Many of us have read the Five Love Languages or are at least familiar with its tenets. I suspect a lot of us would say that touch is our primary language.
I’ve been wondering if there’s a scarcity effect—e.g. lack of touch/affection/sex amplifies the importance of that language. I’ve been thinking about what my primary love language might be if I had all the touch, affection, and sexual intimacy I desire. (I think I know the answer to this question for myself: touch and quality time would occupy the top two spots.)
What do you all think? Is there a scarcity effect? If your primary love language is touch, do you think it might change if you we’re getting those needs met? For anyone who is out of their ILIASM deal, did you experience any kind of shift in your love languagess?
(Apologies for any typos. I’m typing this on my phone, on the elliptical at the gym, with no glasses.)
To answer the question "does scarcity affect your desire to want something" I will say "YES" in most cases.
As a radical example of scarcity not triggering one of my wants is wanting CAR that can go over 100 miles on a gallon of fuel. OK not exactly a love language, just a wish for a different toy.
Volkswagen XL1 Is The Most Efficient Car Ever... have worked to push fuel economy beyond 100 miles per gallon. Hackenberg, who had earlier worked with Bentley and Bugatti, got his team on the goal and cracked it too. And finally, in tests, the new XL1 got an overwhelming 261 mpg.
No shift for me. Affection, touch and sex exist in abundance now, as do communication, openness and honesty.
I know touch, affection and sex are our main language, so I suppose the main additions, rather than a shift as you describe, are fun, openness and a sense of adventure. And talking, respect, understanding, empathy. There are many things that sit on top of the core love languages and I am pretty sure if you nail the first few then the rest fall onto step to varying degrees.
We both come from SM environments, so don't take each other for granted. That's a big thing.
Also, she pushes me to try and do new things, and vice versa. We grow.
Everything is linked. We enhance each others lives in many ways, and this is built on our core love languages I suppose.
I recall in my marriage, my ex-wife constantly passive-aggressively pointing out that I would one day find a wife who would share my need for frequent sex. Frequent, I suppose in comparison to a grudging snog every 6 months or so.
In my present relationship, bordering on a couple years (semi-long distance), once or twice a week seems to fill our buckets with a little room to spare, with our present conversations about needs fixing more on finding "us" time, to do things with each other apart from our social groups and obligations.
Last Edit: Nov 7, 2019 14:19:46 GMT -5 by apocrypha
Hmmm - so I just now took the quiz again and got "Acts of Service" as my top love language. It has never been at the top for me before. My partner and I have tons of sex (touch is a close 3rd), we both value spending time together (quality time is my 2nd). Before words of affirmation came up quite high, but this time quite low. Gifts only got one point. I mean - hey, I like gifts!
Here's the thing. I have a great relationship. We tell each other all the time how much we appreciate each other. We try to spend a lot of time together. I really enjoy his company. We have a lot of sex and a lot of touch. Our touch isn't non-sexual - but we often hug and hold hands, but I don't think of it as non-sexual touch. My SM partner was shit on all accounts. But he was very verbally critical - verbally abusive. I not only hungered for touch but for words of affirmation. Of course, he pretty much did fuck all around the house and what he did do was all 'point scorey'. my partner now has always done little acts of service for me. And I have really, really come to appreciate it. And I tell him. But he also tells me all the time how much he really appreciates what I do for him, who I am, that he's in a relationship with me.
My old score really reflected what I was missing - and who I am. And my new score really reflects what I've come to appreciate and who I am.
Last Edit: Nov 7, 2019 14:28:46 GMT -5 by elkclan2
I think that if if your love language is (whatever you like) and you aren't getting (whatever you like) then (whatever you like) is going to start to assume disproportionate importance in your thinking.
And, if you get out, and the environment changes and you ARE getting (whatever you like) - as catsloveme posits - then ones focus does tend shift on to something else, to some extent.
Like Brother DryCreek 's head under water analogy. If your head is under water then breathing is a pretty major focus. If you manage to get your head above water, then maybe your focus switches over to your swimming technique.
