Sunday, April 27, 2008

no hablo amor??

There's a book, recommended by a friend (read: therapist) about The Five Love Languages. I'm not big on the self-help genre, but I tried reading it about four years ago when I was in the Very Terrible Relationship. I got through most of the book. Basically, this theory states there are five ways we express love. Behold:

1. Quality Time
2. Acts of Service
3. Words of Affirmation
4. Physical Contact
5. Gifts

Ideally, you will meet someone who speaks your love language. Or, if your significant other speaks another love language, you will both learn to unconsciously translate.

For awhile, I thought myself more a "Words of Affirmation" girl. My love affair with the English Language filters into my life on a daily basis. Sometimes for the best, when I'm searching for the perfect word to describe something. Sometimes for the worst, when I'm trying to decode every syllable in an email for hidden meaning. Still, I love my native tongue.

Then, I was all about the Physical Contact. Touch my body!!! But, at that point, I was just starved for affection. I was off the "being single is so fun and glamorous" train and on the "I need to get some" express.

Sometimes, I relate a lot to language of Quality Time. I like when people make time in their busy lives to return my phone calls or spend time with me. It hurts when they aren't there for special occasions. Quality Time is hard to find.

This book didn't help me with the Very Terrible Relationship, because the only cure for the Very Terrible Relationship was an Extremely Dramatic Breakup and Much Needed Separation. At the time, it did give me an interesting view in communicating with my family. And since my family isn't communicating as of late, I thought I'd get on the 5LL website and see if I could find the cure.

So, I logged on to diagnose my Love Language again.

My findings? I don't speak any of the love languages. They all made me feel a little uncomfortable. Therefore, I'm unable to love. Or be loved. Therefore, I am screwed. Awesum!

This really pissed me off.

Until I realized, I speak all those languages with myself.

I love myself when I spend quality time doing things I love, like an impromptu trip to the library or a walk on the beach with my dog. I love myself when I help other people, and know that I'm using my talents to make someone else's day a little better. I love myself with words when I stop myself from making jokes about my insecurities. I love my body when I'm eating right and buying clothes for the fit, not the size. I love myself when I spend money on something I really want, like a volunteer vacation or the secret weapons in my skin care arsenal.

It's been an uphill battle and a long time coming. But, right now, it's pretty easy to say "I love me." I'm proud of that. Besides, I think it's better to be quint lingual when it comes to love. If I can love myself in every language, I can surely love other people and let them love me. Don't you agree?


Kimberly said...

Wow. That was the best post I've read on any website in ages. Thank you. Really. :)

I've never really gotten into the 5LL thing because (this will sound stupid) I'm a gift person. And I HATE being a gift person because a) no one else is a gift person and I always think people should know what to give me for occasions and I'm hurt/disappointed when they don't. and b) it makes me seem like a selfish bitch that I like material things. So I generally avoid the 5LL mentality altogether to keep from feeling like a bad person.

But I buy myself things to feel better, and it usually works. So I think loving yourself in all five languages is AWESOME. And I'm sure someone is going to love you in all 5 languages because they know that you love yourself enough to let them. :)

Thanks for posting. Your blog makes me happy.

tscogemkow said...


emilysuze said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who

a) never got all the way through that book


b) isn't any of the five languages.

I like your take on it and hope that someday I can love myself and Chris in all five languages. :)