Saturday, March 8, 2014

Love Languages, Intense

Huggy Love Bear

One may take the Love Languages test here:

I was reminded recently that I have been meaning to write up about my love languages. I read the book years ago, and then a friend read the book and we casually discussed it here: [Who I Am: Is Your Heart On Your Sleeve?]

On further consideration, and taking the online test, these were my results, and I think they are more correct:

12 Quality Time
7 Physical Touch
5 Acts of Service
3 Words of Affirmation
3 Receiving Gifts

Writing as a single, I connect these through several types of relationships: family, friends, etc. Whatever works.

Quality Time

From the site: Quality time is giving someone your undivided attention. A central aspect of quality time is togetherness.

Quality Time takes precedence over the other four; the other four may be enhanced after quality time has occurred. I enjoy one-on-one time together, or having up to about 4 of us friends together.

Sometimes I wonder if some of the markers simply come out of what I consider to be out of respect for the other. Generally, I won’t pay any attention to my phone when I am with someone else (unless I was expecting a call but I will usually say so beforehand), I won’t play solo games on my phone, I won’t listen to the iPod by myself, etc. If I am with someone, I am with someone. Having those things done to me feels disrespectful of my time and presence. Too much of that, I will not want to spend any time with that person, because what would be the point?

This isn’t to say that I am so amazing that someone should want my time and attention, but that if one does want it, then I expect them to respect it. After all, I am respecting their time and attention.

Having someone pay attention to me tends to catch my notice; I otherwise tend to think that I go unnoticed. I remember sitting at a bench with friends on campus years ago when one of them repeated something I had said a week earlier. I remember sitting in a group, each of us answering certain questions; when my turn came up, someone across the circle from me had his eyes on me the whole time, taking in my words - it was like we were the only two persons in the room. I know that he had paid attention because later on, he asked me a question pointing directly to something I had said. In moments like these, I feel valued.

I don’t know if I would go so far as to say that I need the other person’s undivided attention each time; I think it sometimes depends on the setting. Back to the phone thing, impulsively answering your phone every time it rings or you get a text doesn’t bother me so much if our hangout was a spur-of-the-moment kind of thing or if I have had enough QT with you recently; I will take being in the same room together as QT. Out to dinner or at a sporting event together and you’re on your phone, I will be annoyed.

Also, I am more comfortable doing activities together rather than just talking, in which case the attention doesn’t necessarily need to be on me but on the fact that we’re doing something together instead. Playing video games together is QT to me even though you’re not paying attention directly to me. As the site says, “A husband and wife playing tennis together, if it is genuine quality time, will focus not on the game, but on the fact that they are spending time together.” [Previous link]. If we’re both working on our own things but we’re in the room together, that could count, in my opinion, but hopefully it won’t be the main expression of QT.

However, if we’re rock-climbing, and your attention is all on what you can do and how fast, not seeing anything I’m doing, or you keep looking at that hot chick over there, the quality of the time will be in the red.

Basically, I feel valued when I can tell that the other person wants to spend time with me.

Physical Touch

From the site: Sexual intercourse is only one of the dialects of this love language. Holding hands, kissing, embracing, back rubs, or an arm around the shoulder are all ways of expressing love by physical touch.

Before understanding anything deeper about the 5LLs, I would never have said PT was one of my more important ones. I don’t like being touched in general, but in context, I do enjoy it very much. Being touched is scary; being touched by a special person is wonderful.

One thing I have noticed about hanging out with my friend Rachel is that she likes to be close to me, especially if it’s just the two of us. She will walk right next to me so that we bump along the way. She will wrap her arms around mine. A frequent joke between us involves how unhairy my legs are, and she has to touch my leg every time it comes up. And I enjoy it. Well, the leg-touching thing is weird but it’s our weird joke.

Most anyone else doing this to me will be going away with a black eye or something broken.

I’ve only had two short dating relationships. I did enjoy the kissing, but something I missed about Chris was that when we were walking together, he would take my hand and put it on his arm, like he was proud to have me on his arm kind of thing. I was surprised that I liked being on his arm.

When I was dating Riki, I hadn’t had my driver’s license for long, and I didn’t like driving (still don’t). We got caught in a heavy downpour while I was driving us home; it made me a bit anxious to be driving in it. He put a reassuring hand on my knee which did calm me a bit… as I gripped the steering wheel with both hands for our lives!

Again, this is all in context. I don’t enjoy the hug-before-we-part thing or kiss-on-the-cheek thing at all unless it’s with one of my special persons. I will stand there like a comfortably cold fish while everyone else does their thing and will be an uncomfortably cold fish when someone does this to me.

