Gary Chapman is a theologian and relationship counselor who wrote the book The Five Love Languages. Although I’ve only read excerpts from it, I have taken the quiz, and I find myself fascinated with the concept. Dr. Chapman maintains that there are five basic ways in which we give and receive love: words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. Although we practice all of them at one time or another, we tend to favor one more than the others, and this is considered our primary love language. It’s the expression of love that works best for us, in terms of both giving and receiving. Sometimes we favor more than one (in my case I had three that were one point apart) and so we actually prefer and employ a combination of languages. The quiz is simple to take and very revealing, especially if you have your partner take it too. If you are a person who prefers acts of service and your significant other favors physical touch, then you can do the dishes or fold the laundry until the cows come home and it won’t matter. All he or she really wants to is hold hands. Dr. Chapman believes that these differences in love languages can be the root cause of many relationship problems between couples. Once we understand our partner’s love language, we can often meet somewhere in the middle and work towards an expression of love that’s more harmonious for both of us.
Why do I find Dr. Chapman’s ideas to be so fascinating? For starters, I think we all have an idea of how we’d like to be loved and we spend a fair amount of time thinking about it. Sometimes we go so far as to make a wish list of all the things we hope to find in another person, with quite a number of them pertaining to expressions of love. If a person doesn’t have these qualities that we’re looking for, then we may decide that they are not the right person for us, even if we’re already in a relationship. I think we can all agree that we’ve seen relationships break down for this very reason. It’s the flip side of this, however, that we often don’t consider, and Dr. Chapman’s little quiz reminds us of its importance. The act of expressing love to our partners can leave us feeling very vulnerable, especially in new relationships, but also in those that are longstanding. Some of us (I won’t name names) like to express love through words, and the first time we say or write what we’re feeling we are positively terrified of how the object of our affection may react. What if we’ve just sent a big, heartfelt text strewn with love emojis to a person who writes us back a one-liner? Without a single emoji?? Or what if we’ve just spoken our most poetic expression of love to a person who looks deeply into our eyes and says, “Right back at ya.” What?? I’m being facetious here, but the truth is that when we feel as though our way of expressing love is not respected or understood, we tend to take it personally, and we can shut down as a result. It’s incredibly validating when our significant person sees and appreciates the love that we have and want to give. In fact, it might just be the most glorious thing in the world.
For today’s cocktail, I decided to begin in the middle with ingredients that represent love and its expression. A bit of research informed me that beets were considered to be the ultimate symbol of love, and they were considered sacred in mythology to both Apollo and Aphrodite. Their red color is tied to blood and all matters of the heart, and they are also an aphrodisiac. In Native American lore, cherries are also symbolic of love and to the strong expression of ideas. A cherry ginger switchel and a beet and ginger tonic gave me the perfect starting point, and I expanded on the remaining ingredients from there. I used gin as my base spirit and a cherry liqueur to intensify the flavor of the switchel. Lemon juice added just the right acidity that I balanced that with a simple syrup. The end result was a drink with bold flavors that definitely deserves our attention, much like Dr. Chapman’s love languages. This is the perfect cocktail to have while you click on the link at the bottom of the post to take his quiz. Cheers everyone. Happy Friday!
I won’t be posting next week because of vacation, but I will be using the time to take care of a few maintenance items here on the blog. I’ll be back on Labor Day with a new Monday series that involves quotes from great novels and poems! I’ll see you all then!
Speak My Language
Add all the ingredients (except the club) to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until very cold. Strain into your most fun glass over a large cube. Top with the club and garnish with a beet cut into the shape of a heart! Enjoy!