Post by lifeinwoodinville on Nov 11, 2019 1:46:36 GMT -5
I read The Five Love Languages and a whole stack of other relationship books too. For some stupid reason I thought she would appreciate that I was putting effort into wanting to make a better relationship. I was completely wrong. She refused to read any of them, not even a single page. But who am I to complain? My attitude now is I have no right to complain if I'm not going to do anything about it. And I'm still here.
It's possible to win every battle but still lose the war.
I think this - "I thought she would appreciate that I was putting effort into wanting to make a better relationship" - is a reasonable enough piece of logic.
However, it pre-supposes that your spouse also wants to make a better relationship too. And that's where the logic falls over .... your spouse may be quite happy with the relationship exactly as it is and doesn't want it to change at all. The fact that the relationship as it is is causing you misery is not something of concern.
Sex is NOT one of the 5 Love Languages. I've come to believe that it transcends (and can/should include and be a part of) any/all of the Love Languages. I believe the 5LLs have been misunderstood and misconstrued by ILIASM members AND their partners who may also have read or spent time with the book and its concepts. Note that the 5LLs is simply one paradigm for relationships and it exists alongside many others that deepen, color, and complicate all of the issues for those who live in a SM. So pinning one's hopes on the 5LLs (or any other formula) for improvement - or to continue avoiding sex - can be a recipe for continued frustration. I've lived it!
Of course if your primary Love Language is Physical Touch, sex is going to be very important to you, and the lack of sex will hurt even more, especially if your refuser (do you all still use that term?) KNOWS your PLL is PT and can't/won't "speak" it especially in dealing with and having sex. My guess is most sex-missing members here would score high on PT, but it doesn't have to be primary/dominant as noted above. But I've come to believe the Physical Touch LL is not primarily about sex, and boxing sex into the PT LL creates all kinds of harm and makes the whole 5LL paradigm break down.
I think the key concept of knowing and understand the 5LLs is learning how to and choosing to use a language that you're not fluent in, but that is needed by your partner. It's not just demanding what you're missing/needing as a measuring stick.
Touch can and should be more than just sexual touch. My EX accused me of wanting every touch (given or received) to be "sexual", which was not true. She had some deep, deep hangups (from early teenage abuse) and couldn't allow any mentally/psychically unplanned - on her part - "sexual" expression even if it was simply her perception. She was actually good at touch when it was "safe", when it couldn't possibly lead to anything in the moment or soon. Every hug for me was excruciating, the fingers rubbing the nape of my neck while driving was deeply satisfying and frustrating. And what I've finally realized is I was being loved with touch as far as she could use the language. For her sex was not physical, it was spiritual and psychological and she was deeply damaged, which I didn't fully know or understand for more than 20 years (because she refused to deal with it - wouldn't talk with me or a counselor) until we were in "exit counseling" - my heart broke for the mother of my kids, I empathized, but I couldn't stay any longer to live with and through her healing (or not).
A tenet that SHOULD apply: When sexual needs are satisfied with SEX, the pressure to satisfy - or be satisfied - by other touch diminishes, but this can apply regarding sex and the other LLs too.
My ex was "Quality Time", big time. But even when we had QT, and had it in abundance, especially all together with our kids, she had no store or desire to express what I needed sexually. Her problem was not that she couldn't speak my LL, she couldn't have SEX - psychologically - and it was an entirely different problem that needed a different solution than just learning how to speak a different LL or speak it better.
It's not a quid pro quo, but the concept of having your own love "tank" be full in other to love your partner is a key tenet of the model, and that requires reciprocal committed action. It's also important to recognize that the 5LLs are "languages" and some are simply not good at speaking some of them and in relationship we need to find some grace to accept a "halting accent" - IF it's being attempted with love and grace and honesty, that's what counts and leads to greater fluency.
So, my point is, having sex by its very nature is Physical Touch but it gets unfairly isolated in that part of the 5LL model. In a relationship sex is also Quality Time and vice versa. Sex can be the Giving of a Gift, certain acts for certain people can be a significant gift to give - or receive. Act of Service? That one contains a sex euphemism in the title = LOL! Words of Encouragement - these can and should be part of and should reinforce a healthy sex life. Put another way each and every one of the 5LLs should be both foreplay and function of sex in a healthy relationship - how it all balances out and gets used/expressed is as unique as every couple and individual human being.
