Gary Chapman is the theologian and relationship counselor responsible for developing the theory of The 5 Love Languages. I read excerpts of his book with great excitement back in 2018 when I was writing my first post on this topic, promptly took the quiz, and immediately became a huge fan of the entire concept. Originally, Dr. Chapman maintained that there were five basic ways in which we give and receive love: words of affirmation, quality time, giving and 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 more than one will resonate, and so we actually prefer and employ a combination of languages. The quiz is simple to take and very revealing, especially when we have our partners take it too. We quickly learn that if we are someone who prefers acts of service and our significant other favors physical touch, we can do the dishes or fold the laundry until the cows come home, and it won’t ever score us any points. All he or she really wants to do is hold hands. Dr. Chapman believes that these differences in love languages can be the root cause of many relationship problems, and a good number of therapists use his concept as a starting point when counseling couples. It makes perfect sense. Once we understand the love language of our primary person, we can often meet somewhere in the middle and work towards an expression of love that’s more harmonious for both of us.
Despite the fact that Dr. Chapman’s work on the subject of love and relationships was quite revelatory, it was compiled back in the 1980s largely through his work with Christian couples who were exclusively married, American, and heterosexual. Because we now live in quite a different world, it became fair to wonder whether the concept of love languages might change significantly if it were re-examined with today’s expressions of love in mind and across a less homogenous sample. In February of 2022, Truity, the website that develops and administers personality tests, published the results of over 500,000 interviews that were conducted with the intention of expanding Dr. Chapman’s theory to be more comprehensive and inclusive for modern relationships. This new study was led by none other than Truity’s CEO, Molly Owens, and its outcome led to seven newly worded love styles, five of which correspond to Dr. Chapman’s and two that are brand new. They are listed below as they are written on the Truity site:
People who focus on the Activity love style feel special and valued when their partner takes an interest in their hobbies and activities and makes an effort to enjoy hobbies and interests together.
People who focus on the Appreciation love style feel loved when their partner gives them compliments, praise and thanks. They appreciate hearing explicitly what their partner likes and admires about them.
Those who focus on the Emotional love style feel loved when their partner connects with them and supports them through difficult and scary emotions. Being present for the highs and lows is very important to those with the Emotional love style.
People with the Financial love style feel loved when their partner is generous with resources and sees value in spending money to bring their partner pleasure and joy. This love style may be expressed through gifts or just making space in the family budget for your partner’s enjoyment.
People with the Intellectual love style like to connect through the mind. They feel loved when their partner values their intelligence, respects their opinion and thoughtfully discusses important issues.
People with the Physical love style feel loved when they receive physical affection—hugs, holding hands and snuggles. They want their partners to show they’re attracted to them and initiate loving touch.
People with the Practical love style feel loved when their partners chip in with everyday duties and responsibilities. They feel cared for when their loved ones do chores and offer help.
Whether we prefer Dr. Chapman’s love languages, or Truity’s new love styles, the question becomes why do we find quizzes like these 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 these quizzes remind 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. In so many way, it becomes a form of validation when our expression of love is appreciated or at least respected. Without this recognition, an underlying form of resentment can begin to grow that will prevent a new relationship from ever flourishing as it should, and repeatedly weaken the foundation of relationships that have many years under their belts. Taking quizzes may seem like a frivolous thing, but what they actually do for us is give us a means of opening the lines of communication so that we feel a bit less vulnerable about articulating what we need in terms of love. Even if our love language or style is quite different from that of our partner’s, understanding the source of the difference will absolutely give us a means of meeting in the middle that makes us both feel validated. And that is a glorious thing!
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 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 with a simple syrup. The end result was a drink with bold flavors that definitely deserves our attention, much like the idea of love languages or styles. This is the perfect cocktail to have while you click on either link at the bottom of the post to take the quizzes. Cheers everyone. Happy Saturday!
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!
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