E&HS: Loving a Cactus 5 ways
Happy February to all you gentlefolk out in the world. It’s a good short month to be extra loving of who you are and to others. Most importantly it’s a good month to give more love out into the world. So this feel good first post for February is about love languages. First on identifying love languages and two applying them. I was reminded of love languages when I thought back to my New Years trip to NYC. My friend, Marshmallow Mami as seen and heard as a guest star on the Ambiguous Anthology oldie but goodie episode on dating apps asked me what my love language was with my partner. I was kind of startled by the question being the cactus that I am, and realized my love language is words of affirmation. In further reflection, I think it’s a little more complex than that.
Love Languages a Brief Greeting:
In general, there are five “Main types” of love languages. Each displayed in different ways. While some might feel their love language is certainly one of the five, there are people like me who mesh and meld and have an “in between” form of a love language. Now, I don’t want to confuse your Valentine plans just yet but let me start with the main five.
Words of affirmation
Acts of Service
Seems easy enough to remember and probably to apply to how you interact with either your partner or perhaps your friends and family. Remember love is not limited to whom you’re banging, but also refers to friends and family. However, don’t think that you’re only using one of the five. There are a lot of in-between states of love languages and intermingling. For one consider this, the love language you give out is not necessarily the one you like to receive back. You might give out words of affirmations but like receiving Quality time. What we give and like aren’t always the same, it’s the complexity of what makes us human. Take some time now and consider what love languages you like, and use!
One thing I've come to understand about love languages is that while they are different, they are not incompatible with each other. I grew up around language in a way that I believe that just because it is not the same language does not mean that there is no communication. Language is the medium of the heart, its the art type and form that we pass to one another. Some might know more than one, and others just one. Regardless it's an art I've come to respect and cherish in my own way. So love languages aren't any different and can communicate one's heart if you're receptive enough to hear it and cherish it.
Cacti to Cactus:
Now, my strange garbanzo bean ways have my love languages all over the place with a cactus twist. I'm blessed that my friends can understand that I am not one for physical affections or much of any physical contact. I am not sure why I am like this, but when people touch me my body just starts red alarming me. So, I try to go without physical contact, it doesn’t mean I love anyone less it just says my care and affection shows up in different ways. When I was younger, I thought I would never be able to have those great romances. I’m pleasantly surprised at the age of 24 to be proven wrong. I won’t lie having to bumble through online dating and surprising various people with the information that despite my cuddly demeanor I don’t cuddle strangers was difficult…more for them than me. I realized I needed to be with someone who respected my love languages and could appreciate me for me anyway.
That’s the key. If you find your love languages aren’t compatible things aren’t going to work out. If you give out words of affirmation to someone who only wants physical affection its going to challenge the strength of your feelings and perhaps tolerance. Love is fluid and the reception of its language varies from person to person. So, challenge your ability to love by finding out how you love versus how you like to be loved. I think you’ll like what you discover about yourself.