OPINION: Love is a word but marriage is a sentence – for life

Monday 15 February 2021 | Written by Ruta Tangiiau Mave | Published in Editorials, Opinion

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OPINION: Love is a word but marriage is a sentence – for life
Beau Villanuva, left, and Sophie Faurens from Island Craft with an order of roses and daisies for Valentine's Day. 21021010

Keeping love alive takes more than one day, writes Ruta Mave, reflecting on Valentine’s Day which was celebrated on Sunday.

Love, Love, love, all you need is love and once a year you’re allowed to go gushy romantic and pay for cards, flowers and chocolates and declare, love, lavishly, loudly is lunacy.

Big red hearts adorn the shops announcing the arrival of Valentine’s Day, and people around the globe secretly or openly wish for a secret admirer or a current partner to get enthusiastic for the day of expected requirements; to choose them, a romantic restaurant, fabulous florist and cases of chocolate to seal the deal, of your love. 

It’s the day of love, more leaning towards making the feminine side happy, as only one in five males look forward to chocolates wrapped in red foil, the other four would prefer something, else that’s red, lacy and racy.

The desire for romantic love is deeply rooted in our psychological makeup, the media talk about keeping love alive, with articles like “101 ways to express love” readers will choose 3-4 try it and when they don’t work, try finding some other source of magic to unfold the mystery of love.

Gary Chapman the author of The Five Love Languages, says you must be willing to learn the primary love ‘language’ of your partner if we’re to be effective communicators of love.

There will be men out there shaking their heads saying, I brought home some flowers and the missus just rolls her eyes and complains I didn’t do the dishes, or why did I waste money on flowers when she’s got a whole garden full of flowers that needs weeding. Gee can’t win.

Chances are you’re speaking the wrong ‘language’ to her. There are five ‘Love Languages’ if you speak a different one to your partner it’s like speaking gobbledygook, which will lead to miscommunication and misunderstanding.

Gary says knowing which love language; words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch apply to you and yours will make your relationship a walk in the park, not Jurassic Park.

Bringing flowers or gifts on Valentine’s day will work wonderfully for the person who speaks “Receiving gifts’ but if they have the ‘acts of service’ accent, then doing the dishes would be a cheaper way of keeping them happy.

Granted small gifts can be appreciated, but coming home finding the washing folded, dinner made, or the kids fed, bathed and in bed can be equal to winning lotto. 

‘Quality time’ linguists don’t necessarily need a fancy restaurant, they could settle for fish and chips on the beach if you’re there with them, not sitting there playing Candy Crush, but with them, talking, looking and listening to them. 

It’s not hard to add ‘ahah’ hmmm, during their monologue and if you keep nodding and smiling, you could be in like Flynn.

These languages also work with kids and some ‘quality time’ watching them play sport, or at their prizegiving, they don’t need to talk to you, but them seeing you taking the time to be there for them, can fill their emotional cup.

‘Words of Affirmation’ language, is an easy but tricky one. 

Words of praise, of acceptance of who they are, are plentiful in the dictionary but often limited in our vocabulary, and if we do have them our butt gets in the way. 

Good job dude, but…., nice haircut, if only… 

Some use the words like a mantra to instill a strong belief system: ‘You’re strong, you are kind, you’re intelligent and you are loved’. Something to remember before you ask ‘what’s for dinner’ try leading with, ‘Hi gorgeous’, ‘you had me at hello’ or ‘Hey, good lookin’…’ Put up words of praise on their mirror, lunches, in their bags.

‘Physical touch’ doesn’t speak so much, more they are always hanging onto you.

They love a hug, hold hands, PDA public displays of affection. Mammas love coming in, ‘come here boy and hug your Aunty, then they envelope you with arms, and body, hugging, jiggling, rocking side to side, humming and kissing cheek to cheek.

For those who don’t speak ‘Physical Touch’ like teenage boys, this is no reward.

Covid social distancing is a relief for many and a muzzle for others. The touch on a shoulder or arm, a fist bump or hair ruffle can be as fulfilling as the bear hug. 

Touch is healing, and vital for life, living with someone who isn’t, can be damaging for the soul.

Falling in love can be a temporary insanity, that’s instantly cured by marriage. Keeping love alive takes more than one day. Before you marry a person, you should first make them use a computer with slow internet, and untangle xmas lights, to see who they really are.

Finding what love languages you and yours speak, is an opportunity to speak love to them, every day, because love is a word, but marriage is a sentence – for life.