Clunky Communication / by Dana Bergstrom

Guess what?! Pauly and I celebrate 25 years of yelling next month!

And it took us nearly that long to read a wildly popular bestseller from the 90s, The Five Love Languages: The Secret To Love That Lasts.

Loads of people recommended the book over the years and, finally, after the third person within a few days mentioned it, I knew the Universe really wanted to tell me something.

So we got the audio version for a road trip and even took the free online quiz.

And, boy, was it helpful.

A county clerk issuing our Yelling License

A county clerk issuing our Yelling License

The love languages are five ways, identified by a longtime marriage counselor, that people naturally prefer to give and receive love.

They are:

Gift Giving,
Quality Time,
Words of Affirmation,
Acts of Service
and Physical Touch.

Luckily, Pauly and I share a primary love language.

It's been one of our favorite activities ever since I got my grubby, little paws on his hot hot bod!

Okay, I PROMISE NOT TO GIT ALL FRRRREEEEAKY HERE, but I do wanna say that we love touching sooooo much that we went out and got the perfect piece of furniture SPECIFICALLY FOR CUDDLING.

It's a giant, weird looking, bean bag thingy filled with foam where we sit and watch movies with our arms and legs tangled up all lovey-dovey like. It's soft, snuggly CANOODLING HEAVEN!

Courthouse cuddling, marriage license in hand

Courthouse cuddling, marriage license in hand

The book also helped us discover something else of importance:

We're not very fluent in our partner's OTHER top love languages.

Mine is Words of Affirmation.

I absolutely love to shower Pauly with verbal appreciation, telling him regularly that he's wonderful, adorable, thoughtful, handy, and wise.

And it'd also be nice to receive words of affirmation from him since love languages are about giving AND receiving love.

But doing that isn't his thing.

I haven't actually kept track, but I bet he's only given me like 25 compliments in our marriage.

One for each year...

Yep...

that sounds about right!

The other day when I mentioned I'd enjoy a few more words of affirmation thrown my way, he claimed he doesn't pay me compliments or say what he appreciates about me "because words don't mean anything."

UM, WHAT?

OF COURSE THEY DO!

"You know what words of affirmation are to me?" he said defensively.

"Turds of Affirmation."

TURDS OF AFFIRMATION!!!!!!!!!!!

Hahahahahahahahahahahaha!

I ended up laughing for days about that and totally forgot about the short supply of sweet talk.

Until now, that is. :)

Pauly's other main love language is Acts of Service.

The phrase "Actions speak louder than words" is his reason for dissing my particular love language.

Nearly every day, Pauly makes me a delicious omelette for breakfast. He loves loves LOVES to make food, which works out 'cause I'm not fond of cooking.

Several years ago, when I had an actual job, I'd often come home from the office to a surprise candlelight dinner of steak or pasta with steamed veggies and soft music playing in the background JUST BECAUSE.

Yet, the funny thing is, if he'd just tell me that he loves me on occasion, HE WOULDN'T NEED TO PREPARE ALL THOSE MEALS!

I get so giddy whenever I get a rare compliment from him, I'm positive I could live off a daily diet of only his delicious words!

But, alas, that's not his natural language.

I vividly remember the day when Pauly said that every single time he opens his sock drawer to see his socks all clean and folded, he feels LOVED.

I was dumbfounded.

YOU FEEL LOVED BECAUSE I DO THE LAUNDRY?

But I do that because our clothes are dirty...

NOT BECAUSE I LOVE YOU!

Isn't that crazy?

Yet, that's exactly how it is when you don't know each others' language.

I'm speaking Chinese and he's speaking Swahili.

And maybe that's why, a quarter of a century later, we're still looking for more enjoyable ways to live together.

Now that we've gotten a bit more clarity about this, I'd like to practice each other's languages so we can get EVEN MORE OF THE LOVE VIBE flowing 'cause, well, that's just more fun.

And in the meantime, thank goodness for canoodling.