Ranting Freely

No matter why your partner wishes to hold forth for many long minutes in a not-entirely-coherent manner, the practice of this love language means you’ll allow them to do so. It could be about the President, or one of the President’s children, or one of the President’s children’s table-scapes. You’ll allow the rant to flow uninhibitedly, and briefly focus on what is being said at least once every two minutes. This love language says, “Rain your aggrieved spittle upon me for many long minutes, my darling. I am here for you!”

Willfully Ignoring

The pile of “worn-once-but-not-really-dirty-yet” clothes on the bedroom floor. The crumbs from Saturday’s toast still on the kitchen counter. The engine light that’s been on since that trip upstate. The tendency to turn every anecdote into a soliloquy about one’s junior year in college, when one was cast as “Curly” in the campus production of Oklahoma! Sometimes love is saying, “I refuse to see or acknowledge what’s happening.”

Queue Sharing/Queue Independence

Not all love partnerships are the same. Some people show their devotion to each other by sharing their Netflix queue, even if one of the partners has the unloving habit of watching all of The Crown before the other partner has time to, because maybe the other partner is working long hours and doing more than her share in terms of looking after the dog so she doesn’t always have time for the really rather petty jealousies of the sister of the Queen of England 50 years ago. Meanwhile, other partners choose to maintain separate Netflix queues, which is a totally normal thing to do and not all indicative of the way any particular partnership is going to spiral out.

In-Law Hosting

This love language says, “It is always great to see you, Mike and Bev/John and Linda. Your presence in our home honors us. We look forward to the tips you will have on the stock market/growing begonias/a woman’s peak fertility age/visiting Civil War battlefields/keeping a marriage fresh. It a blessing of our union that we can share this time with, and learn from you."

Purchasing of Cheat Foods

Sometimes, the most appropriate love language is slipping a bag of Funyons into one’s grocery cart. It is particularly loving for the partner whose parents are visiting to practice this love language for the other partner, whose parents are not visiting and who did not grow up immersed in this nonsense.

Lawn Care

Both of you wanted this house in the suburbs. Both of you decided against the house with the lawn that was mostly a concrete slab. Both of you claimed to enjoy the vigorous renewal of outdoor work. So both of you are going to grit your teeth, make eye contact across the breakfast table, take each other’s hands, and say, “Today, my love, we will reseed the brown patches.”

Advil Fetching

Love means never having to say, “Why the hell did we buy a house with a giant yard?” With this language, you keep your mouths shut and your hands open – for that giant pour of painkillers and a big glass of water.


Sometimes, in a partnership, it’s nice to do the same thing at the same time, but not together. So, one of you take the recliner, and the other take the couch. Turn down the lights, slip into something more comfortable, and individually drift off to catch up on the many hours of sleep you’ve missed during the work week. Sometimes the best love language is not saying anything at all.