Tonight I had an interesting conversation with Natalie. We were discussing the art of being single (side note: if you know me at all, then I have more than likely told you about my list and probably also suggested you read The Five Love Languages). I was sharing with her Steven Furtick's Advice for Single People blog and how it really resonated with me. Everyone has their LIST. But he makes the point that maybe we need to be the person we are looking for. Think about it - we need to actually BE who we WANT to end up with. Curious, right? We were discussing our lists and what we are looking for in another person - without revealing too much of my list (I mean, we don't want people thinking they can get a date with deeze just because they think they have these qualities...wait, maybe that wouldn't be a bad idea now that I think about it...date the deeze! i can see it now...) but one thing on my list is patience. I don't just want someone who is patient, i NEED someone who is patient. But if I look at it the way Steven Furtick says I should, then really, who am I to think I should be lucky enough to find someone who is patient if I can't even offer that to someone else?
Naturally our conversation turned to our love languages. I am tied between words of affirmation and quality time. But I'd say words of affirmation is much stronger. I've been told I'm needy, I've been told I'm high maintenance. I've been told I need reassurance. But it wasn't until I really studied what words of affirmation meant that I realized I just need to be reminded I am loved, cared for, missed, thought of. But, it would be unfair for us to not recognize that some people need this more than others. It doesn't make it a bad trait. It's just the love language we speak. In the book, Gary Chapman says two things that are important (but not only two): 1. love is a choice. and b) people with different love languages can work but they have to be willing to learn the other's love language.
So Natalie and I realized that maybe in seeking to be the person we want to find, we need to learn to speak other love languages (as in we need to be more willing to approach it from the other's point of view). Obviously, because we already know how to speak our own love language, we approach relationships from that language. Because I am words of affirmation and quality time, I like to affirm others and spend time with them. But, If I know someone's love language isn't either of those (all you have to do is watch and learn. It doesn't take long for the love language to reveal itself), then how is it fair to that person if I expect them to know how to speak my love language? And if love is a choice - and I'm not talking love like in love valentines and roses, i'm talking love in general - then shouldn't we CHOOSE to speak love languages other than those that come naturally to us?
So then we got to talking about some of the people we have dated who may not have a love language at all. Is it possible that some people don't have one? I am among the most avid of love language believers and I'm not sure I can answer affirmatively that everyone has a love language. If the only person someone chooses to love is themselves, then how can they speak another love language? How can they speak love at all? If someone doesn't allow themselves to be loved by another, is that because they don't have a love language that allows them to speak to someone else? I really don't know how to answer that. If I believe that, much like a spoken language, love languages that are not your first love language can be learned, does that mean you can still learn one if you don't start with one?
do you have to already know your own love language in order to learn another?
does not having a love language make you incapable of love?
so many questions. these are the things i need a pocket theologian for.