(If you aren’t familiar with the five love languages, please take some time to inform yourself.)
(Also, please note that I believe that while we might have a primary love language or two, I do believe that most of us speak most, if not all, the languages…just some are of more concern to us than others.)
Sometimes I assume that your love language isn’t words of affection. You don’t freely say, “I love you.” You don’t call me “honey.” You don’t write yards and yards of poetry.
Sometimes that is how words of affection are expressed– but not always.
Truth be told, sweetly spoken words aren’t my specialty, either. I feel stupid saying them. I also don’t want pressure to return words at a moment’s notice. I like to have time to think them through. If you say “I love you” unexpectedly, I’m probably going to just kiss you. No more words.
Nor am I impressed when someone says the three little words for no reason other than they think any woman wants to hear them. But turns out they didn’t “really mean it.” No woman is “any woman.” We’re ourselves.
Words of affection are words that feel affectionate to YOU.
Some women like being called “honey” and “dear.” Although not usually by strangers. Guys, c’mon have a little common sense! Don’t message some woman you never met with, “Hey, darling!”
I hate being called “sweetheart” or “darling,” because I’ve been jaded by the words. They don’t make me feel loved. They make me feel like the person wanted a shortcut. I’ll tell you sweet words so I don’t have to do any of the hard work. Or they told me the words as a reminder of my “place.” “Honey, let me tell you how the world works.” If I’m only “honey,” I’m not threatening to them. Is it any wonder I don’t care for these terms?
It took me a while to understand this.
Thus, I avoided those whose primary love language was ‘words of affection,” I thought I’d avoided the love language more or less entirely. I chose partners who didn’t care of words of affection either, or at least I assumed they didn’t. Because they don’t use the words I associate with others who have eagerly claimed this love language, “My love language is words of affection. Telling them how I feel is how I am best able to express my love. I adore terms of endearment, both being called them and calling my partners such.” Because they would never tell me that they preferred words of affection to other love languages.
Or at least, I thought that’s how I felt. Except I’ve been thinking about it, really thinking about it. Something I’d suggest anyone do, even after knowing, deep down, what sorts of love languages work for one and which don’t. To think about it, beyond a natural assertion of one’s preferences.
When I thought about it in depth, I realized I did like words of affection. I even like saying them, sometimes. I am better at writing them down, rather than spontaneously expressing sweet nothings. But I still love beautiful words.
Give me your beautiful words, please.
Oh, it still will do nothing for me if you aren’t giving me the time I need with you. Or if you aren’t holding me and providing the physical intimacy I need to feel loved. But once my base needs are met, I do like those words. I came to a tiny ephiphany: I don’t need any words of affection, but I need specific words.
No, I will never like “honey” or “darling,” unless I know you very, very well (okay, I am not sure I will ever want those particular endearments). Even then, at best it will make me feel a little warm inside. It won’t do very much.
If I know you, I do want to hear your words and your compliments. Sometimes I even want to hear, simply, “You are beautiful.” “You are magnificent.” “Your skin is soft beyond belief.”
But what I love most? ”I hope you had a good time with your family,” or “I picked up some apple juice.” Say, “I know you love me, because you put chocolate chips in my pancakes.” Or “I made you a pillow fort.” (You can never go wrong by offering a kitten a soft place to rest.) Because I know you took the time, because you love me. I know you are saying, “I love you.”
I will respond, “I love you, too.”
In my own words.