Pastor Gary Chapman created the concept of “love language” 30 years ago. In his hugely popular book, “5 Love Languages,” he proposes that the ways people want to communicate love with them fall into five categories, or “languages”: acts of service, affirmations, quality time, gift giving, and physical contact.
If my love language is “affirmation” and yours is “receiving a gift,” you might assume that giving me a thoughtful gift will demonstrate how much you care, when in reality, I want you to write to me so much. If we learn each other’s love languages, we should theoretically be able to communicate more effectively with our partners (or children or bosses or friends).
Recently, I searched my Twitter feed to find instances where people discussed their love language. The concept has morphed into a meme, a new and mostly hilarious way for people to talk about their own ways in which they want to give and receive love. In July 2020, writer Michelle Markowitz tweeted, “My love language is making me mute to be the only one laughing when someone makes a bombshell joke.” Comedian and actor Jaboukie Young-White declares, “My love language is to remove blackheads.” Actress and comedian Jean Villepique asked, “What if your family’s love language was the archetype of Vera Bradley?”
As Chapman told The Times recently, he doesn’t think this meme in which people declare their super-specific love language leads to the discovery of new languages. “To him, all the memes sound like the ‘dialect’ – or versions – of the five originals,” writes my colleague Alisha Haridasani Gupta.
Among my friends, if there is a group of skeptics, there is a certain reverence for the language of love. Are they corny, reduced and malformed? Probably. But once we get past the caveats, our discussion of languages is often about how they can be helpful in shaping communication problems in their relationships. ta.
Why does love language continue to attract even people who can look at a quiz about their personality? I think language the love languages themselves have a lot to do with it.
Chapman clearly outlines five methods of giving and receiving discrete love, a simple organizational framework for needs and wants that often feel incredibly complex. Don’t rule out talk therapy or courageous journaling or other time-consuming efforts to find out why we are the way we are, love language provides a quick fix. Take the quiz, discover your love language, get busy improving your relationships. It’s effectively engaging and action-oriented.
Love Language takes the basic premise of self-reliance teachings – that we all want to be loved, to feel connected. Or, like my colleague Ruth Graham wrote in Slate in 2015, reluctantly conceding that Chapman’s theories could hold some water, “When it comes to loving and being loved, even the most weary and most mundane often feel profoundly insecure.” She added, “If we can find some comfort and direction in a best-selling book with a hardcover, so be it.”
📺 “Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” (Thursday): It’s a lot of time for fantasy fans. After the “Game of Thrones” prequel series comes another prequel, this one from Amazon. Set thousands of years before the events of the “Lord of the Rings” and “Hobbit” trilogy, the film will follow, among other things, the forging of those standard rings as well as the rise of Sauron. (I hope he’s more than just a giant flaming eye roaming the season.) Prime Video will premiere the first two episodes just in time for the Labor Day holiday weekend.
📚 “Afterlives” (End immediately): Abdulrazak Gurnah, a Zanzibar-born British author, won the 2021 Nobel Prize for Literature. The last time a black writer received this honor was in 1993. (It was the great Toni Morrison.) Because Thus, Gurnah’s latest novel, set in German East Africa in the early 20th century, arrives in America to great acclaim. In her review of “Afterlives”, Novelist Imbolo Mbue wrote that Gurnah was “a nonpareil novelist, a master of the art form, who understood human failures in conflicts both political and intimate”.
Tomato and watermelon salad
“Summer is the cooking season in which there are no set menus, save the delicacies at the store.” Therefore Sam Sifton wrote a few years ago. These are words worth living, especially right now in these last days of August. And I stand by his recipe suggestion for this moment: a sweet treat tomato and watermelon salad feta salt, enriched with olive oil, decoction with sherry vinegar. That’s in fact the recipe right there, although the cooking notes make a ton of suggestions for add-ons, including shredded mint or basil, fresh corn kernels removed, cucumbers, avocado – though though not necessarily all at once. I also love to serve this with grilled shrimp layered right in the bowl. So many options, so few days of summer left…
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Little League World Series: This annual tournament has been held in Williamsport, Pa., since 1947, and while the spectacle keeps growing – TV cameras, announcement machines, a stadium that looks like a professional football field – the setting will feel familiar to anyone who plays youth baseball or softball. Parents cheered from the stands while siblings snacked on their own. But on the field, the kids competed for a spot in the record books. The semi-final kicks off at 12:30 p.m. Eastern time today and the championship match at 3 p.m. tomorrow, all on ABC.