July 17, New York, NY: After I boarded the plane and had taken my seat, I saw a woman in the aisle stuck in the temporarily idle line of passengers still boarding. She was fiddling with a diamond earring and clearly married, but she appeared to be traveling alone. Suddenly the guy in front of her turns, puckers up, and leans in to give her a kiss on the mouth. Before he could reach her, she quickly puckered, smacked her lips as if giving him an air kiss, and turned away. He turned back around to face forward, obviously disappointed, as she continued to fix whatever was wrong with that earring while staring out the exit door window. My immediate reaction was, "DAMN, that was mean!" I thought it. I didn't say it. My next thought was, "Is THAT what that looks like?!" Because I have done that. And all kinds of things that I'd assume look the same as that. Or are just as dismissive and (I'd assume) hurtful.
I also finally did an exercise that revealed that my primary love language was words of affirmation. That means that we are a match. But I wonder if I suffered from a lack thereof, which makes me seek it or respond to it now. There's a theory that people often communicate their love in the way that they would like to have it communicated to them. So, according to that theory, you would be lucky to end up with someone with the same love language. But what if that language became yours because it was what you've always missed; would you be likely to crave it but also withhold it from someone else? Because I think that's the camp I've been in. Its felt difficult for me to offer words of affirmation, even though it seems to be how I like someone's love communicated to me. The result wasn't much of a surprise after my last relationship. At least after I thought about it. I loved to hear how much I was appreciated. And how much my interests were supported. But, like I said, offering the same verbal encouragement never came very easy to me. The fact that it isn't second nature is the whole point of doing the diagnostic and sharing the result.