Ah, love. It's a many-splendored thing, but it's also challenging and complex and really effing confusing — which is why I put my love language in my Tinder bio, so I could figure out from first swipe which of my matches would be most compatible with me.
For those unfamiliar with love languages, allow me to break it down for you. Back in 1995, an anthropologist and marriage expert named Dr. Gary Chapman wrote a book called The Five Love Languages, explaining that we all have different ways of interpreting and expressing, well, love (aka "love languages"). Those five languages include Gift Giving, Quality Time, Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service (devotion), and Physical Touch, and every person has at least one. Most people know theirs right off the bat, but there are a ton of personality tests and online quizzes that can tell you your love language as well, if you're unsure.
After taking the ~official assessment~, I learned that my love language is a blend of words of affirmation and gift-giving, which should come as no surprise to anyone who's met me ever. Basically, I'm a big fan of sending both aggressively complimentary texts and care packages. (And honestly, all a guy's gotta do is tell me I'm pretty and buy me a drink before we're married in my head).
But I didn't want to make it that easy for the gentlemen of Tinder. Instead, I threw the simple, straightforward phrase, "My love language is words of affirmation. Also presents," into my bio, just beneath some emojis of the American and British flags (you'll understand why those come in handy later). Here's what my matches had to say.
UGH, men are so presumptuous. Ask anyone who's ever tried to hold my hand on a date and they'll tell you I behave like a spooked gazelle, James. Give me compliments, give me presents, but please don't try to touch me until you know my middle name and have heard me tell the story of that one time I sent a box of popcorn to a fraternity house (that's how I know I can trust you).
I know, I know. I probably shouldn't have agreed to marry Alexandru so quickly. But YOLO, guys!
Not what I meant, bro. But like, I get it.
Quick note: Throw an American flag into your bio and you are golden in the United Kingdom, ladies (where I've been swiping away while in grad school here!). I don't know if it's the Meghan Markle effect or what, but the gents over here are very much into Americans. Another match told me, "Your accent is lit!" before we ever even met. So.
I like that Will went ahead and Googled love languages. Unfortunately, quality time is not my strong suit... Between grad school, work, and taking care of my neighbor's cat (such responsibility, you guys), I barely have the chance to spend long stretches of Q.T. with a glass of Savignon Blanc, let alone a partner. At this point in my life, my idea of quality time with a guy is napping and watching Netflix, and I feel like that's probably insufficient for someone whose top priority is time together. Sorry, Will!
Rohan had no way of knowing this, but I hate when people say my name sounds like Guinevere. Growing up, teachers almost always called me Guinevere on the first day of school, and just... why? Genevieve. Guinevere. How are those the same? I genuinely don't get it. But back to love languages!
Rohan was really committed to figuring out which love language he spoke, and a quick quiz told him that Quality Time was his number one priority (yikes), followed by Words of Affirmation. I might be able to work with that. Stay tuned.
GUYS, MY NAME IS GENEVIEVE, PLEASE STOP GIVING ME DIFFERENT NAMES.
All right, after taking a few deep breaths, I composed myself enough to ask Jack about his love language. And I'm fine with "bursts" of Quality Time! And presents! That actually really works for me! But... this Physical Touch comment? It's "better to surprise than boast" about how great you are at, uh, touching other humans? My goodness, Jack, that's presumptuous for someone who's apparently unclear on how my name is spelled.
This dude's name is just "M" (does he think he's in an episode of Gossip Girl? TBD), and he never clarified whether or not, "You alright darling" was a question or a statement. Needless to say, I was a little wary of this M. Then he said that Physical Touch was his love language, and like, no.
Sam came right out to let me know that his love language was Acts of Service, which is also definitely important to me! That said, he was apparently incomprehensible and "no good with words," so I didn't see this working out. Onto the next one.
Zee was off to a good start with the compliments, so I assumed he'd caught the tip-off in my bio. Guess not.
Zee's love language was Physical Touch with a kissy emoji. I know what you're getting at, bud, and I'm not picking up what you're throwing out over here.
A man after my own heart, at last! I may have agreed to marry Alexandru, but, does anyone know what England's laws are about polygamy? Let me know.
I wish I could say that this Tinder experiment led me to some profound discovery about love and all of its intricacies, but a'las. I think my real takeaway here is that letting your dating app matches know that you appreciate Words of Affirmation will lead to the occasional stranger telling you you're an amazing and beautiful person. So I say go for it, girls.
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