The other day a male friend asked me if I knew what the five love languages were. I laughed and responded that I have known my love language since I was in the fifth grade. In 1992, Gary Chapman decided to change our collective lives with his bestseller, “The Five Love Languages.” Suddenly, couples on the brink of divorce everywhere found a new way to understand one another, and as a result, salvage their relationships.
A quick refresher on the five:
Words of Affirmation: Sending encouraging words through text, email or carrier pigeon
Gifts: Giving someone something as thoughtful as a custom mug that changes into an image of Napoleon Dynamite when hot water is added or an iced matcha latte in the morning
Acts of Service: Doing things for others whether it be making breakfast, crossing the seven seas, or taking their car to the dealership
Quality Time: Spending time with one another, regardless of how jam-packed your calendar is
Physical Touch: Hugs, hand-holding, kisses, use your imagination
While people often joke about how millennials killed department stores, the housing market, and marriage, those who do decide to get married typically stay married. According to an analysis done by the University of Maryland sociology professor Philip Cohen, the U.S. divorce rate fell 18 percent from 2008 to 2017, which makes sense when you factor in how we no longer need to marry for financial or economic security.
The 5 Love Languages
Physical Touch: my loneliness is killing me
Words of Affirmation: I must confess I still believe
Quality Time: When I’m not with you I lose my mind
Gift Giving: give me a sign
Acts of Service: hit me baby one more time
— Brandon Melendez (@onbrandbrandonn) July 14, 2018
However, many people are still choosing to forego marriage altogether. But that does not mean we are not still on the quest to find someone who “gets us,” whether it be our values, ambitions, Netflix preferences, or our niche love of Fabergé eggs. Our need for human connection and sound relationships will live on forever, with or without a contract. To strengthen these relationships, it is important to understand how the other operates and shows their love. That is where “The Five Love Languages” comes in. It really is no surprise that the book has sold over 11 million copies, and lives on forever through Twitter memes and routine think-pieces. Even with its antiquated book cover, the content speaks to our self-improvement-obsessed generation. How many of us have taken our Myers-Briggs test, read our daily horoscope, or follow tarot card Instagram accounts? These tests help to validate your feelings and communicate what we often cannot. You are looped into a larger group of people who also understand what you are going through.
The best part about living in today’s world is that we no longer need to follow the traditional ideas of what love and our futures are supposed to look like. We can raise a child on our own, fill our lives with a community of friends, or dabble in non-committal dating. Even Disney has gotten on board and has reformatted its storytelling to showcase the many forms of love — familial love, platonic love, the love of one’s self. But regardless of the path you choose, when it comes to relationships of any sort, communication is still key. We all want to be loved, and how we communicate that love differs from person to person. I thought it would be a fun experiment to ask my coworkers what their respective love languages are. I advise all of you to do the same, for if you know what gets through to your loved ones, you can tailor your behavior and strengthen your relationships.
Iman Balagam, Junior Writer
What I Give: Gifts
Even though I personally do not care for them, I express my affection through gifts. I am a firm believer that every minor achievement deserves berry Chantilly cake or balloons. I live for my friends’ birthdays and have been known to dole out custom pillows, mugs, calendars, etc. I love watching my friends faces light up when opening up a great gift.
What I Prefer to Receive: Words of Affirmation
I recently came to the realization that my best friend and I have completely different love languages. She expresses herself through acts of service like making me breakfast or chauffeuring me around (I hate driving), which completely goes over my head. I am a fiend for words of affirmation and nothing gets me more than long handwritten cards or a sweet text. Some may joke that my bar is on the floor, but nothing makes me feel the way kind words do. You can think all of these amazing things about yourself but without third party affirmation, it may all be in your head.
Drew Carlos, Editor
What I Give: Acts of Service
I will go out of my way to make sure my partner or friend feels loved and cared for. Whether it is making a special dinner or FaceTiming with a friend at midnight, I show love by giving.
What I Prefer to Receive: Quality Time
For me, there is nothing better than having one-on-one time to spend with a partner or friend. By taking time out of their day to dedicate to me, it makes me feel loved. This is even more special with a long-distance friendship — my visits often entail my friend and I catching up all day as “Say Yes to the Dress” plays in the background.
Mylan Torres, Visual Editor
What I Give: Gifts
I usually pick out random things on trips or even just in my day-to-day for people I care about. That’s how I show people that they are on my mind/important to me. I love to give out “just because” thoughtful gifts.
What I Prefer to Receive: Acts of Service
I am a #workaholic, so really any time someone does something nice for me – no matter how small it may be – it makes me feel loved. Taking my dogs out before I get home? Great!
Mellanie Perez, Lifestyle Writer
What I Give: Quality Time
I’m that friend who has been known to spend an entire day simply running errands with my mom or my best friend simply because I want to spend time with them. For me, what we are doing or where we are have always come in secondary to simply being in the same room with that person I love — doing whatever. Sometimes this looks like taking a trip together, spending hours in a car or simply sitting across from each other, sipping coffee, catching up on the latest details of our lives.
What I Prefer to Receive: Words of Affirmation
When it comes to me, however, kind and uplifting words go very far. Even when I am simply chatting with a loved one and venting out and/or processing things about my life, I like a little vote of confidence and a little inspirational affirmation to approach life with a positive outlook. Those kinds of listening ears and affirming words keep me going.
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