The Eighth Love Language

It’s been a while since I’ve written about love language, so if you want to catch up on my original entries, they are listed here (in addition to the original 5 love languages):

  1. Acts of Service
  2. Touch
  3. Quality Time
  4. Words of Affirmation
  5. Gifts
  6. Chocolate
  7. Quantity Time

I also wrote an entry about the 15 workplace love languages.

As you can tell, I really love the concept of love languages. If you’re not familiar with them, they are a gauge of how you are best loved (and conversely, how you best show love). For example, some people feel the most loved if someone gives them a gift, while others would feel the more loved by having a great conversation with a friend.

fabolous-swizz-beatz-make-surprise-appearance-rucker-park-01Like anything else, it’s a spectrum–there isn’t one right answer for anyone. But it is helpful to know your top 1-2 love languages, your bottom 1-2, as well as the top and bottom love languages for your spouse, friends, and family members.

So today I was having a conversation about love languages at work, and we struck gold: We discovered a new love language. I don’t know why it never occurred to me before, but it seems so clear now.

The eighth love language is the Support of Presence.

Basically, the support of presence love language is when someone supports you by their presence. An example of this would be if you’re running a marathon and a friend runs with you for the final mile. Or if you’re doing a reading at an open mic night and your girlfriend shows up to support you. Or when your parents attended your piano recital 20 years ago.

The support of presence love language is not to be confused with acts of service, which would involve someone going out of their way to serve you in some way (i.e., cleaning your apartment for you). Nor is it to be confused with quality or quantity time, which involve either a short, intense period of connection or a longer period of shared space (i.e., going to a movie with a friend).

It was incredibly enlightening for me to stumble upon this love language, because it’s probably one of my top 3. It means a lot when people show up to support me for something I’ve accomplished, and sometimes it stings a bit when they don’t. I don’t help matters but downplaying accomplishments at times–now I realize that’s kind of a defense mechanism. If I don’t share with people how proud I am of something and how much it would mean to me if they showed up, then I don’t have to deal with the hurt of them not showing up–they didn’t know any better. Which really isn’t a healthy approach.

And for me, it’s not always about an accomplishment. I have a big annual Festivus party, and it means a LOT to me when people attend. It isn’t an act of service, and I barely get to talk with anyone at the party (definitely not in depth), but just knowing that people decided to make me feel popular for a night goes a long way.

Now I know why I always get emotional when in movies and on TV the person who couldn’t attend an important event for someone else ends up making it at the last minute.

If you’re reading this and thinking, “That’s crazy!”, then that probably means that your love language is not the support of presence. Which is fine–everyone is different. But for those of you who can relate, what do you think? How has this love language played a role in your life?

What are your top two love languages?