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Thread: Love Languages

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    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Default Love Languages

    So I've heard the book recommended often and I've skimmed through it a few times. Is it weird that I can't narrow it down to a primary love language? I want it ALL, baby! While I can recognize that no one can be perfect, I try hard to express love in all of those ways and would hope for the same in a relationship. Is that unrealistic? Maybe this is why even on paper I just can't see being satisfied longterm with any particular personality type!

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    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    I have trouble narrowing it down too, and I think the biggest problem for me is that it depends on the person more than what I expect myself. I could go either way on just about any of the options. If someone is particularly careful with their words and won't express affection lightly, then it'll mean the world to me if they express affection with words; if someone is more cavalier- even genuine, just more cavalier and expresses things on a whim, then I'm just not going to assign as much weight to it. It's similar with gifts: if someone somehow picks up on the right way to express that they really see me for who I am, then a gift can really enthrall me. But other times gifts just feel like a burden and it's more taxing to get them than not. And acts of service: in the right context and from certain people I can appreciate it to no end (if they happen to understand me enough to know what would actually help me)- but I also have issues with how people can take on a "if you loved me, you'd do _____" attitude (I'm quick to resent it) and I'm averse to throwing that attitude at anyone myself, not to mention the times someone will do something for me that isn't particularly helpful and/or which I didn't ask for yet they feel anger or taken for granted when I don't feel obligated to them for it (some people act as if they get to choose which 'act of service' they perform AND which 'act of service' they should expect.....and any deviation means you 'don't love/appreciate them', GRRRRR).

    It's all so dependent on context and/or person to me, and how mindfully it's done. I suppose the biggest common denominator is how much the expression demonstrates they really see me and appreciate who I am, rather than which form the expression takes. I really can't give my own hierarchy of preference. And as far as how I express love myself, it's more like I notice what means the most to others and use what's most effective. [edited] I don't thrive on performing one act or another, the part I thrive on is making someone feel loved. Although I do have personal limits as far as how much quality time and attention I can give to someone. Someone who needs a lot of attention or a lot of expressing (in a mostly quantitative sense) just isn't going to jive well with me. People I can really, really get along with are so far and few between that I'm pretty malleable when it happens.
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    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    "I just thrive on making them feel loved"

    Yeah, that's kind of it for me. And as far as what I hope to get - I guess it's the sense that the other person loves me too and expresses it in some tangible way.

    With the ESTJ, as he tried to detach emotionally, he almost purposefully would not express what he liked about me, didn't spend as much time with me, and wasn't publicly affectionate, even though he had done all of those things liberally in the past. In the first couple of years of our relationship, he would leave little surprises in my mailbox at school (favourite kind of chips or an apple), write funny notes, do practical chores for me, was very affectionate, expressed appreciation, and spent time with me. He was great at picking out gifts that were practical, but also indicated that he knew what I needed and would be pleased to get, as well as reflecting him as a gift giver. At that point in time, we both did a good job of expressing all of the different love languages to each other. I don't think it was just a matter of infatuation either.

    It was after we decided that we couldn't make a go of things outside of where we were that that kind of thing started to fall apart, even though he wanted to be together, and at times (or rather schitzophrenically) he still expressed love in those ways (which probably is what kept me in the relationship as long as I did. If I had believed that he just wasn't feeling it anymore, I would have broken up. However, by the end, there was way more bad than good and those times were fewer and further between). I'm just wondering if that was a pretty unique situation and is an unrealistic hope or expectation, as many people have only one or two primary ways in which they prefer to give/receive love.

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    I think they all have their place and I can definitely appreciate all gestures and the thought behind them.

    For me, though, I think it's been the absence of certain ones that made it all the clearer how important they in fact were for me, and the absence actually made me question the entire relationship / the relationship wasn't in the end what I found fulfilling, due to the lack. I think Quality Time, Words of Affirmation, and Physical Touch are my definite top 3, but through the absence of two of them in a relationship, and how profoundly that made me question things/feel their absence, I now suspect Words of Affirmation and Physical Touch are my top 2 - if I don't receive either fairly regularly, then I lose that romantic sense of the relationship - the romantic love sense.

    Quality Time continues to be really meaningful/important to me, but I find that in the absence of Words and Touch, I can have all the quality time in the world but it then feels more like a friendship. And there's nothing wrong with that... it again just makes me feel unloved/unwanted/undesired in a romantic and emotional/deep-connection sense, and I had to fill in all of the gaps and assume I was loved; it was more an intellectual process rather than my knowing/really feeling it.
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    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    And as far as what I hope to get - I guess it's the sense that the other person loves me too and expresses it in some tangible way.

