Do you know what your partner’s love language is? According to Dr. Gary Chapman, it is either quality time, words of affirmation, gifts, acts of service, or physical touch. Since I’m batting a big “oh fer” in my first fifty years, I’m either guessing wrong or speaking gibberish. Or, perhaps the doc was over-generalizing and missed a few languages. I certainly know my roommates’ languages: gifts of tuna, a clean litter box, and warm places to sleep. Woman? That’s another animal.
Most women claim to need more words of affirmation, based on remarks such as:
“Couldn’t you at least have gotten me a card?”
“I sent you three texts and called twice before you finally replied with a generous two-word text.”
“Why do my calls always seem to go straight to voice mail?”
“Are you listening to me?”
“Can we talk?”
“Where do you see this going?”
“Tell me how much you love me.”
“How does this look on me?”
“Did you hear what Susie’s husband did for their anniversary?”
I suggest this woman is not looking for more words; she’s looking for more receptive ears. In fact, when the male interjects with requests for clarification or solutions to the problem, the female becomes frustrated and resentful. She’s not looking for affirmation inasmuch as she seeks confirmation.
(Again, I’m single so what the fuck do I know?)
She says, “I had the worst day of my entire life. I woke up with cramps and sure enough, while I was waiting in line at the store behind some idiot with coupons and correct change, I could feel the damn breaking loose, so to speak.”
He hears, “Blah, blah, blood, clots, gross, not getting laid, run away now while you can.”
She continues, “While I was waiting to pick up Missy from school, some cop with nothing better to do lectured me for using the phone and not having my belt buckled. I was parked for God’s sake! Then he asked if I had anything to drink. I told him I had two bottles of prosecco and a big fat doobie with lunch. He didn’t laugh. He made me take a damn sobriety test right there in front of the school. I was so embarrassed.”
He hears, “I will never part from my phone, you drive me to drink, all men suck, whether in uniform or not.”
She continues, “When I finally got home, the cat sneaked out while I was carrying groceries in. I chased her all over the neighborhood to no avail. When I got home the cat was waiting at the front door, which was locked. Missy was upstairs with her iPod cranked, so she couldn’t hear me banging. I couldn’t call you because my phone was inside on the kitchen counter.”
He hears, “My drama is more important than yours, and if you tell me to hide a key one more time I will superglue your upper lip to your nose.”
There’s the disconnect. All the beast needs to say is, “Aw, I’m sorry you had such a rough day, my love. How can Daddy make it all better?” while rubbing her neck gently. This way, little will be lost in translation, and Daddy might get to touch a booby again someday soon.