Um, let’s see… I am like Ariana Grande when I see someone I fancy. I see him, I like him, I want him. It is getting him that becomes a hassle. I mean, I’ll slide in his DM or Facebook messenger, or stalk him, send a smoke signal, a prayer, camp where he lives till he takes notice. But so far, ko ṣiṣẹ.
If you have passed the camping stage & you’re going steady with your partner, or if you are still figuring out your love language, I got you covered. Hopefully sharing mine can inspire you to learn about yours. I believe Dr. Gary Chapman was the one who introduced the world to this simple but practical concept. In a bid to make partners care for each other effectively, he came up with the Five Love Languages we’ve come to know and appreciate. According to Dr. Gary, each one is as important as the next because they express love in their own way. But people tend to value one over the other based on personal preference.
The Five Love Languages are:
Words of Affirmation
Acts of service
It is funny how on social media when the topic of love languages is being discussed, most people lean towards the act of receiving gifts especially money. Whether it is to elicit a chuckle or ignite the hustle, the younger generation should not only base their relationships on receiving gifts/money. It is a sure way to make relationships end in tears.
To know your love language, you must understand who you are. Following the crowd when it comes to relationships will always take you back to that ‘God when’ phase. When I say to thy own self be true, I am not talking about only knowing yourself via what your zodiac sign says about you. Because people tend to use that as an excuse not to take responsibility for their actions. I was born in July but I do not fancy the sign ‘Cancer’. The Nigerian in me feels like I am presenting myself as a disease rather than an astrological sign. I am currently single but thinking back, I wish I knew then what I know now when it comes to the 5 love languages. Maybe it would have fostered sustainability and patience. Hindsight they say is 20/20.
Temperamentally, I am melancholic and phlegmatic. I can be religiously analytical, thoughtful, independent, reserved, and severely anxious. On the Phlegmatic side, I am sympathetic, caring, loving, and understanding. I am the one with the advice or the shoulder to cry on. I live my life to help and serve others, partly because it was how I was raised and it is who I am. I have come to understand that my words and my time are my most expensive currency. It is no shocker that my love languages are: quality time, acts of service, and words of affirmation. While I enjoy physical touch and receiving gifts as much as the next girl– time, service, and words are the way to my heart because they make up a huge part of who I am.
Quality Time: “Relationships are built on small, consistent deposits of time. You can’t cram for what’s most important. If you want to connect with those you love, you’ve got to be available consistently, not randomly.” ― Andy Stanley
I was not very vocal about this in my previous relationships, but we learn as we grow (new me, who this?). I am reserved and would rather stay at home than go out. My uncle reminded me a couple of weeks back that I have been preparing for the pandemic since I was a little girl. I know how important Time is and I try not to waste people’s time if I have nothing of value to offer to them. As I grow older, I have come to understand why my mother loves having people around her. Life can be pretty lonely and you want people you care about to fill that empty space. No matter how introverted I am, if I value a person’s company, spending time with that person becomes a priority, not a chore or a bother. The term ‘I am too busy’ to respond to a message, a text, or a call is reserved for those who prioritize work over relationships. I use this excuse when I am either in one of my melancholic moods or I really do not want to talk to that person at that time. I understand people can be very busy. But call me sappy, but if you care, you’ll make time. I value attention and I hate having to hide it so as not to come off as clingy. I dated a man who told me straight up how much he valued attention and I respected him for that. The way to my heart has always been with quality time in whatever way it presents itself. As I get older I have become more of a recluse. I used to be on dating apps, exploring the men, the world, and my choices. I am no longer interested in wasting my time in the ‘talking phase’ or ‘getting to know you phase’. I value my quiet time, meaningful relationships, and conversations without the millennial slangs like ‘wyd’.
Acts of Service: “There is no such thing as a simple act of compassion or an inconsequential act of service. Everything we do for another person has infinite consequences.” – Caroline Myss
I can never sit idly by when I know there’s something I can do to put a smile on someone’s face. In turn, when a person does pleasant things he/she knows I’ll enjoy, it goes a long way to show that person cares. I have seen a lot of people in relationships who have money but are not happy because their partners will not do the little things they enjoy. You can not replace the act of service with money (take that to the bank and cash it, tell them I sent you). Because the little things add up to big things which can eventually bring people closer or tear them apart.
“I’ve observed over and over that people seem to get a much deeper sense of fulfillment out of something they’ve done as an act of service than out of the things they do for themselves.” – Edward Norton
Words Of Affirmation: “With all the poetry in the world you should never give anyone a surface compliment.”- Amba
That ‘you should already know how I feel about you’ does not work for me or a lot of other people. You have got to use your words ‘durling’, that is why you have them. See, the thing is, we learn the alphabets so we can put words together to convey how we feel. I am a poet so it makes sense to me to be expressive when it counts. Call me the queen of writing an epistle and I will not be mad at you.
On a more serious note, I know some people find it hard to express themselves because it is not in their nature. But if your partner loves to hear the words or receive them via texts, you’ll have to go out of your comfort zone. For Instance, I’m not very fond of phone calls. I would rather text because I can articulate my feelings better through text messages. But when I like a person and I know they prefer calls over texts, I become Chatty Cathy. The most unnatural thing for me to do becomes second nature because I would like the person I fancy to know how important they are to me. Words of affirmation convey to your partner that you’re still confident in their ability to ignite your passion.
Physical Touch: “Touch has a memory.” ― John Keats
I don’t know about physical touch y’all, especially during this global pandemic. Y’all keep your hands to yourself (just joking). Love and affection can also be translated through hugs, holding hands, kissing (which I completely enjoy), and you know, through sexual intercourse. The way we underestimate the spirituality of holding another human being in our arms surprises me. It irks me to see or hear how people trivialize physical touch. The body can convey what words can’t. Please value one another enough to be careful with each other’s bodies.
“We are not people who touch each other carelessly; every point of contact between us feels important, a rush of energy and relief.” ― Veronica Roth, Allegiantt
Receiving Gifts: “Love’s value is not dependent on the person receiving it, but on the person giving it.”
― Jeffrey Fry
Gifting people is never cheap, no matter how simple the gift may look. As long as it is not your money, or your hands that wrapped it, or your thought that went into it, it is priceless. It should be seen & valued as such. My Nigerian men always talk about feeling undervalued and underappreciated because the ladies have taken it upon themselves to make them traditional dancers – hence the singlet, boxers, and handkerchiefs as gifts during special occasions. So, ladies, in the spirit of equality, If you enjoy receiving gifts from your partners, hold yourself to a standard of accountability by finding out their love languages & bringing it to fruition as you are able.
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