love language

Speaking My Language…

**We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming in honor of  Valentine’s Day. Amma will post a response to Afua’s Ultimate Dating Advice next week, but in the meantime we’re doing a special Love Languages post for all the lovebirds!**

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“Cedrick, what are you getting your girlfriend for Vals day?”

“Hmm… Amma… I don’t even know. She is not the kind who likes flowers and so on… what do you think?”

“Oh… I don’t know. I never really celebrate Valentine’s Day. I don’t see how it would be really different from any other day. Are we going to have a different conversation from the ones we normally have at dinner? Am I going to love you more for buying me chocolates and flowers (though I do love flowers… mother was a florist, what can I say). Are you going to use this as a day to present me with tickets to go waste my life away at a fancy resort in Jamaica?! I mean… I don’t get it.”

“Eish…. Amma Noo Noo… haha! It’s just something nice to do… and since she is back in town I want to make it special, but I don’t know what she would like.”

“Well, what’s her love language?”

“Her what?”

Exactly.

Can you imagine being in a relationship with someone and neither of you speak the same language? Talk about communication problems. If you are not aware, according to Dr. Gary Chapman, there are five love languages that we all speak. These five languages are how we like for love to be expressed to us. The languages are:

mariah-carey-touch-my-body-o

  1. Physical Touch– as in, *cue Mariah Carey’s ‘Touch My Body‘*
  2. Gifts– as in, ‘I love you so much, I bought you this new Kia Sorrento babe’
  3. Words of Affirmation– as in, Kendrick Lamar rapping ‘She Needs Me‘ to me (as I imagine he shall in the near future): “She go to work, she go to school, her body smooth, no tattoos
    Type of girl that’ll make your mother feel comfortable
    My pops love her too, she’s compatible, she’s independent
    She handle her business, she believe in God and no other religions
    She’s never in competition, when it comes to her friends, she’s dependable
    She set her own trends, a confidant, a mediator, so sweet, every flavor
    Just a conversation with her doing you a favor, look at her hips, I want to be her pager
    Conservative, affirmative, actually she relaxing in sweats and bobby pins
    The beauty of her, a blind man can see, a true queen and she needs me”
  4. Acts of Service– as in, ‘Whoa Amma, I see that you are out here working so hard… you should take a day off while I cook, clean and give you a full body massage— just cuz’
  5. Quality Time– as in, ‘Yeah I know that this Tottenham game is the difference between champions league and… well… not-champions-league, but it’s cool. I will miss the game AND post game commentary so we can take a walk along the beach while I listen to you go on about nothing really.

So after I convinced my colleague Cedrick to take the love languages quiz, I decided… it’s been a while, let me see what my love languages are. I think the great thing about little tid bits like this is that you get the right vocabulary to talk about your emotions. You also understand how, if for example your main languages are gifts and services but your partner is always just affirming you with little notes and showing you PDA, things can get a bit frustrating. So this Vals day, Afua and I thought it appropriate to highlight the love languages.

I was not surprised at all when I took the quiz and discovered my love languages… Here are mine:

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So my number one is Acts of Service and my number two is Quality Time… and at the very VERY bottom is Physical Touch (which makes ALL the sense in the world since I believe(d) that kissing guys would ultimately lead to my death (again… immigrant parents… anti-afro-american rhetoric… blah blah blah). This would also explain a lot about my general reaction to GH guys heckling me on the street screaming words of affirmation to get my attention—not. my. thing. This would also explain why I am generally most impressed with acts of sacrifice, since I think this shows above all that you value me enough to put things that are important to you aside. Ultimately, this explains why ‘traditional’ Valentine fair of gifts and hallmark cards are definitely not my thing.  Either way, knowing this kind of information is a great way to save money and stress when considering Val’s day gifts… Maybe it is the traditional route of sending her flowers and gifts… but maybe its putting on an apron and getting down in the kitchen. Maybe it’s both at the same time… maybe it’s none.

After taking the quiz for myself, I naturally had to get all my ladies to take the quiz. I initially thought Afua’s would be physical touch and gifts…

I. Was. Wrong.

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afua.

afua.

She was wrong.

I’ve been a little late to this Love Languages movement. Although I briefly touched on it in a previous post, I never really understood the five distinct languages and had not taken the quiz to understand which were mine until Amma sent me the link. My results were weird (see below), not because my number 1-4 were all clustered within a point of each other, but because they left #5 all by her lonesome self…

If you talk to my parents about when I was a baby, they will tell you I was a little odd: ‘She could talk plenty and just surprise you with the things that came out of her mouth, and everything she did she liked to do it for herself’. I was the child that never cried for attention or to be held…. I didn’t want you to help me, because I could do it by myself. I didn’t need to be entertained as I would camp out in my crib and just be chilling with myself. Fast forward some 25 years later, and you’ll notice that nothing really has changed I am still not one that needs to be touched to express love and affection. If you really know me, you know this (clearly Amma, we’re drifting). Everything (else) communicates ‘I love you’ to me far above physical touch. And let me chime in here what I mean by physical touch before people start picking up things that I HAVEN’T put down. The physical touch I’m referring to includes things like holding hands, rubbing my lower back, arms around my waist, arms around my shoulder – *these* types of physical touch don’t really sit well with my soul as much as they just irritate it. I guess this is just how the good Lord saw fit to create me (note that my sister, who is 18 months older than me and was brought up in the same household as me, is not like this at all – so this isn’t a product of my upbringing).

