Becoming Multilingual in the Love Languages – Elle Hill

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Coconut milk lattes say love in *every* language.

I just finished writing an uber-romantic scene. In it, my two love interests, who are still ostensibly at the friend stage, cuddle one another for reassurance while spilling deep, dark secrets. Oh. Em. Gee. It just couldn’t get any more passionate, could it?

Actually, maybe it could.

It occurred to me this morning that almost all of my romantic scenes involve, well, cuddling and secret sharing. And while it may be surprising — nay, shocking! — to imagine, not everyone expresses their love through talk and touch.

Ever heard of those love language things? Cheesy, I know, but I find them useful tools for talking about the different ways we express and receive loving gestures. Basically, the concept says there exist five ways of showing peeps you love them: words of affirmation (verbal love, baby), acts of service (love as verb), receiving gifts (show me the stuff!), quality time (giving the gift of time and attention), and physical touch (affection through physicality).

Oh, and because you know we all want to, here’s a brief quiz that determines our love language.

Obviously, I’m someone who understands love through the verbal and physical. Not surprising, I guess, since words are my life. But still, I can’t help but think others who don’t share my love languages may not fully grasp the depth of feeling that I attempt to weave into those scenes. Heck, my fiancé is an acts of service and gift-giving kind of person; I know I’ve had to adjust to thinking of love as a tangible act like researching the very best brands of cat food or a gift in the form of an almost daily coconut milk latte. (Yeah, I don’t have it so bad.)

I’m not so great at making my characters express their affection and love in varied ways. I mean, would it kill me to have the shero buy a hero an awesome book on Civil Rights history or make the hero serve the shero bagels and lox in bed?

Anyone else struggle to reflect diversity in love styles? I welcome all suggestions for diversifying my characters, even in this small but significant way.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, this coconut milk latte isn’t going to drink itself.

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About Elle Hill

I'm a not-so-mild-mannered college instructor by day and writer by night. I'm an ex-animal rescuer and a forever animal lover. Finally, I'm a progressive, portly, political, powerful, pale-faced, passionate purveyor of poetry and prose.
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4 Responses to Becoming Multilingual in the Love Languages – Elle Hill

  1. kathybryson says:

    I love this! A whole new way to show love in books and a whole new area for misunderstanding to arise. Score – or not! 🙂

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