If Love is the Language
Familiar with the 5 Love Languages? Gift Giving, Words of Affirmation, Physical Touch, Acts of Service, and Quality Time...? You've probably heard of this list, this explanation for why some expressions of love mean more to one person than they do to another, or why we choose to express our own love in certain manners. You've probably taken a quiz, made your S.O. take a quiz, thought about it and nodded, knowing fairly quickly which Language speaks to you most. However, I've recently realized that, at least for me, one expression may feel more significant than another, yes, but they also all have their own varying feeling of love attached to them. To me, it's not that gifts don't mean anything, it's that they make me feel treated. Special occasion, appreciation, thanks type of love. Not love-love. All of the Languages have a connotation for me! Let me explain. I've noticed that Gift reception makes me feel like the gifter is expressing love filled with gratitude, rather than something like romance. Words of Affirmation are a flattery or uplifting type of love, more toward romance, but based in observation. Physical touch is a cozy, intimate, or sexual expression of love. Acts of service is more about the giver, that they're putting my interests above their own, it's an expression of dedication, of loyalty. And, then my ultimate Language... Quality Time. To me, time spent with a loved one, even if we're just in the same room working on separate projects, not even necessarily doing something jointly, as long as we're together, I feel loved. The type of love that you can't really put into words. It's contentment, peace, an uptick to the corners of my mouth. It's a love that manifests as a sense of settling and understanding. I'm a high-strung person, I'm anxious a lot, my brain goes a million miles a minute nearly every waking moment about the past, to-dos, work, plans, the future, on and on, always going... So to have time spent in the here-and-now means everything to me: to be in the moment by being with someone, that, to me, is real love. To feel safe, appreciated, attractive, and cared for is the greatest sensation, and that requires all forms of love. A gift to show appreciation. A compliment to show attention. A kiss to express physical attraction. A selfless act to assure commitment. And time spent together to feel whole and centered. Love is incredibly multidimensional, but knowing how you treat it, how you accept it, and how you express it will make your life sweeter. Something like knowing when a pat on the back will mean more than anything you can say, will also make your friends' and family's feelings of self, value, confidence, and love so much higher. If love is the language, than our expression is the dialect. And I get it, sometimes accents are hard to understand... but nevertheless, we always seem to learn to listen, and we learn to communicate.