The five languages of love – according to some guy in the early 90s – are Acts of Service, Physical Touch, Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, and Gifts.
A few years ago, my boyfriend and I did an online test on love languages, just for fun but also in a bid to get him to change the f*cking bed sheets without being asked. If you hadn’t guessed, my top love language was acts of service, things like helping around the house, cooking dinner, the occasional piggyback or something, you get the vibe. Of course, everyone has a bit of each love language in each of them, but our results did happen to be fairly polar opposite.
Since this revelation, I’ve realised a great way to avoid an argument or the feeling of under appreciation in a relationship, is to understand that when you’re speaking in different languages, it’s a good idea to show gratitude for your lower priority love languages. For example, if it’s been a while since you’ve received a bunch of flowers for no reason or you’re waiting in bed for a morning cup of coffee that’s never going to come, consider how often you’ve been told that you’re loved, or how pretty you look while you’ve got day-four-grease-level hair and wearing your Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle pyjamas. You might be bad at receiving compliments, but you shouldn’t treat these gestures as nothing.
Now back to that guy in the 90s. The principle of love languages was proposed by Gary Chapman in 1992, but since then, Google was founded, gay marriage was legalised, and I was born – things will truly never be the same again, so perhaps it’s time to diversify the representation of love. Things like sharing music, having a personal genre of humour saved just for the two of you, keeping each other healthy, remembering important (or not so important) things about each other, or the joy of sitting in silence together after a long day of being a person – where do all these fit within five little categories?
Ultimately, it’s all about understanding each other in the right way, which extends to any relationship, romantic or not – including your relationship with yourself and what you consider meaningful. There’s no need for miscommunication between you and you.
Happy Valentine’s Day, whatever language you’re chatting in.