• Sarah Margaret Henry

How Living with Your Partner Reveals the Truth About Your Love Language

As of tomorrow, my best friend and future husband (not two separate people) will be celebrating two weeks of officially living with me. You know. Like adults. Crazy stuff.

adorable bunny book
Pancake, the bunny who believes it is a capital crime to pay attention to a book and not him.

To be fair, this is not technically the first time we have lived together. Over the last two summers, before our junior and senior year, his parents opened up their home to me and my grumpy ESA, Pancake. During senior year, we lived across the hall in different apartments, and that's about as close as you can get to co-habitation when you live on a Christian campus with visitation hours.

Jesus School, am I right?

We are used to constantly being in each other's space because we're both incredibly needy people who require attention at all times.

But now that we're renting a place where both our names are on the lease, it's the real deal. As my dad said when Justin proposed in December, "No backsies."

So now that we're past the point of no return (in the best sort of way - as in I've already bought a wedding dress, not the creepy Phantom of the Opera I'm stealing you away to the theatre catacombs forever kind of way), what have these past two weeks taught me?

For those of you unfamiliar with the 5 Love Languages, it's a hippy-dippy quiz you take when

love language chart
Examples of how to express love languages

you go to Jesus school so you know how other people can "love on you" best. While that phrase is easily one of my least favorite parts of a Christian liberal arts institution - it's right up there with the homophobic by-laws - the quiz is strangely accurate. The test defines 5 different ways of expressing love: acts of service, words of affirmation, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch. If you're interested, you can take the quiz here.

I'm an even split between everything but receiving gifts. The concept of people watching you and measuring your facial expressions while you open up a box, of which the contents you are unaware, is nothing short of torture. I hate surprises and I hate people examining me like a chunky koala in a low budget zoo; you expect it to do something exciting, but all it wants to do is be alone and sleep.

So now that we're together almost constantly and every space is shared, I've had time to think about what ways we really succeed in communicating as a couple, in addition to how much we have to learn about not giving the other person murder motives.

I'm going to share the honest examples of how I've noticed my partner fulfilling my love language needs recently.

1. Words of Affirmation: "Wait, you're going to wear that to dinner? You look way too nice, now I have to put on real pants."

2. Quality Time: Taking the time to help bond our bunnies. Nothing says "I love you" like him holding the broom at the ready in case the session gets too intense while you wait and watch to grab the instigator when the fighting gets violent to hold them and say, "Hey, stop being a butt, or no more carrots for you, Mr. Chunky Man." It's truly a time when love thrives.

3. Physical Touch: While I do love smoshing myself into his arms the instant I need affection, I must admit that my favorite part of the morning is when he leaves for work and I get the entire queen sized bed to myself. I feel like a pretty-pretty princess. You know, except for the whole being married off to a stranger to mend an crumbling alliance between two feuding countries thing.

4. Acts of Service: "I'm going to load and start and empty the dish washer, okay?"

Yes of course it's okay, you gorgeous buffoon, because I definitely didn't plan on doing any of those things.

And most importantly: "Sorry I'm late coming home from work, I went the long way to get the bottle of Peach Cream wine from that specific liquor store you like. Also, here's grocery

store sushi and guacamole."

So while we still have so much to learn about living together and building the rest of our lives around each other, I think it's safe to say I'm going to keep him around. He is all too good to me and I can't wait to call this silly man my husband.

couple in love
It happens rarely, but we can be cute upon occasion. It's a good thing we're both photographers so there's proof.

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