    ***************

    I'm just wondering if that was a pretty unique situation and is an unrealistic hope or expectation, as many people have only one or two primary ways in which they prefer to give/receive love.
    Because I try out different things, pay attention and then continue to do what actually makes the person happy- I do sorta expect the same, and I’ve wondered myself if this sorta custom built expression is an unreasonable expectation. I can’t really help it though, to some extent. It seems like someone’s preferences really sorta need to coincide with what makes sense to me- because I can believe someone loves me in an almost dry sense when they do things that don’t actually make me happy (but are clearly doing *something* for me, to express something), I can appreciate them in a sterile way- but they don’t actually make me feel like the person sees me and ultimately too much of it just makes me feel alienated (sorta like what cascadeco wrote). I really don’t know how much of that is a choice. But anyway, I wish there was some 6th option, like ‘an amalgamation of all of them, with an ability to actually notice what works’, because that’s what I’d choose as my primary and it is kinda what I expect. Within those 5, I do have thresholds of what I’m capable of- like ‘acts of service’ without any words at all would probably inevitably be alienating to me- but mostly I go with what I notice is most effective. [Incidentally, I love the little surprises- like chips left in a locker kind of stuff.]
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    Senior Member WoodsWoman's Avatar
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    Just like MBTI, some are much more to the middle of the spectrum - balanced, if you will, while others (like me) fall into a category so clearly there's no question.

    As it were, I am evenly split between physical touch and quality time. Someone can give me gifts until the cows come home and it's not going to spawn a romantic glow in my heart. If one or the other of the above are present (preferably both) THEN gifts are welcomed with a romantic sentiment.

    I had a couple of men come at me bearing gifts - ick! It was the one who offered to sit and talk about serious stuff with me that has taken me home.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    So I've heard the book recommended often and I've skimmed through it a few times. Is it weird that I can't narrow it down to a primary love language? I want it ALL, baby! While I can recognize that no one can be perfect, I try hard to express love in all of those ways and would hope for the same in a relationship. Is that unrealistic? Maybe this is why even on paper I just can't see being satisfied longterm with any particular personality type!
    These came to mind: http://www.prageruniversity.com/Life...-Syndrome.html

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    I never liked the book that much.

    The best match I found was "quality time" -- but I can feel very close to some people who I don't even spend much time with. It's more the depth of the connection and how we reverberate with each other; but that is not easily quantified like the five Love Languages (which to me are very tangible expressions of interest/love).
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

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    You have a choice! 21%'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    The best match I found was "quality time" -- but I can feel very close to some people who I don't even spend much time with. It's more the depth of the connection and how we reverberate with each other; but that is not easily quantified like the five Love Languages (which to me are very tangible expressions of interest/love).
    I agree with this! Funny how I was just thinking about love languages earlier and my conclusion was that there were more ways to express love other than these 'languages'. For me, I've come to realize that I need to talk. I don't care what we talk about. We can have a profound discussion about the meaning of life or we can just talk about random current events or we can talk about totally stupid things like what the celebs are doing. I feel loved as long as he is talking to me and sharing his thoughts and listening to mine. (Same thing with family members, to a slightly lesser degree)

    I'm not sure what 'quality time' is supposed to mean. Doing things together? I guess it means different things to different people. Going to the movies is doing something together, but it is not necessarily quality time for me. If we get to talk about it afterwards, then it is. If not, then I will feel lonely even if we were sitting beside each other the whole time.
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    Let me count the ways Betty Blue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    So I've heard the book recommended often and I've skimmed through it a few times. Is it weird that I can't narrow it down to a primary love language? I want it ALL, baby! While I can recognize that no one can be perfect, I try hard to express love in all of those ways and would hope for the same in a relationship. Is that unrealistic? Maybe this is why even on paper I just can't see being satisfied longterm with any particular personality type!

    I do not find it surprising at all, even if/when you do identify a particular style it's no guarantee that you will find someone with the matching style and even if you do it's no certainty that it will work seamlessly.

    Have you never met someone who ticks all the right boxes and theres just no click? Or someone who ticks none of them (or very few) and there are sparks flying everywhere?

    I honestly think a lot of it is luck, or compromise, or both. Or any number of unmeasurable components.

    Maybe delving deep into it helps, i'm not sure, it's all a learning experience though so worthwhile.

    If you really understand what you do want, that has to narrow it down a bit. The majority of my 'wants' have always been intangible to me. There are some basics of course.
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