A while ago, I got the book thrown at me. No, I didn’t get arrested
this time. I’m talking about the Five Love Languages book by Gary Chapman. In my perusal of blog world and even this here website, I’ve seen women repeatedly mention these golden scriptures. When I’ve seen this book in the past or heard women going off on one of their soapbox sermons about love, I’ve typically just stopped listening and focused my attention elsewhere. After reading through this book, I kinda wished I hadn’t done that. This isn’t to say that I don’t still think that the opposite sex has the most mind-boggling complexities on earth, because I most certainly do.
Having the book thrown at me (literally) a couple years ago may have been one of the best things I’ve had happen in my decreasingly youthful life. I sorta felt like I was reading Girls 101. Now for those women who haven’t read the book and all the men who I’m sure haven’t read the book, Gary Chapman breaks it down into the following Five love languages (in no particular order) that people like to give and/or receive:
- Physical Touch: He’s not just talkin’ about rubbin’ her breasts or strokin’ the ego in his jeans — even though those things are important. It could be a
mouthhug, kiss, massage, cuddle, rub on the back or shoulder, etc.
- Words of Affirmation: Aside from “I love you,” this includes all those emo things that a lot of men don’t like to say because it compromises their inner G. It also includes simple stuff like “I appreciate what you did for me” and “Your booty lookin’ right in dem jeans gurl.” The latter may not work, but sh*t, then again maybe it will.
- Quality Time: This could be quality conversation, a walk in the park, a day of shopping (migraine), a trip to the movies, or a thorough spoon session on the couch with or without forking. It’s time alone together where you’re just focused on each other. How sweet. This is crucial for making a long distance relationship work!
- Gifts: Some people base how you feel about them on the gifts you give them and how much thought they think went into the process. So fellas, if this is her primary love language and you tell her all the emo stuff that you’d never say within an earshot of your boys, then proceed to give her a gift that she doesn’t think is “thoughtful” on one of the deal-break days, you’re gonna die.
- Acts of Service: This can be a dude going over to shorty’s crib to set up the complex a$$ furniture she copped from Ikea, or it can be her coming over to clean his crib because she knows he had a rough week at work. Some folks judge the feelings of their significant other by what’s done for them. Sadly enough, I think this one gets people hurt the most. Dude comes over to “service” her and she thinks it’s love language when it’s really just nut language. Tragic.
So these are the five love languages. As I mentioned in my Gifts snippet above, folks have a primary love language that they want to receive. Where I’m pretty sure we all eff up is determining what that is for the other person, communicating to them “in a way they can hear,” and reinforcing what we need ourselves. Based on all the dealbreaker and wish list posts, I’m sure most of us will have no problem stating our needs, wants, and no-no’s. As for my own primary love language…
Well, I’m the self-proclaimed AND world-renowned Sultan of Spoon and Colossus of Cuddle. So (maybe) my primary love language to give and receive is Quality Time. Wait. Spooning is touching and I like kissing, rubbing, and forking. This means I’m primarily physical touch? **Scratches head** Ehh, well I know I suck at gifts and I’m not huge on receiving them. I also know I’m not big on judging what someone does for me as an indicator of how they feel. And as for words of affirmation…yeah girl, I love you too.
(You should go through the clusterphuck exercise in the previous paragraph. It’ll save you frustration later.)
So if you’ve read the book or this post made sense, what’s your primary love language to give and receive? If you can’t narrow it down to one, then pick two. Also, have you ever cut someone off for speaking in all the tongues except the one you needed? Did you even tell the person what language you speak?
I don’t wanna talk. I just wanna hold ya,
Note: This article originally ran in 2009. Since there are so many new readers today and because of a comment on Dr. J’s great post from last week, I thought it was a good idea to revisit