musings

What’s your Love language 

Sometimes I have a hard time falling asleep at night and when that happens, my mind just drifts all over the place [it tends to do that at odd hours]. I started reading old whatsapp conversations and one in particular got me thinking about how differently each of us receives & acknowledges the gestures of love/affection directed at us and where the disconnect that tends to create drama usually sets in. So I hit my twitter with a little dose of deep…. Question:

I got some pretty interesting responses [see below for a few].

 

  

All very interesting, right?

Which leads me to this thing about love languages; which I’m sure you’ve heard/read about. But if you haven’t already –  according to Gary D. Chapman in his acclaimed book – The Five Love Languages –  there are 5 love languages.According to Gary, every single one of us understands one [or a combination] but we all ultimately tend to gravitate more towards one.  [You can read more about it here www.5lovelanguages.com]. There’s even a test on there to help you determine your own love language. PS: Mine is predominantly – Acts of Service [I think it’s the only one that encompasses little bits of all the other languages] & Receiving gifts [not to be mistaken for materialism]

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Click on to view better

Usually, when love languages are discussed, they are discussed from the POV of the receiver, i.e. the person who is positioned at the receiving end of the gestures that make up said language. So for e.g. because I prefer – Acts of Service – I expect that my loved ones or anyone looking to catch my attention in a love thing should show me how much via practical helpful gestures. It means that someone can tell me how much they love me day & night, even until hell freezes over but if those beautiful grandiose words aren’t accompanied by actual gestures that make my everyday day-to-day life easier, then we are both wasting each other’s time really.IMG_1473It then follows that I also tend to show my love to the people I love in the same way by trying my best to ease their day-to-day life – perhaps you need laundry dropped off and I have time – I will, perhaps I noticed your nepa units are running out and you’re out of town – I’ll top up so the stuff in your refrigerator don’t get to ruins, perhaps you’re out of town and the house got dusty – I’ll send someone to clean for you so you get back to a clean home feeling less overwhelmed. Sister needs new bras and I’m ordering mine – I’ll add hers, brother had a long day – I’ll leave a home cooked meal etc.  I know a friend of mine who said the most romantic thing anyone ever did for her for valentine’s was to replace the worn out tyres on her car that needed immediate attention. Very Practical.

However, I feel like we forget to think about this from the POV of the person on the giving end of the equation.  They have a love language too and what if theirs doesn’t match yours? For e.g. a person whose love language is – Physical Touch – expects tons of PDA from their partner but what if said partner is not into PDA? But they always send gifts [a language] and tell you how much they love you [affirmation]? In this scenario, they’re showing love in the way they know & understand it but is it connecting? When our loved ones speak a different love language, it may come across as though they aren’t doing enough but is that really true? And is it to fair to them that we are receiving it wrong?

CONTEXT:

I sometimes fight with my brother when I feel he’s just not pulling his weight when I need him to which can make me feel like he doesn’t know me at all. However, I have overheard my brother [without even speaking to me first] vehemently defend me in my ‘absence’ to someone. One time when I was doing my detox, he brought me a bagful of fruits, completely unsolicited.  What about that time when he mentioned in passing how his life has been so much easier since I moved back to Nigeria. Make of that what you will.

Then there’s my mother who has forgotten my birthday one too many times. I mean, who forgets their own child’s birthday? Does that mean she doesn’t love me? But before I answer that, who has held the forte for nearly 2 decades since our dad passed, who has consistently bailed me out of some tough moments, who has prayed for me every day of my life, who always asks me “do you people have enough?”, who thinks the world of me etc. But who also forgets my birthdays? Yea.

What about the guy whose vibe is too relaxed in his pursuit of you? Yes. How frustrating! You know he likes you; heck you like him too [a lot] and so you wish he’d be more brazen in his attempt to woo you. That he’d text more, call more, thirst more. You wish you’d wake up to loving morning messages that add an extra pep in your step the rest of your day and go to bed with a bump on your forehead because your phone fell out of your hands as you were giggling too much reading his messages in bed at night. Instead you get scheduled calls; you sometimes get grumpy mono-syllabic responses and a generally lacklustre turkey dance that makes you wonder if one of you is being forced to keep up the charade. Alas!

While I think all 3 scenarios have an underlying theme, they are also very different illustrations.

My friends on twitter make a great case that love is about making an effort to learn your partner’s style/love language and that stepping out of character/comfort zone in itself shows a willingness to bring what it is your loved one needs from you to the table. In addition, every time you speak one another’s language, you score emotional points that do great for your relationships. However, until that desired sync is achieved, does that mean they love you any less? I’d love to hear from you guys…..a0d3fb83def75c824958bda76373ade6

So lemme ask again…….

“If someone isn’t showing you love in the way and manner that you prefer & understand, does that mean they’re not showing you love?”

Please sound out in the comments please.

Besos xx

S.


