I just want to be in your arms.
I wholeheartedly understand that you (a generic “you” for every person in my life) don’t respond to that type of love, but that’s how my heart knows to express itself. Once my heart opens and allows love to flow from me to you, that love comes alive and I desire to be with you.
To me, love is meant to be expressed through action… but that “action” to me is physical touch, words of affirmation, and quality time. Every time that I think of you, I think of the various love languages and how similar, yet different they are… much like me and you. I look at the span of my various relationships and I see how clashes occurred because love was not communicated effectively or in the same manner. You and I are different in how we love, yet the same in our desire for love.
To live on this earth and say that you don’t desire to be loved in a special way is a lie to not only me, but to yourself. We are humans, made in God’s very image, and since He is love, we were created to love. And I love through action.
Of all the parts of speech, verbs are my favorite. Maybe it’s because of my ADHD or maybe it’s the fact that all the fun words are either verbs or adjectives/adverbs, but words that imply action call out to me in a special way. I remember when I first heard the phrase that love was a verb, I had to take a minute to process it. What that quote-writer meant was that love is not simply a word, it is a word that requires action to declare its meaning. One can’t simply say “I love you” and then not demonstrate it in some way. The word LOVE must be met with force, with movement, with enthusiasm. With… action.
My action towards you depends on our relationship…
In platonic relationships, my action looks like me wanting to hang out more. Wine downs, outings, and movie nights become so important to me. I will randomly call you and “demand” that we hang out because I just need to be in your presence. It’s not always an indication that something is wrong, but in fact that something is right- my heart is choosing to love.
For my family the action is a bit different. I don’t crave time with you like I crave time with others. I think my mind and my heart isolate themselves to opposing ends of the spectrum, causing a disagreement in my approach to loving you. Maybe it is the hurt of my youth revisiting me or maybe I’ve just been socially distancing myself long before it was a “thing”, but I show my love for you through jabs, playful times, and (most importantly) distance. I have never been one to spend an inordinate amount of time with you (except one of my sisters, Ionie) but I will pour out social media and written love like none other.
I see how my boyfriend is with his family. When they are in town, he literally drops everything to be with them. He has double-booked himself too many times to count, in order to accommodate the visit- impromptu or planned- of a family member. He does it so often that it frustrates me… but I still realize that that’s not me. I grew up with my sisters- not my brothers or my cousins, aunts or uncles- so that’s who I choose. And even with them, there is a permanent barrier that exists between us as we work on healing from our trauma in our own way.
Yet and still, love is a verb.
But you, my romantic love, things are unique with you. With you I desire unbridled and unlimited intimacy. Not sex, but soul-connecting, love-engulfing intimacy. I desire to be ignited by the fire that lies within your mind, your heart, and your being. Yes, I desire to spend time with you, but I also want to talk to you and learn about what makes you who you are. I want to know more about your relationship with God, your favorite things (and your major dislikes), and how you respond in concerning times. I want to see you laugh, I want to see you cry, I want to be close to you. I want to lay in your arms and snuggle, not because something is wrong or we are watching a scary movie, but simply because it’s ___day and snuggles were made for this day. I want to offer soft pecks on your lips- frequently- just to feel a physical connection between us. I want to hold your hand as we walk down the street, not to advertise that we are together, but because I like feeling you near. When I love you, your voice becomes as soothing as the summer rain and I desire to hear it often…
Actions, actions- my love for you is a verb.
Understandably, this reads like a lot. This reads like, “why is she so needy?” And I get that.
But that’s who I am.
I didn’t grow up with recognizable love, so I need to see love in its purest and tangible way in order to feel safe.
I used to think that something was wrong with me. I thought that relationships- romantic, relational, and platonic- ended because I was too needy. In fact, I said something along that line last week in this very place. But the events of the last week and a half have caused me to see things differently. There’s nothing wrong with speaking different love languages. There’s nothing wrong with me expressing myself differently. There is nothing wrong with me desiring tangible love.
Maybe that’s where I should have begun my explanation of love. Love is a tangible act to me.
God broke the mold.
Words of Affirmation.
Acts of Service.
Those are the five love languages. To be fair, I never read the book on how those areas were identified but I’d venture to say that they began back in Genesis when God broke the mold. The Master mastered the art of loving His children and stopped at no end to express that love in every way possible. As our Abba Father, He knew that His children would be unique and require different levels of expressed love… so He gave them all.
Words of Affirmation: “’Greater love has no man than this: to lay down one’s life for his friends.’” John 15:13
Physical Touch: (There are many scriptures on God touching His children, but I like this one) ““Then He touched their eyes, saying, ‘According to your faith be it done to you.’” Matthew 9:29
Receiving Gifts: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him would not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
Quality Time: (Again, there are a lot of scriptures, but I love this one) “They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day…” Genesis 3:8a
Acts of Service: “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
In His infinite love for us, God demonstrated and continues to demonstrate all the different love languages. So, what’s wrong with me wanting love from others the way that I specifically need it?
As I continue to live and write, I am learning to accept responsibility for the events in my life. While every relationship failure may not be my direct or indirect fault, it is my responsibility to approach relationships the way God intended for me. I don’t believe that it is possible to “want too much”, but I know that it is possible to want too much from the wrong person. However, until the day that God calls me home, I will forever believe that, like God’s love for me, love from others requires action and tangible proof because, well, love is a verb.