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I think on some level we all sort of ‘know’ our love languages. I remember when I lived in Italy, I used to see couples holding hands while dining at a restaurant and would think it was so strange, like ‘why do I have to hold your hand while we’re eating… I don’t get it…’ I would much rather hear you say how much I mean to you, and that you think the world of me, or that you’re really proud of me than be sitting there acquiring sweaty palms under the dining table. On the other side of things, I also ‘know’ that when someone I love says something really hurtful to me, it’s equally earth-shattering… but in a bad way. So this test didn’t necessarily say anything new to me, but like Amma said, it does put some vocabulary to it all.  Although I knew Physical Touch would be last for me, I think what was traumatic wasn’t that it was indeed ranked last, but that it scored zero. Now I know I’m definitely an anomaly not only for women, but for Africans and for the general planet as a whole, thus I am aware that I’m going to have to make a lot of sacrifices and compromises when I settle down –  Self awareness is the first step, right? (I just pray to God that my man’s #1 love language is not Physical Touch… because that will be problematic).

So for this valentine’s day, we want our readers to make sure they are speaking the same language as their significant others. Even if you (THINK you) know your love language (and your partner’s), it’s still a good exercise for the both of you to take the free quiz online (if you don’t have time to read the book) to understand what love really means to the both of you. Armed with this information, both of you will have a better idea of how to display affection in a way the other one can actually feel.

Here’s the link to the QUIZ >> 5lovelanguagesquiz

Share YOUR Love Language with us in the comments section! Or give us a story of when you were mismatched in love languages with your partner.

…and of course, we must say:

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. . .

Short Announcement

Like we promised, here’s information on the AdventuresFrom Google hangout that RR is participating in on Friday. If you can’t watch live, we’ll put a link up to the session next week.

Join our ‘Metamorphosis of Love’ hangout on Valentine’s Day 

Friday, 14th February at 17:00 GMT.

The topic to be discussed is the metamorphosis of love or its perception from the African woman’s context. What were you taught about love as a young woman, and how did those concepts change if at all in various stages of life and with different experiences?

Facilitator – Malaka (Ghana/US)

Her fab guests are:
Tosinger (Nigeria/US) Listen to her music via http://www.afrodreaming.com/home.html
Rambling Roomates (Ghana) Read their blog https://loveafrican.wordpress.com/
Tiffany (South Africa/Kenya) Check out the site she curates http://holaafrica.org/tag/holaa/
Ngosa (Zambia)Visit her blog http://mwanabaafrika.blogspot.com/

This hangout will be streamed live via this link with a recording available after the hangout via the same link. If you are on twitter follow the live tweets via @adventurefrom with the hashtag #AdSex

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What’s Your Love Language?

edited-12943I am temporarily in a living situation where my cousin’s girlfriend visits the house a lot. Watching them interact and observing how they make decisions ‘as a couple’, particularly concerning their future, brings to light what I love (and miss) most about being in a relationship (right now): Being in a partnership with someone.

And here’s what I mean…

For me, probably the best part about being in a secure longterm relationship is having someone to be your partner-in-crime. I am currently looking for an apartment in Accra (no small task, might I add), and I’m running around town seeing places with various agents… updating my price to location to convenience to roommate vs living alone matrix after each viewing (don’t judge me), and it would be so nice to have someone to go through this experience with me. Someone to listen to my abuse of the agents and my insults of the ENTIRE foreign community in Accra for jacking up real estate prices! Someone to tell me I’m wack for even contemplating living in Osu/Labone/ or Cantonments* for less than $1500/month, and to listen to my economic analysis on how this housing bubble will. have. to. eventually. burst. Pause: Clearly, I’m feeling some kind of way about my apartment search right now. But you know, someone to say, “hey babe, don’t pay out rent for more than a year**, because we might be looking for a place together by then”… Hehe 🙂

Although I’m getting ample advice from friends, and I have my ride-or-die dad who will accompany me to a viewing at the drop of a hat, and put in his two cents (even when not solicited), it’s different when you’re doing it with your significant other.

5-love-languagesI’ve yet to read the famous 5 Love Languages book, but I know for me, the highest form of intimacy and when I feel most loved by my significant other is when they become my go-to for making life decisions, and I become theirs… when they’re hearing me out regarding career and life decisions and supporting and encouraging me to make the best decisions given all the seen and unseen moving parts. When they’ve become not just my teammate, but my biggest cheerleader as well.

Have you thought about your love language lately? What does it look like, and have you articulated it to your significant other so that they can show you love in a way that you can actually feel?

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Bonus: Just because I love seeing couples that display a friendship and are just having fun with each other, I’ve put a video below that has been circulating around the web. Aside from it’s comedic nature, I just LOVE how this couple interacts with each other. #Toocute I had to post. Enjoy!

* areas of Accra where I would be straight crazy to ask for something less than $1500/month

** in my beautiful country of Ghana, landlords ask for rent payments for a yr to 2yrs, upfront; yes, you read right: upfront.