Monday, February 20, 2017

How Do I Love Thee?

With Christmas and our birthday gift exchanging out of the way for the year, I've been reflecting on my gifting habits and my methods of communication in general. It got me thinking about the 5 love languages and how I express myself through them.

I took one of those online quizzes to figure out my love languages.

  • 10 Physical Touch 
  • 9 Quality Time 
  • 5 Words of Affirmation
  • 3 Acts of Service
  • 3 Receiving Gifts

I'm completely unsurprised that my primary love language is touch. I've always been more of a physical communicator in romantic relationships. It's funny to me that this is the case, since I generally eschew touch from most others. But with a partner, I'm like a needy cat who always wants to lay in your lap at the most inconvenient times. I crave physical affection like some sort of addict. I jump at every chance for contact. I relish every pet and caress.

I also kind of hate that he's built this little fort of stuff around his favorite spot at his house. He has a little makeshift computer station in front of his seat. The other side of the love seat is more like a tray for various convenience items like tissues, cigarettes, and a bowl of snacks. I'm relegated to the couch, where I wait for occasional head pets. Which are nice, don't get me wrong, but I am, at the very heart of me, a lap cat.

Shot from our latest shutterbugging
The prominence of quality time is also unsurprising. I'm always looking forward to the next visit. I measure time in days til I see him next. It helps me get through the work week. My productiveness has decreased a bit, because my focus has shifted, but I do so enjoy it when we spend time together. We often go for drives down the old scenic highways and take pictures of abandoned buildings and various bits of nature. We'll go to the movies, often animated ones, and munch on popcorn while I lean on his shoulder. A couple weekends ago, we broke our usual routine and played video games for the first time together. It was fun, and I'm honestly surprised we hadn't done it before.

Words of affirmation are less important to me, although I enjoy it when he lets me know that I have pleased him. I have had to work on expressing my appreciation verbally, as I'm often more physically expressive. This is primarily a coping mechanism of my anxiety disorder where I avoid speaking in order to avoid embarrassing myself. It's been rather cathartic now that I think about it, to delve into the Little mindset where I can sort of figure out how to reverse compulsions instilled in me as a child. Sometimes though, I have to go back to other languages as some verbal expressions aren't right yet.

Acts of service is naturally low, as far as receiving. I am less interested in receiving acts of service than I am giving. Although, I can see this also being a little low due to the fact that I enjoy having acts of service requested of me. I enjoy doing things on my own as well, but I am less confident about acting independently in someone else's space. I don't want to disrupt Daddy's space without knowing how he wants stuff done, so I prefer to wait for instruction there. Daddy does a lot of things for me. Just this week he bought me an antenna for my TV so I could watch something that didn't require an internet connection. I really enjoy his nurturing form of dominance.

I'm not surprised receiving gifts was so low, but I was surprised that gift giving didn't factor into the equation, because I would have thought that would have been part of it also. I like receiving gifts, like most people, but it's not an important aspect of a relationship for me. And I still hesitate to ask or rather accept offers to buy what I consider to be expensive things from Daddy. I don't like to be a burden or impose on anyone, and I grew up being trained to be as financially unobtrusive as possible with other people's money. However, I've always been a vigilant giver.

I never really ask people what they want for any specific holiday, unless it's some relative I rarely see and know nothing about, but am obligated to give to because of holidays. For personal relationships, I see gift giving as a sort of challenge.  I want it to be a surprise, and I want it to be deeply personal.

I've done this with every significant other I've had. I remember the first gifts I gave to my first dom for Christmas. He had casually mentioned an interest in voodoo, so I bought him a book on Voudun, which looked fairly credible to me. He didn't end up terribly interested in that, but I had also found him a rare retro video game he had mentioned previously which got a better reaction.

With my long distance master, I had very few ways of showing affection, so I tended to go overboard with the gift giving at Christmas and birthdays. The first year, I painted him something, since he didn't want me spending a lot. He had mentioned being a Conan the Barbarian nut, so I sent a miniature replica of the Atlantean sword from the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie. The next Christmas I sent an array of things, but the main gift was a hand made Minion doll in a maid's outfit I'd gotten at a local craft fair due to his love of minions. The last Christmas, I sent a Dragon Ball Z coffee mug that changed colors with heat. The last two years, I even sent his kids some small gifts personalized based on information I got from him.

 Daddy has been an interesting new challenge for gifting. I mentally scroll through my archives of information that I've gathered, and try to come up with ideas. I was quite proud of my selections. I told my mother what I got him for Christmas, one of those large coffee table type books on The Art of the Classic Car. She responded with "And...?"

Apparently my tendency to go overboard with gifts precedes me.

I was so excited about the birthday gift I got him, that I purchased it over a month before his birthday. One of the first things I noticed upon first visiting his home was a curio cabinet full of beautiful glass clocks, cordial glasses, and antique silver dinnerware, and a collection of antique cigarette holders. So I scoured the internet until I found an ox bone cigarette holder from the early 1900s complete with the original leather case. It wasn't a very elaborate piece, but interesting just the same. I'll have to work hard to top it in future.

It's been interesting topic to muse about. It's helped me learn more about how I express myself. It also gives me insight into how those I interact with show affection too.

What's your love language?

1 comment:

  1. Mine was not that different. If I remember right, it went touch, words of affirmation, quality time, acts of service and gifts at the bottom. It seemed right to me.