the sixth love language


I am always delighted to escape somewhere with R during the week. Even if it’s just spending 2 hours sitting together at a HK cafe or walking down a street we’ve never been before, it feels as if I have stepped out of this world and entered another. I call it ‘escape’ because it’s like pressing the ‘pause’ button on life and just being free to do whatever we want with no concept of time.

I suppose this is why I felt happy and satisfied that night after air frying. Because in the midst of all the busyness, we did something together. Not in the sense of watching TV or a movie together, but worked together to accomplish a task.

Gary Chapman proposes in his book “The Five Love Languages” that we each give and receive love through 5 different channels: Words, Quality Time, Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch. It’s pretty evident from what I described that I receive love through ‘Quality Time’.

So I was pondering over this just some minutes ago, and wondered if there could be a sixth love language.

Being in this day and age, naturally I asked Google. And it threw up some pretty interesting responses, three of which I felt made sense: Food, Sarcasm, and Quietness.

Of these three, if I had to choose only one, I’d go with ‘Quietness’.

I can understand where people are coming from when they say ‘Food’ or ‘Sarcasm’. After all, food brings people together and there is love shown whenever food is cooked, queued and bought, or simply shared. Sarcasm is slightly tricky because not everyone is able to take on verbal sparring, but it is also precisely because not everyone is able to handle it that ‘Sarcasm’ becomes an inside joke for those who understand it. Another way to see it is that people are naturally polite and cordial to people whom they do not know very well, yet in the inner circle, jokes, verbal sparring and pranks abound.

While I wouldn’t argue against stating ‘Food’ or ‘Sarcasm’ as legitimate love languages, I chose ‘Quietness’ because firstly, I can relate to it on a personal level. And secondly, it’s the only love language out of these 3 and the original 5 that provides a person with silence, and even solitude.

In our relationship, there have been moments when I realised that I had to stop talking because R needed some silence after a whole day of noisy kids. There were instances where he allowed a small distance between us as we walked, still in the same direction, just not touching, for 5 minutes and I would cool off and feel that I’m ready to be close to him again.

I remember there was this time after church when it suddenly got very tense between us, and not for any specific thing that had happened. I was getting frustrated that he wasn’t able to tell me what was making him so upset, until I recalled a conversation we had early on when we started dating where he told me about needing time alone. Deciding to test it out, I asked him if he wanted some time alone.

The look of relief that washed over his face communicated to me gratefulness. It was then we realised that some solitude was what he needed.

And I also realised it must have been God who called to mind that conversation. I’m sure of that. Because at that moment, we were upset and did not know how to handle the situation. And honestly, under those circumstances when you feel that your patience is tested, how many girls will think about letting their boyfriends go have their alone time? I don’t know how I did that, so it’s definitely God.

We spent the afternoon each on our own that Sunday, and met again at night.

I guess I have never thought too much about it but reading the accounts of others have made me realise the significance of being able to do that for my partner, and he for me.

Lisa Shields and Ginger Truitt describe this well, read them here and here respectively.


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