26 Comments

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26 Comments

  • Reply Cent January 21, 2016 at 11:44 am

    I must confess I hadn’t really thought of love from this perspective before now.
    I agree with the people who think love is is about stepping out of character, going out of our way to learn our love interest’s love language and communicating to them in the ones they understand but then I don’t expect anyone to get it all right at all times(it’s the effort to adapt that matters most to me) because I believe I have to equally show that I love them by understanding that they are not used to my love language, ergo they won’t always be in sync with me.

    • GorgeousBskin
      Reply GorgeousBskin January 21, 2016 at 11:56 am

      Exactly!
      Especially if you also understand that even when they’re not in sync, it doesn’t mean they don’t love you

      • Reply Annie January 23, 2016 at 6:47 pm

        Following on from the whole idea of loving according to the recipient’s love language, what if you can’t figure it out? Is it okay to ask? Or would that defeat the whole purpose/be considered lazy?!

        • GorgeousBskin
          Reply GorgeousBskin January 23, 2016 at 9:54 pm

          I think if you pay attention, over time it becomes pretty obvious. But there’s also no harm in asking , maybe not too directly though, better in conversation & hypotheticals.

          • Annie January 25, 2016 at 8:14 pm

            Yeah, that makes sense actually. And now seems so obvious. Lol. Thanks 🙂

          • GorgeousBskin
            GorgeousBskin January 25, 2016 at 9:17 pm

            You’re very welcome

  • Reply An Afrikan Butterfly January 21, 2016 at 3:16 pm

    True, it’s sometimes hard to tell that someone loves you when they don’t show it in the same way that you do. I get so frustrated with my dad sometimes, but there’s always the random expression that shows that he’s actually thinking of me.

    When I hear songs or read things like, loving or appreciating someone because “they’re always there when you call”, I sometimes pause because that’s not me. I don’t think I even ask that of others. Can I promise to be there for you every single time you need something? No, but with balance, I strive to be there everytime you need something IMPORTANT.

    Re: Love languages, I took the quiz once and my main language was Quality Time. Followed by Gifts & Acts of Service. Words of Affirmation had a really low score, and Physical touch the least. So now that I understand myself better, I can “step out of character” as someone put it. I don’t really care what people say to me, but now, I don’t just dismiss or brush their words off as nothings- I hold onto them a little bit more, because I see it’s coming from their own place, so I can appreciate it.

    • GorgeousBskin
      Reply GorgeousBskin January 21, 2016 at 4:14 pm

      Can I first say how much I love this comment? I do! Thank you for insightful points.
      About always being there, how do you make the playoffs to determine what’s important & what isn’t? It’s impossible to be there for another EVERY SINGLE time I think, but if someone is willing to be that for you, please let them. Whether you asked or not and please feel no pressure to reciprocate – which is what I tend to see as the actual issue with this scenario.
      I love that in general you sound willing & agreeable to better understand your friendships & interactions. Many Brownie points for you.
      Again, loved your comment. Thanks for sharing

  • Reply Mimi January 21, 2016 at 4:28 pm

    My ex bf told me once that I believe love is a fairy tale and I don’t understand love. Honestly, I just thought he was stupid because Disney told me love could be etc. … now I obviously know better. Love is NOT a fairy tale, it is exam, you need to study, understand and apply but it is SO worth it when real. You can’t just expect that cause you love someone automatically all will be o.k. For a long time, I thought if he didn’t love me the way I want him to love me, then he doesn’t love me, if I simply took time to read such posts, it would have SAVED ME A LOT OF STRESS.
    I like Acts of Service and words of affirmation, those are the only top ones I remember lol. He likes Acts of Service and Receiving gifts (not to be mistaken for materialism 😉 ) and me that like my hard earned money lol BUT I learnt and obliged. It’s funny when he sees a present bag lol he gets so excited like a girl lol. I can surprise him with gifts at his office and he would just become my mechanic, washerman, handy man everything- what works for him doesn’t always work for me.

    Nice one Seember. Hit home on this one.

    • GorgeousBskin
      Reply GorgeousBskin January 21, 2016 at 4:52 pm

      Orange Jeeeeeeeeeewwwwssssss!!!!!
      Oh you know I’m a big fan of his, I’ve never seen you happier and I love him for it. Good man!
      I was reading this comment cheesing so hard because you & I we’ve had many conversations and it seems like we’re finally getting it right, I couldn’t be happier.
      I’m glad you enjoyed the post so much & thank you for always being so supportive. Treat OJ right, he’s a keeper.
      It’s your first time commenting too whoop whoop ?????????????????????

  • Reply Maxine January 21, 2016 at 5:14 pm

    This has been the ultimate lesson I’ve learned in the past 4 or 5 years. It was a tough one ehn?!

    You see I had EXPECTATIONssssss. lol
    You’re taught as woman to expect certain things, to hold out for this and that and that, that a man MUST do for and to you.
    As you get older and you meet different sorts of men, you tweak that list and make it your own. Until you meet that one guy that will send you back to the University of Relationships ?

