Sunday, December 9, 2007

Five Love Languages

I dug through my old Xanga (did any Asian not have one back in the day?) and found my March 30, 2006 results for a quiz based on Dr. Gary Chapman's The Five Love Languages:

Quality Time: 10
Acts of Service: 7
Words of Affirmation: 6
Receiving Gifts: 4
Physical Touch: 3

So of course I took it again to see if much had changed in 20 months:

Quality Time: 10
Words of Affirmation: 8
Physical Touch: 5
Acts of Service: 4
Receiving Gifts: 3

Obviously the quiz has its limitations and some of the questions are very telling or just silly (like choosing whether "kissing me unexpectedly" or "giving me a gift for no occasion" excites me -- wouldn't both of those excite anyone? and what if I just like spontaneity in general?) but I'd say it's pretty accurate at identifying your primary and secondary ways of receiving love. The questions remind me of those career map survey thingies we did in high school -- "Do you enjoy watching for forest fires? Do you enjoy packing things into boxes?"

In answering many of the questions, I had to think about which of the two I was most craving or lacking at the present. Which helps me understand a little bit of what Plato meant in his Symposium when he said that love was the child of lack and abundance.

Also it's interesting to note that the way you express love to another, although I guess we tend to surround ourselves with people who speak the same love languages so it's some form of mutualism, can vary from person to person, and I think that is because if we really loved someone we would try to understand him and to place his needs and desires above our own. And I think this is why we sometimes have to learn to love certain people whose ways of communicating love differ from our own. But as long as both parties try to speak the other's love languages, maybe in some mutually commensalistic arrangement although this would clearly require more effort, the relationship can work out. A somewhat related thought: I don't necessarily believe in "the one" but that is a wholly separate discussion.