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Columns, Knowledge

Gen Z Frenzy: Becoming Multilingual in Love

“Ultimately, it’s all about understanding each other in the right way”
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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.


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Mon 3 Jun 2024

For many people, the path into yoga starts with exercise. There might be a desire to lose weight, get toned or improve fitness in some way.  As these results start to be felt, the student might explore deeper aspects of the practice; realising that yoga can be a whole healthy lifestyle, and not just a class.

Oxford Pride
Fri 31 May 2024

“Darling,” OX managing director, Jill Rayner says to me, “can you write something about Pride? Because even though you’ve moved to Australia and Melbourne’s queer scene is bigger than Oxford’s, the principle’s the same.” 

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Tue 7 May 2024

By the time this edition of OX Magazine is out, I’ll be on the other side of the world, most likely a little sunburnt and full of a lot of ramen. I’m leaving my very jammy role as Entertainments Editor to go travelling. It recently dawned on me though, that for the first time in my life I have no idea what’s next for me, and I don’t think I mind.

Rob Webster
Wed 1 May 2024

When you’ve competed against some of the best runners in the world, what do you do to improve? For Rob Webster, one way might just include yoga.