5 Love Languages & My Best Friend (and why I can write about them in the same post)

The #LoveBlog topics for February 1 and 2 are 5 Love Languages and Best Friends in that order.  Though they seem pretty different, I’m going to do my best to synthesize the topics into one post (wouldn’t my 10th grade English teacher be proud?) all in the name of being caught up.

I first heard about the 5 Love Languages a few months ago watching some silly daytime show where a couple was discussing the problems that arise when we love our partner the way we want to be loved rather than the way they want to be loved.  Upon examining the list, it was pretty easy to guess mine and Joe’s languages, but I went ahead and took this quiz today for concrete results.

It turns out my love languages are just what I expected, but there is a much bigger difference in them than I expected.

  1. 10 Words of Affirmation
  2. 9 Acts of Service
  3. 4 Quality Time
  4. 4 Receiving Gifts
  5. 3 Physical Touch

So basically, if you aren’t going to be saying nice things to me, you’d better be helping me out….Otherwise, I’m not feeling the love.  And even though he didn’t take the quiz, I’d guess that Joe’s go in nearly the reverse order of mine.  But how do I show him my love?  By saying nice things to him! How does he show me he loves me?  By physical touch.  Maybe that couple on daytime TV really knew their stuff.  But that’s neither here nor there; this is supposed to be about me and my love language….

I think people whose love language is words of affirmation are people who care what others think and crave praise. I am no exception.  My mother has always called me a love sponge.  She said no matter how much love they showed me, I always wanted more.  I was certainly one of those obnoxious kids who fished for compliments.   Looking back on my life, my happiest times and relationships are where there was honest and frank communication.  My fondest memories are rarely about a sight or experience, but rather something someone said that really resonated with me. I am happiest in situations where people have expressed in words my strengths or some types of appreciation.  I am a word nerd in every sense of the expression — right down to the way I expect to be loved.  Say it, text it, write it down; but the best way to get me to feel your affections or appreciation is through words.  I even love gifts, home decor, and clothing with words.  It’s just who I am.

I think that words of affirmation people are a minority.  We live in a society that thrives on gifts and touch, and I think this is why words of affirmation people spend much of their time not knowing where they stand with others — words aren’t as valuable to others as they are to us. My entire dating history can be summed up with a “What are we?” I never felt like I had a best friend because no one ever called me that using that exact term.  Without a specific address of the feeling, I (quite literally) am not feeling the love.   And then I run around loving people in my way — with complements, texts, post-it notes, frank and honest statements — when they really want a hug or a gift.

So basically my love language leaves me confused, but that doesn’t take very much for an over-thinker such as myself.  And my feelings on the topic of best friendship (#LoveBlog Day 2) seem to tie right into my love language.

I have always admired best friendships.  I’m not talking about “Oh, she’s my favorite friend”; I’m talking about BEST FRIENDships.  I mean the girls who dress alike, and do everythingeverythingeverything together, and date best friends, and talk every day, and are each other’s maids of honor, and vacation together, and whose kids become best friends.  Like Beaches and Steel Magnolias and all those other girls’ BFF movies.  THOSE friendships.  I have longed for such a thing my whole life.  But here’s the deal.  Do they even exist?  How do these women have time for career and marriage and parenting and still manage to be that close to another human being?  I just can’t imagine it’s real.

If you asked me if I have a best friend, I would probably tell you no.  But the truth is that I’ve had a hundred different best friends for different periods of my life.  One was the dynamic duo best friend who taught me to blow gum bubbles and wore the other half of my heart necklace.  Another was the rowdy rebellious “I can’t believe we did that” best friend who I got into trouble with.  There was the advice giver who mothered me through senior year as we put literally thousands of miles on our cars riding around.  Two of my guy friends turned me into quite the beer drinker and looked out for me when my boyfriends acted stupid — I even had a marriage pact with one — thank goodness Joe came around before I was 28!  A childhood girlfriend became my adulthood sounding board for early marriage/parenting/house-buying.  That 10th grade teacher I mentioned earlier ended up being one of the best mentors and friends a young educator could have.  The guy who taught across the hall for almost 10 years became my closest non-family confidant and “work spouse” so much so that the rest of the faculty rarely saw us apart until he forced me into independence by switching districts.   There are so many — the lunch crew at work, the participants in a funny group text, the mothers at the ballpark — who I consider my friends.  So, no.  I don’t have a best friend.  I have many.  And that’s going to have to do.

Do I find myself doubting my best friendships because time and distance have affected the time we spend together?  Yes.  But does it make sense for a changing person to not have changing relationships?  No.  We grow up.  We do different stuff.  Very few friendships are meant to stay the same forever.

But I can think of one.

Joe and I played the “We’re just friends” card long after we’d actually started dating.  In fact, I’m pretty sure we were engaged before we ever called ourselves more than friends.  But when he proposed marriage, just like a person whose love language is words of affirmation, I can remember exactly what he said.  Would you believe it started with him telling me — in words! — that I’m his best friend? (So I DO have one!) Words of affirmation from the person who was, and still is, the most important person in my life.  And we’re still “just best friends” almost 13 years later.  I guess he speaks my love language after all.

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