    You’ll butt heads constantly because where you measure him by how mindful he is of your desire to be wined and dined, he shows you how he feels, instead, by contributing to your dreams & aspirations. You’re thinking “hang on, I appreciate you giving me this tool for my business idea but I’d much rather have cake & perfume & that Chloé Drew bag I’ve been hinting about siiiiiiince for my birthday y’know?” Lol

    I think it takes time, intent and understanding to learn each other’s love language so we can communicate satisfyingly, effectively (super important) and not have things get lost in translation.

    Basically so we don’t sweat the small stuff.

    • GorgeousBskin
      Reply GorgeousBskin January 21, 2016 at 5:20 pm

      I read – University of Relationships – and legit hollered so loud ????????
      Gurl! Do I even need to add anything to this comment ? Methinks not. Don’t want to spoil it, it’s complete.

  • Reply Maxine January 21, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    Just imagine. In all of that I forgot to say that I love that you addressed this.
    It’s been great to see different perspectives.

    • GorgeousBskin
      Reply GorgeousBskin January 21, 2016 at 5:22 pm

      Thank you so much! Even I learnt a lot addressing this POV, a real learning experience.
      Thank you Max

  • Reply GorgeousBskin January 21, 2016 at 5:28 pm

    Just a quick one to add that in considering love languages, lets not forget our relationships with our family members, our kids[for those who have], our cousins, and mostly our friends.
    It’s not limited to just romantic relationships.
    Cheers xx

    • Reply Maxine January 22, 2016 at 2:29 pm

      I hear this. Do you know I didn’t even think about family? Maybe because I know their language as thoroughly as I know mine.

      I think we all kinda gravitate towards romantic relationships on the topic of love languages because we have, more often than not, spent our whole lives with family so we’ve learned them & their languages. And its not as big a deal as the person who we’ll potentially be spending our lives with that we’re having to learn from scratch (just the thought has made me tired sef lol)

      Nne, a lifetime is too long to be getting our wires crossed mehn. ?

      • GorgeousBskin
        Reply GorgeousBskin January 22, 2016 at 4:25 pm

        I love how you explain my thoughts in a way even I struggle with sometimes. Points so well made.
        However, there are people who don’t have such a great relationship with their family members, who keep butting heads with their parents/kids and who take a lot of breaks from their friends [despite how much they love them]; those were the ones I was referring to. Like the African Butterfly who mentioned a little about her & her dad’s and my example with my brother. It’s a wholesome topic is what I meant to say.

  • Reply Tino January 21, 2016 at 9:05 pm

    i enjoyed reading this one. I’ve had loads of fights with my partner because of differences in how we show love and it took a better part of 2 years for us to fully understand ourselves and what gets us going. A good understanding of your partner and their history (how they grew up, family values, past experiences etc.) also helps in understanding how they work.

    It was until i took time to understand the things that shaped her personality that i started to appreciated that her not delivering hot food to me everyday while i was ill wasn’t her being unloving.. For her; calling, praying and stressing me to complete my dosage were more important ways of showing love. She comes from a medical background where having malaria doesn’t give u the right to curl up and be lazy in bed , you are expected to take your medication and suck it up, whereas in my house a little illness gives you the care and attention of everyone.

    These little nuances in upbringing/experiences add up and create how we perceive love as adults so its very important that in your appraisal of a partner/friend etc. you make an effort to understand why they are the way they are.

    • GorgeousBskin
      Reply GorgeousBskin January 21, 2016 at 9:53 pm

      Lol @ food fight. Typical naija man, no dey play with him belle. Who eats when they’re ill sef? Lol
      Anyways, yes to understanding those nuances, major ?? [sorry DJ Khaled]. Thanks for your thoughtful comment

  • Reply MrBure January 21, 2016 at 9:53 pm

    My top two love languages are Quality Time and Acts of Service.

    Surprise, surprise! ?????

    • GorgeousBskin
      Reply GorgeousBskin January 21, 2016 at 9:59 pm

      Ha ha Nooooooone whatsoever

  • Reply Nutz January 22, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    This hit home. You have put into words things have had to grapple with in the past. For instance, I took it for granted that on my birthday, my SO was supposed to show up, if not do anything, at least spend the day or a few hours with me. Baba did not show up, he called and texted plenty, and he was telling about all his plans for the day. I didn’t feature, I was calm for a while, because I thought maybe he was gunning for surpise. Till 6pm, my eyes cleared, I had to ask. He said he didn’t cross his mind. I didn’t understand how. Until I got the history of how he has spent his past birthdays. Then, I understood where he was coming from. I was still mad though. Then, he was hurt that he had hurt me. What a dramatic day!

    • GorgeousBskin
      Reply GorgeousBskin January 22, 2016 at 1:26 pm

      Oh my! I can only imagine the drama. Hopefully y’all understand each other better now.
      Glad you got something out of this post. Best feeling for me.
      And your name…. Nutz [Deez Nutz] ha ha

  • Reply Ugonma January 22, 2016 at 2:41 pm

    How am I just seeing this??? This is… I have no words. None. Let me read it all over again.

    • GorgeousBskin
      Reply GorgeousBskin January 22, 2016 at 4:26 pm

      Lol. Well, better late than never right? Enjoy. And thanks for reading xx

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