The other night, during the important minutes I typically use to procrastinate bathing despite swearing that same morning I’d go to bed the literal moment I got home, I decided to finally sort out my Love Language. I’d long joked with my sister that I felt I spoke all the languages — as in, I’d like to receive love in all its varying forms, all the time — but I decided in that moment that I needed the stats to back me up, mostly because I really didn’t want to shower (my apartment is very cold).
After taking the test, which contains 30 leading and obvious questions that are mostly impossible to answer (i.e. “It’s more meaningful to me when…1: my partner tells me he or she loves me, or 2: my partner gives me a gift”), I learned I prefer:
Quality Time (12 out of 30 questions)
Words of Affirmation (9)
Physical Touch (5)
Acts of Service (4)
Receiving Gifts (0) (a score I resented categorically)
I then proceeded to force the test on those I loved, which I considered an Act of Service in that I enabled them to feel frustrated, then kind of enlightened and then receive a bunch of promo emails about a book by a man named Gary Chapman.
When I sent it to two friends, one of whom was dating casually and the other of whom was in an uncertain relationship, I noticed a gap in the market that I would like to fill: Like Languages. For those of you who aren’t in love nor in the mood to give or receive it, it’s important you understand which Like Language you use to speak with the romantic fling or companion that’s flitting in and out of your life, or simply hanging around to middling results. Identifying exactly how and when you like this person will enable you to communicate your needs more openly and freely. This is really a path to self-discovery.
Below I present the five Like Languages. Please comment with your email if you’d like to receive a bunch of promo emails about my forthcoming literary work on how to navigate mediocre relationships.
If you speak Quiet Time, you appreciate when your companion takes a back seat conversationally, thus giving you the space to forget the inner workings of his or her personality. You also value time alone with your companion because bringing him or her around your friends impedes your relaxation as you spend the entire time worrying what your companion will say to embarrass you. When the two of you are alone, you do best engaging in quiet activities like binge-watching Netflix and eating snacks rather than engaging in extended conversation, which only stands to highlight the cavernous gap between how you both see the world.
Woods of Ambiguity
If you speak Woods of Ambiguity, your affection for your companion goes through intense, unexplainable peaks and valleys, which you’re unable to explain with decisive language. Sometimes you think you have a real future together, other times you’re certain you should leave and change your number immediately. It’s impossible to predict how you’ll feel on a given day and your biggest challenge, if you speak this language, is weighing the cost of keeping plans you made during an affectionate moment against canceling them when you realize you’re literally haunted by his or her bad breath, or equally unappealing trait.
If you speak Touché, you like your companion best when he or she thinks you’re always right. For instance, if you’re in the mood to stay in, order Thai, and whine about bigots, and your companion is too, you think you might be in love. But if he or she, on that same night is in the mood to go out, eat tapas and doesn’t think Paul Ryan really meant it that way, a shadow of doubt is cast over your entire relationship and you wonder why the hell you’re even seeing this person. You and your companion work best on the days during which you feel the same way about everything, and nothing short of that.
Acts of Snacks
If you speak Acts of Snacks, your affection for your companion is subconsciously linked with how good you think they look on a given day. When he or she wears that one outfit, with the one pair of glasses and that one hat, the gates of your affection unwittingly burst open, and you wonder why you’ve been questioning things all this time. But the moment they show up back in that other outfit, looking like less than a snack, you’re immediately reminded of all the reasons this person just isn’t right for you, and you consider leaving them once and for all. To the un-self-aware, Acts of Snacks is often mistaken for Woods of Ambiguity.
Gifs is a Like Language of the modern man or woman. If you speak Gifs, you like your companion best when speaking over the internet. He or she really knows his/her way around a quippy one-liner and has the best collection of gifs you’ve ever laid eyes on. You might spend all day texting or DMig back and forth, your stomach full of butterflies and your head full of daydreams, but as soon as you see your companion in the flesh again, you’re faced with the dreaded realization that he or she really isn’t that funny and interesting in real life — which you promptly forget as soon as you’re no longer in your companion’s vicinity and he or she hits you with the chicken gif.
Which Like Language do you speak?
Illustrations & design by Emily Zirimis.