I wonder, when you first met your narcissist, how did they love you? Was it in a fashion that was foreign to you? Or was it exactly what you needed to be loved? What you needed to feel loved? Was it just what you had been longing to receive? I’d be willing to wager, not only was it exactly what you had been wishing for, even dreaming of, but they probably seemed to love you with the exact same depth and fervor in which you loved them, at least initially. Right? I know Julia, my narcissist, certainly did!
Someone once shared with me, “If you ever want to know how to love your partner, watch how they love you, and return that love.” And that’s the funny thing, I never had to observe how my narcissist loved me because it was exactly how I loved her, at least it was at first. I’ll admit I’m a bit of an odd duck when it comes to my primary love language. If you’re not familiar with the five love languages, they are:
- Words of Affirmation
- Acts of Service
- Receiving Gifts
- Quality Time
- Physical Touch
While I’ve known for some time that Physical Touch is, by far, my primary love language, for me, any relationship devoid of any one of these “languages,” is sorely lacking of being whole. I would suppose, if a polyglot is someone who speaks more than one language, someone who speaks more than one love language would be a polyamourglot. Wouldn’t they? Julia seemingly had trouble “figuring me out” at first. I’ll admit, in retrospect, and even now, I was at a bit of a loss as to exactly how these love languages fit within my relationship paradigm and to what degree. I mean, I couldn’t have more than one love language. Could I? Well, I decided to find out.
Above, are my actual test results. Not surprisingly, Physical Touch is my primary language coming in at 37%. Nor was it any great shock to also discover Physical Touch is followed quite closely by Quality Time (27%) and Words of Affirmation (23%). Being that those last two are almost tied, it would explain a lot about how I am when romantically involved. Receiving Gifts, and Acts of Service (or Acts of Indentured Servitude, as I jokingly call it), came in quite a bit lower at 10% and 3% respectively.
There is simply no way I could ever begin to quantify the ineffable quality of connection that Physical Touch (37%) plays in a relationship, at least for me. Maybe I’m an oxytocin junkie. Or maybe I value the physiological importance of that magic bonding hormone as instilled in us through millions of years of evolution. Regardless, all I can say with any degree of certainty is that a relationship devoid of touch and physical intimacy is a relationship destined to fail, at least according to my Lexicon of Love.
Quality Time (27%) and Words of Affirmation (23%), I feel, go hand-in-hand with Physical Touch. It seems pointless to spend time with someone if you’re going to be doing something other than enjoying that time with them. Or, as I’ve often said, “What’s the point of becoming involved with someone if you’re only going to do things without them?” And yet I know so many people who purport that spending time following personal passions and pursuits without their partner strengthens their relationship. Honestly, I can’t fathom how that could be. In my mind, I would envision that discovering and sharing passions with your partner could only serve to strengthen your relationship on levels and in ways that individual hobbies and pursuits never could. And while I’m not saying that I believe a person’s partner could or should be constantly underfoot, would it be so bad if they were by your side more often than not?
My relatively low scores on Receiving Gifts (10%) and Acts of Service (3%) make perfect sense. While I’m not a fan of receiving gifts, I absolutely love to give gifts! Truth be told, I rather fancy myself to be quite the exceptional gift picker-outter. Jointly, when it comes to Acts of Service, I’ve never particularly relished the notion of someone’s presence or purpose being to provide for me or placate my wishes and desires, although I do love to do things for someone I care about. I’ve always been a bit of a pleaser, so these lower scores are really no surprise.
So what about you? I’d love to hear from you and know how you, as a fellow empath and survivor, fare when it comes to these innermost private parts of ourselves and our emotional psyche that we reserve only for someone who has won our heart and unwavering devotion. If you would, please share with the rest of the class. What’s your primary love language?
Clara J White
Words of affirmation is my primary love language. Once my ex learned that, he turned up the heat on the verbal abuse. It got so bad that I couldn’t even be in his presence without dissociating.