It’s finally here! The Bacon Post! I do hope after all the hype and the waiting it’s not a disappointment.
I decided to scrap all the fussing and just get this thing finished. The last post was a bit too long, though I enjoyed writing it. I promise, this one is shorter.Plus there are TWO pictures, something smart someone else said, and a bunch of paraphrased material. Hardly any original content at all!
Have you heard of the Five Love Languages? In a nutshell, it’s about figuring out what says “love” to you, and to those you care about, and trying to “speak each other’s language.” There are apparently five “love languages”, and of course you can take some kind of test (which Better Half roundly scorned) to figure out what your top “languages” are. Want the Cliffs Notes version?
1) Words of Affirmation – telling the other person how you feel and why you appreciate them. that’s the “you’re pretty” part (see picture below)…but it can’t be fake or insincere. That’s no good. It can be anything you say that’s positive about the other person and is meant from the heart. (Awww).
2) Acts of Service – doing things for the other person. It could be washing the car, cleaning the cat boxes, you know, laundry and all that thrilling stuff.
3) Receiving Gifts – uh, giving the other person gifts. That one’s pretty obvious. Oooh, I like diamonds! But this would also refer to that flower you picked from the side of the road, or a pack of gum. It doesn’t have to be pricey. It’s the physical token of affection.
4) Quality Time – showing you care by spending time together, doing things that person likes to do (and hopefully you also like to do). This could be anything – hanging out watching movies, or hiking, or sunning on the beach, watching paint dry, whatever…
5) Physical Touch – say no more. I think we all know about that one. But it also includes more innocent stuff like holding hands or those little pats or hugs or whatever.
The central notion here is that many relationships struggle or fail because the two people “aren’t speaking each other’s love language”, which means that they may think they are showing their feelings and behaving in a loving way because they are doing what THEY think would be wonderful. The problem is, it may or may not feel wonderful to the other person. If I’m primarily a “words of affirmation” and “quality time” type but you’re more about “receiving gifts” and “physical touch”, you can see the disconnect.
Okay, maybe that won’t fix everything, but…it’s worth a try. Words of Affirmation and Receiving Gifts! Bingo.
So according to the Five Love Languages book (yeah, I took the quiz) I’m primarily the affirming words and quality time type. So if that matches up with what I’m getting from the important people in my life (remember the “love” part could apply to more than just romantic love) then I’m all set. But if I’m not, I’m going to be feeling unfulfilled and cranky.
The key is not only to figure out your perspective, but those of the other people around you. Maybe they’re trying to show you they care, but it’s in a different “language”. Hmmm.
Here’s where the bacon comes in. Picture a Monday evening, late-ish. Tired from working all day and teaching a class at night and hungry to the point where it hurts. That was me. I get home and I’m not in, shall we say, the best of moods. Better Half sees this, and rather than dump whatever on me about homework or the stuff to do for the next day or what the score was on whichever sporting event was currently on (there probably was one), he did a very loving thing.
He asked me if I wanted some bacon, and he made it for me.
Acts of Service, baby! Okay, that’s not my top “love language”, but it’s one of his (he didn’t want to take the quiz but I kind of forced him and then improvised a little and that’s what I came up with.) I was able to see that he was doing something loving, and you better believe I ate that bacon with a smile on my face.
I’m not saying you need to run right out and buy the book or anything, though it’s always interesting to me to see how other people try to unravel the mysteries of human relationships.
How does this apply to you? Are there people you feel you’re not connecting with though you both are trying? Maybe you need some language lessons, or at least some bacon.