot more touchy-feely than others. Depending on where on the planet you find yourself, a standard greeting could be three kisses on the check, two kisses on the cheek, one kiss on the cheek, a handshake, a hug, a bow, a curtsy or a wave.
If I don’t know you, I prefer the fist bump and explosion noise greeting. If we’re friends, the fist bump is still pretty good. I think I just really like making explosion noises. If we’re close friends, I’m happy to go for the hug. If we’re family, you’re getting a hug. Touch is reserved for those I love.
Combine my need for quality time and physical touch with my inability to sit still and you have a single lady. I’m never around long enough to form the necessary bond.
I’m not complaining about this. It’s a wonderful problem to have and I love my life more than I can explain to you with mere human words and no slide projector. I just have to keep reminding myself that this is my choice. There are trade-offs, but life is so full to the brim with trade-offs that the bag is going to rip soon. That’s simply opportunity cost.
It’s not something to mourn. It’s something to embrace. I am living the life that I want to live. I have agency.
But really, I know all this. You know all this. When I asked for advice on how to do the whole relationship thing, many of you chimed in to say that it might be difficult with my current lifestyle and that perhaps I needed to simmer down and chill out or hunker down first.
Maybe after six more months or so of wandering.
I know why people like these types of quizzes – it’s fun to analyze yourself and other people! Life is better when you can understand people better. That sounds so profound to me.
Take the love languages quiz for yourself here.