I find the idea of love languages to be really interesting, and have wanted to learn more about them, but have mostly shied away from doing so, because romance repulsion. So this Carnival of Aces provided a really good opportunity for me to find a safe way to do so. I took the online quiz (singles edition), focusing on non-relationship-ey love. Familial love, love for friends. Even — love isn’t quite the right word, but some professional equivalent.
Before I took the quiz, I had thought maybe I have different love languages for giving and receiving love — giving gifts and quality time, respectively. Afterwards, well, my results might indicate that there is some truth to that, but reflecting on my thoughts as I took the quiz, I don’t think that’s the case after all.
As I took the quiz, I realized that not only do I find great joy in picking out just the right gifts for people I care about, but I also really like getting gifts. So I was surprised to find that I scored highest for quality time (11/12) with receiving gifts coming in second (8/12). Then I reflected on the questions some more. Many of the gift giving questions were about receiving small “just because” gifts, and I don’t want that. What I do like are relevant gifts given at meaningful times. For example, when my PhD supervisor gave me a little tiny felted flower pot with a bumble bee and a note inside saying “smile” and “you go girl” just before she left on sabbatical for a year (my research is on bumble bees). I was very touched and delighted by it. (That’s where the professional version of “love isn’t quite the right word” comes into this discussion.) Or when the Scottish dance class I joined while I was living in England for three months gave me a brooch (something I will wear as a Scottish dancer) on my last night with them. When my mom sent me care packages while I was away at university for my undergrad degree. All of these things are wonderful. And maybe quality time ended up higher because when I think too much about a lot of gift giving, it runs up against my hopes of being anti-consumerist. Which also goes along with carefully chosen meaningful gifts at significant times, rather than frequent insignificant gifts.
I scored lowest for physical touch, which I think reflects my difficulty in figuring out how non-romantic, non-sexual physical touch works more than anything else. I’d really like there to be more physical touch in my life. The few times I’ve managed it (putting my arm around a friend, sitting close together on the couch, etc.) it has felt really good in a “humans are social creatures” sort of way. Most of the time, though, it just makes me antsy, because I can’t quite figure out how to be sure I’m not sending the wrong signals, or even when touch is appropriate or not. Culturally, physical touch (beyond handshakes and brief hugs) between adults who aren’t in a Relationship isn’t something we really do in North America, so it’s difficult. But I’d really like to figure it out.