By: Megan DeGrand
I’ve always been a sucker for love. Ever since I was a child, I would rewatch the same Disney Princess movies with frilly gowns and handsome men too good to be true. I would fill my spare time reading romance novels, the more cliche the better. Now, I read my horoscope for hints about my romantic life, and humor those “If this is on your FYP, this message is for you!” TikToks about a mysterious stranger coming into my life.
While I still maintain my same love for love, I have also developed a curiosity of relationship dynamics. People watching has become a habit of mine as I sit in cafes or as I walk through the Diag. Sometimes I’ll watch couples that dress in the same aesthetic and hold hands into Hatcher, or couples that are day and night and act like they hate each other. My friends will describe their ideal types to me and it either makes total sense or none at all.
Specifically, I find love languages and how they line up with each other particularly interesting. For those that aren’t familiar, the five main love languages are physical touch, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service, and gift giving.
While there are many ways to appreciate every love language, I feel there are a few love language pairings that specifically match perfectly. I will lay out which pairings I think work best, and which I think would take some effort. Of course, everyone is different and love works in strange ways… but I take unwarranted pride in the dealings of the heart.
The pair that compliments one another the most is Physical Touch and Quality Time. These two can gratify, and typically seem to lend themselves to, one another. Spending a lot of time with someone usually entails being very close to them in more ways than one. These two love languages can coexist very easily, as a couple could just sit in each other’s arms for hours, take a long walk holding hands, or even just fall asleep on the couch together. There is an intimacy in just sitting together, and being physical often entails spending long periods of time together anyway, allowing both parties to be satisfied.
Two more love languages that pair well together are Words of Affirmation and Acts of Service. This pair I have little reasoning for; I just think it would be a sweet match in a romantic relationship. Some say actions speak louder than words, but actions and words build off each other more than that message implies. The “Words of Affirmation” partner can outright tell their “Acts of Service” partner the acts that they really appreciate, which would encourage good communication skills. They could also learn each others’ love languages along the way, with Words of Affirmation learning to do acts of service to receive more words of affirmation and create a cycle of these acts and affirmations. I think it could potentially take some work, but this could be a really sweet duo.
Keeping Acts of Service in the equation, I think Gift Giving could also work here. Both of these love languages involve giving a piece of yourself to your partner, and are both selfless acts. Acts of Service really causes one to reflect upon their partner’s needs and what they might need help with. Gift Giving causes one to think about their partner’s wants, and what would make them happy or feel good. These love languages on the surface can seem like they can only be grand gestures or demonstrations of true love, but they can be small, wholesome, quick acts. This couple could do such little, yet meaningful, things as buying and bringing each other coffee in the morning, doing dishes together, or sneaking their favorite treat into the grocery list, all these little acts count.
Focusing on love languages can help someone identify how they show or receive affection, but limiting the scope on only five specific ways to express love can be restrictive. All of the love languages overlap in some capacity, so it is totally normal to favor many love languages equally, but strictly abiding to the five love languages has the potential to moderate the ways in which someone shows their love.
Love does not always have to be romantic, either. Usually I can take a pretty accurate guess on my friends’ main love languages just from the way they interact with me or their other friends. Love languages can be crucial to the harmony of platonic relationships. My sister isn’t very talkative or active in many situations, but she’d be happy to sit together in my room as we scroll through social media– quality time (which works perfectly because that is also my love language). My mom never misses a chance to bring our grandma food and will never send me back to school empty handed– gift giving.
Love is a truly beautiful thing. Maybe this is a super naive view of love, but I have learned it is better to love with your whole heart than to love carefully and fearfully. Loving someone can be one of the greatest joys of life, and it is better to do so with no reservations. Love with everything in your heart, knowing the risks of losing someone because, in the end, the love you were able to share in this moment will have been worth it.
Love languages may not mean everything in a relationship, but knowing yours can hopefully make understanding and communicating with your partner or friend easier. Now go find the gift giving to your acts of service or the quality time to your physical touch, and love loving someone.