It’s #LoveWeek on the blog, so I’ve asked the Experimental Daters to each write a piece about Love. It’s Southern Belle’s turn, and she considers the various ways that people express the L Word.
Miss Twenty-Nine xxx
Love is a many splendored thing. Love lifts us up where we belong. All you need is love!
When I was 18, the movie Moulin Rouge was possibly the most fabulous and extravagant Romeo and Juliet story of my time. I was distraught at how two people who loved each other so much could be kept apart by such simple things, how scared they were at the consequences of loving each other and what they prioritized instead that love.
(Raging TB played its part, too. )
In real life however?
I have never considered myself to be a great romantic, as such. An inherently practical person, there is nowhere that my innate British-ness shows more than when I’m the recipient of sweet gestures, soppy phrases and all the other malarkey. It makes me uncomfortable. Occasionally, I’ll cringe.
For years, I thought myself potentially a little bit odd in the way that I expressed myself. When I’m in love, I like to have my person around all the time. Personal space is great but I want to spend the majority of my free time with my other half and typically, the people I like to date feel the same way too! I am affectionate as hell – not in terms of full on PDA but with hand touches, holding, hugs and general contact. For me, the simple brush of his hand across my hip or a kiss on the temple while he’s passing me and doing something else means everything.
Not everyone is like that, however.
What I’d like to write about is something that I hear about a lot in the US but had never heard of in the UK: Love languages.
When I was in a relationship a couple of years ago with The Engineer, we were together for a year. I told him I loved him 6 months in.. and he told me the day I broke up with him. I knew when I told him that he wasn’t the type of person to really say “I love you” out loud. Certainly, he didn’t say it to his family or friends, nor did he casually throw it around in any other regard.. but I struggled for a month or so wondering if this seemingly perfect relationship otherwise could be ruined by him not saying the words. I had confided in my coworker, who knew him well and had spent extended amounts of time with us together. She pointed out what I had not seen: his love language was completely different to mine. The Engineer would do things for me. All the time. If there was a chore, he’d do it. An errand I hated? On it. Dog to take out at 4am in a hurricane? He was there. He loved to get me small gifts for no reason whatsoever, which I found both sweet and bemusing.
“You don’t need to spend money on me like this!”
“But you like it, and I like to get it for you. Let me do this.”
It was a repetitive theme.
Unlike me however, in public the Engineer did not want to be touched. Hand holding was a big argument 3 months in actually.. with me basically having to explain to him that I have a touch quota that needs to be met. If not, I feel grouchy.
Our love languages were the opposite.
As Shawna explained this to me, she told me to take the test and then The Engineer expressed his love through Acts of Service and Receiving Gifts. I am a Physical Touch and Quality Time gal. Reading about how the Engineer both felt and expressed love helped me to feel much more secure and actually improve the way in which I expressed my love to him. Our relationship became much stronger because of this and I credit it entirely with the understanding it gave us both.
Useful tool for self – awareness, great tool for couples who are struggling with feelings of under-appreciation.
Southern Belle @MsSBelle_30Ds