Pardon the pun, but sex is a lubricant that enables, deepens, any and all of the 5LLs in a healthy relationship. Lack of sex - ILIASM lack - is not a failure of the PT LL, it's likely something else that requires a different set of tools to fix, and therefore I believe the 5LLs are not a solution for most SMs.
(BTW, for those who knew me "back in the day" (good old days? bad old days?) I'm out. Separated 7 years, divorced 5. I had to accept that she wouldn't and couldn't change, that I couldn't stay and suffer, that I had to be the bad guy. When I realized my anger had turned to apathy, that's when I knew, that's when I got scared, and when I got serious about my own mental health and getting my "exit plan" finally in place. Two major pieces of advice I received: 1. There is a difference between being "selfish" and being "self-full". 2. I was saving my life. I'm now in a great long-term relationship WITH sex, but with it's own challenges - even regarding sex - as it matures, grows and changes (and as each of us grow and change individually too). Mix in the usual long-term relationship issues of: financial security, shared expenses, inevitable disappointments, "mis-translating" other LLs(!), having enough security and intimacy for other "baggage" to get unpacked and get in the way and have to be dealt with. But there's love - and sex - and a desire to really work on it all - and have sex!)
There is hope! But for those burdened with serious, chronic, long-term SMs, I'm afraid YOU have to change and/or leave to solve it for YOU. There's no "right time" - that's on you, what you need and can manage. I'll say this, I - and everyone else I've known who've struggled deeply in and eventually left a SM - all say "I should have left sooner". But that's not to shame or condemn anyone, don't "should" on yourself! Just know that if you're serious about saving your life (maybe even literally) you have to do some really hard work. It's not a cop-out; it's not quitting; it's not selfish. It's self-full; it's being brutally honest with yourself, and it hurts like hell. I'm sorry my marriage failed. It still hurts. It continues to hurt my kids. But they also know I'm better, happier. And if I had it to do over again, I'd leave sooner.
It's a rare SM where both partners deeply, actively, sincerely engage in the kind of self reflection, repentance, counseling, communication, change, and, yes, actual fucking to make a real change.
I originally did the love language survey in 2017, right as my divorce was wrapping up. I did it again a year later. Here are the results:
6/8/2017 11 Words of Affirmation 10 Physical Touch 5 Quality Time 4 Acts of Service 0 Receiving Gifts
6/1/2018 9 Physical Touch 9 Quality Time 8 Words of Affirmation 4 Acts of Service 0 Receiving Gifts
I just did it again and got this:
11/26/2019 10 Quality Time 9 Physical Touch 7 Words of Affirmation 4 Acts of Service 0 Receiving Gifts
Pretty much the same.
To me, the biggest difference between the first one and the second two is that now I'm in a healthy relationship with someone I'm madly in love with.
However ballofconfusion is 1300 miles away and I only get to see her every couple weeks. This seems to reflect the "scarcity" argument pretty well.
We are moving in together in 35 days. We won't have the distance barrier anymore. It might be interesting to take the test again sometime mid/late 2020 and see what I'm at then. I don't expect it to change much, though.
I hope my scientific study of one helps!
Sham's Law #1: Everything in life is simple. First you figure out what you want. Second, you figure out how to get it. Third you do it. The first step, unfortunately happens to be the hardest.
Post by ScottDinTN on Nov 26, 2019 10:41:15 GMT -5
I'm sure in the love languages that there is something in each language that we all need. I think your true highest love language will not change. Its the one (or two) that really fills your tank making you fill loved the most. Another way to look at it might be, if you had to choose three that you just had to live without, what would they be? For me, I like gifts but I could do without them. I like when someone does something for me but I could still feel loved if there was a reason they couldn't do those things. I really like quality time but as I look at what I just couldn't live without, it would be physical touch and words of affirmation.
Another way to determine which are your top two is to answer these questions: - Which ones can you not get enough of? - Which ones devistate you the most of they are missing or withheld even for a short period of time?
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