At a dinner last night, I learned about the “languages of love,” which are primary categories of expressions of love, based on a book by Gary Chapman. These are:
- Quality time
- Words of affirmation
- Acts of service (devotion); and
- Physical touch.
When Chri and her friend asked me which of these I put the most premium on, I had an answer right away: words of affirmation and acts of service. Even in the getting-to-know and dating stage, I judge the guy based on them; hence, if he doesn’t wear his heart on his sleeve—no matter how many times we go out and touchy he is—that’s my cue that the relationship is doomed to fail (or that he’s just not into me).
On the other end, what annoy me the most are demands for physical touch and quality time. Case in point: I don’t think I can handle being with someone 24/7; I would prefer having my personal space—maybe even down to my own bedroom—and time. (In the Sex and the City 2 movie, Big asked Carrie about having two days-off apart from each another; Charlotte abhorred the idea because he made marriage sound like work, while I found myself liking it.)
Chri then asked me which of these ‘languages’ I transmitted to my former partners and I found myself stumped. I ruled out physical touch and quality time because these are based on mutual participation and they already rank below my priorities. I don’t give gifts, I’m not servile, and I don’t stroke people’s egos unless I’m truly awed and impressed. In that moment, I was disgusted at myself. Here was, as it turned out, a selfish person always wondering out loud why he hasn’t found love yet. I hated myself. Good thing, I ordered cheesecake ahead the conversation.
It was enlightening, to say the least. I like this “languages of love” business. Good job, Gary Chapman.
If you’d like to find our Love Language profile, visit www.5lovelanguages.com.
In a way, and as Chapman points out, this does not only apply to romantic relationships. It could also translate to other types, whether family (I don’t like to text or call), or business (I appreciate feedback).