In a crisp departure from last night's angry-faced post, I discovered the five languages of love thanks to this Hobby Horse post. I loved it so much that I wanted to share my thoughts/summation of it with you.
At first, I was all, "French, Italian, Spanish, Russian, and Elven, in that order?" DOIN' IT WRONG. Our friend Dr. Gary Chapman says in his book, The 5 Love Languages, that these are the types:
1. Words of Affirmation: These lovers feel that words speak the loudest. Leave them a Post-It on the bathroom mirror wishing them a good day, and it will be a good day. Impress them with your vocabulary, although nothing replaces the simplest words of love: "I love you." But don't insult them or really ever say anything bad about them to their faces, or you'll break their hearts hard.
2. Quality Time: If you're with a quality timer, being present in the moment with your paramour is of utmost importance. Shut down the computer, turn off the Intertron, do whatever you have to do just to be there and listen. Distractions, lateness, and general busy-ness syndrome (not being able to be fully devoted to your presence with another, whether absentmindedly cleaning something or picking at your nails, which is a problem I frequently have) kill the mood.
3. Receiving Gifts: These folks are living in a material world -- if that material is your HEART. Seriously, though, they love receiving even the smallest, crudest tokens of appreciation because it shows that their significant others cared enough to (a) conceive the idea for the gift, (b) seek out or make the gift from scratch, (c) present the gift, whether in wrapping paper or under their pillows, and (d) not forget the gift at home. Heart-shaped boxes of chocolate will not do it for them.
4. Acts of Service: How often do we all want our partners to do something without us having to ask? Whether it's cleaning up cat vomit, folding laundry, or simply moving their wine glasses away from the edge of the table if they're clumsy, having one less duty to worry about is an aphrodisiac for this type. Adding to their responsibilities, though, comprises begging to sleep on the couch.
5. Physical Touch: Hugging, kissing, cuddling, and you-know-whating are all excellent ways to show these amoureux how you feel, as are holding hands, braiding their hair, and wiping some schmutz off their faces. Being around physically is key to a successful relationship. You probably shouldn't punch anyone in the face ever, but especially not this type.
We can probably see a little bit of ourselves in all of these, but luckily there's this handy quiz that tells you what type you are (I'm a Words of Affirmation type -- surprised?). What interests me about this system is that I can see how it could have effectively bridged gaps in my past relationships where nobody seems to be doing much expressly wrong, there's just a disconnect, and the parties don't feel loved like they should. Take the quiz; make your boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse/farm animal take the quiz, or just pay attention to how he/she/it tends to behave when in an especially happy, loving, positive mood.
Of course, once you realize you've been screwing it up, make sure to apologize in the right way.
So, let's make love and not war this weekend! Which love language do you speak?