Physical Touch is another reminder to me that hey, you’re with me.

Acts of Service
From the site: Doing something for your spouse that you know they would like for you to do. Cooking a meal, washing dishes, taking out the garbage, … etc. For them, actions truly speak louder than words.

Actions do speak louder than words for me, but in the realm of love, it doesn’t factor in so much. I suppose I see most things as something I can do for myself, so for someone else to know what I would like them to do will be understandably difficult. It could be a guessing game for awhile. And, I may or may not recognize it as someone showing me their care.

I recognize AS easily in my parents though. I think it’s probably my dad’s way of showing and sometimes accepting love; he does a lot for us without us asking. It’s not so frequent with my mom, but she does help me with things from time to time, things that will surprise me. I don’t think it’s her main love language, but she does use it and I do see it. I was stressed out, coming up on finals, trying to build a model for my project once and I remember Mom staying up late with me working on it, and then she drove me to school the next day because she knew I hadn’t slept at all.

I can miss the connection though. One of the things Chris [former boyfriend] brought up was how I wouldn’t do the dishes and he would always take out the trash. I never knew that he would want me to do the dishes or that he was taking out the trash for my sake; for one, we weren’t living together, so I didn’t make the connection (such a bad girlfriend). I usually washed the dishes I had used, which I was raised to do, unless someone stopped me or insisted that they would do it. We hadn’t talked about it. If I had known, I would’ve taken out the trash or done the dishes without having to be asked each time. (I have a thing about dishes - they’re never clean enough to me, so it’s not the first thing I would think of doing for others because I will be at the sink all night if they left me to it).

I did recognize other things that Chris would do, like cooking or taking me to/ picking me up from the airport when I had gone on a trip. He didn’t need to take me to the airport, for my sake, but it seemed he wanted to do the “good boyfriend” deeds, and I let him.

I look to a person’s actions to determine their character, but I don’t always make the connection that they’re doing something out of love for me, because oftentimes, I will do an act out of respect rather than out of love.

Words of Affirmation/ Receiving Gifts
I think it’s rather fitting that these received the same low score for me. As said before, I look to actions over words; people say a lot of pretty things that end up not meaning anything at all. I’ve experienced people’s betrayal of their own words enough times to not put a high value on what people say, and I try to have my actions match my words or demonstrate my words for me as well.  

I really enjoy giving gifts as an expression of “I thought of you,” but receiving gifts myself is… awkward. I’ll be thinking, “What do they want from me? How do they want me to respond? Should I be all excited even if I don’t like the gift? What do I say? If I like the gift a lot, how do I show it?” and so on… to where I end up not reacting either way. I feel pressure when I receive a gift.

I just don’t know what to do with words and gifts in general.

A moment when a gift meant incredible love to me was when I received my Huggy Love Bear. My friend Jules stopped by the house one day after work and dropped it off. It was unexpected. It reminds me of a quote I heard from the movie Finding Forrester: “The key to a woman’s heart is an unexpected gift at an unexpected time.” One of my favorite gifts of all time and I’m not sure I can explain why. Being from Jules is definitely a major factor (she’s one of my great friends), but lovey stuff tends to be odd to me and I tend to like gifts of a more practical nature.

Here is a previous post about a few times when receiving gifts did and did not go well with me: [Who I Am: A Rose By Another Name]

One time when Words of Affirmation hit me deeply happened during Bro’s Eagle Ceremony. Mrs. Ann was talking about the support of Bro’s family all these years, and I thought it would be all about Mom and Dad, surely. I think I was even outside while listening to the ceremony. Then my ears perked up; Mrs. Ann mentioned me. She thanked me for all those nights of good behavior, quietly entertaining myself while Mom and Dad were attending to Bro.

Wow. I mean, I didn’t think anyone would notice something like that, let alone mention it in front of a room full of people. It seemed like a little thing, you know? What else would I have done? Yet someone noticed and someone appreciated it.

Summary: Quality Time is my main Love Language. Physical Touch and Acts of Service are second tier and best used in the context of QT - if I do not want QT with you, DO NOT TOUCH ME (I suppose you could still do acts for me though, hahaha). Words of Affirmation and Receiving Gifts are last, as I don’t know how to process affection from them.

Even though QT is my main “Love” Language, that doesn’t mean that one might woo me through QT. From what I gather, people have tried. I think this might relate more to an MBTI of an INTP, which I am most likely to be. Guess what? Yes, it’s on the tribble list of possible future posts! It’s like the Thought Pile!

  • What is your love language(s)?

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