It is hard to distinguish which of my love languages (and in what proportion) are actually mine. Actually are me, rather than how I was raised. The primary one is easy – touch – because it does not appear anywhere else in my family.
My mom’s side of the family is big on hugs hello and goodbye (and because of their long time integration with my dad’s side of the family, my dad’s side has become accepting of this as love), but my mom’s primary receiving and giving love language is clearly quality time. Which as a non-neurotypical kid, this was hard to grasp. What is “quality”? How much time is sufficient to count? What makes her happy in this regard has been what I have focused on as an adult. And this seems to be sufficient to count, for her.
My dad’s side of the family does not do the touch thing. I cannot speak with any degree of accuracy about my dad’s siblings, nor my grandparents on that side, but my dad primarily gives acts of service. So, even though it is not my primary (or even secondary) giving or receiving language, I know what it looks like, and I recognize it when I see it. I see the intent, even if it does not easily register in my personal psyche as given “love”. Which is weird, because when I give love, it is definitely the secondary way in which I give it, because I am a caretaker. I cook, I bake, I do dishes, I drive when needed, I fetch things, I feed the cat. It is odd, at least to me, to give a language in a way that receiving it feels very different.
My secondary love language when it comes to receiving is words of affirmation. None of my current partners are good at this. Moss is fairly good at this, although his primary love language is very distinctly acts of service. It is a pain that none of my partners, nor most of my family, can give to me in one of the languages that feels the most natural to me to receive. Words matter to me, and I want those words backed up with actions, however the combination rings most sincere to me.
The best, from a distance, is well-placed/times/combinations of words of affirmation, combined with promises of good/great touch. Tell me what you want to do with me physically (even in a completely platonic sense) and what doing that specifically with me will mean for you and for our relationship and I am fucking sold. In the right mood and mindset, this is why dirty talk really does it for me – it is the combination of words, with the thought of good touch. Very delightful.
The best way for me to know I am loved (from a distance) is to be told (some of that is trauma-informed and I do not know how much, yet). It is the easiest, even from close up. But hug me or cuddle me close, and tell me how much I matter to you? That, that is the bomb.com.
How can I love you best?