We Should Declare Consistency the Sixth Love Language
If you’ve read The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman, then you know that the book nails it in terms of the various ways that we interpret love. It’s all-encompassing. Some of us need to be told that we’re loved with Words of Affirmation. Others need to be shown, whether through Acts of Service, Physical Touch, Receiving Gifts, or Quality Time. We may need a little of each but all likely favor one of these languages above the others in terms of what makes us feel cared for.
I think there’s another prominent love language, however. Often, at least for me, even if I’m being spoken to in my language, it will not resonate if it’s inconsistent. And when I’m not being spoken to in my language, if the manner in which a person is obviously trying to communicate their adoration for me is unwavering, I will recognize it. Consistency is a love language. Whatever you do, do it habitually and without loss of enthusiasm.
There is nothing I appreciate more than someone who regularly offers the version of themselves that ignited my initial interest. We all have bad days and varying moods, but you can’t be hot and cold and expect me to still feel the warmth. It doesn’t always have to be grand gestures and declarations, but there should be consistent traits. The message has to be regularly communicated, however it’s delivered.
My dominant love language is Acts of Service. I’m a “show before and above tell” kind of gal. Words carry no weight with me if not only supported by but lead with action. However, my need for consistency supersedes this. If the acts are sporadic, so will be my response. I can’t associate an infrequent experience with love.
I’ve had amazing first gestures during courtship. Someone I matched with on a dating site sent flowers to my job with a message inside to give him a call. Now, I didn’t know whether to be weirded out or flattered because I hadn’t met this guy yet or told him where I worked, but I chose the latter. I valued the effort. He did more before meeting me than many others had done during our entire relationship. But after about a week or two, things started to tail off. It’s possible that perhaps he wasn’t feeling the interest on my part, but ultimately, I believe anyone who draws that conclusion, grows tired, and gives up after just a week isn’t someone on whom I can rely.
The guy didn’t need to send me flowers every day to garner my affection, but hitting the ground running only to slow to a crawl rendered the once attention-grabbing move insignificant. It’s easy to demonstrate interest, harder to sustain it if it’s not genuine or rooted in substance.
Consistency is important because it separates the opportunists from the committed. When there is authentic interest in who someone is as a person and a desire to get to know them in hopes of building a meaningful relationship, consistency will come naturally. People don’t throw in the towel at the first sign of dissonance, when someone does something they don’t like, or when there is perhaps a hint of uncertainty if the object of their desire has been deemed worthwhile. They keep trying, not indefinitely or fruitlessly, but intentionally, at least until the experience necessary to make an informed decision has been acquired.
There is a place for spontaneity. If you do the same things all the time, over time the impact may lessen. It’s nice to be surprised by unexpected gestures and have special occasion activities. I’m not making the case for unabridged routine, just stability.
One can’t be thoughtful and supportive sometimes. We deserve to know we’re loved all the time, not just when it’s convenient. Even when a partner is upset, or we aren’t having our best moment, even when our hair is uncombed and we don’t feel very loveable, we aren’t any less worthy.
They can keep that “every now and then” love. Reverence is the minimum of what I believe we should be able to anticipate on a regular basis from a committed relationship where such has been expressed. If it’s not consistent, I don’t want it at all. I don’t wish to be left guessing, on a roller coaster of emotions because someone can’t decide or demonstrate how they feel from one day to the next.
The concept of The Five Love Languages is not mine to alter. I’ll leave that to Chapman. But I think an unofficial addition may be in order.