I found a funny, silly, but also serious article about romantic words in other languages. You can check it out here.
It made me do my own pondering about “romantic language” and how there is so much more to love with words that goes beyond expressions of love and affection. I don’t mean this in purely the romantic sense. This can apply to close friendships and family, too.
Words that strip us bare. I’m sorry. I hurt you. This admittance of wrong-doing and humbling refusing to defend ourselves is super hard and one of the best things we can do when we’re on the rocks with someone. We say this when we want to save the relationship more than we need to justify ourselves.
Words that guide us forward. I know you can do this. Let’s figure it out together. When the going is tough, I don’t want to hear “I love you” or “You’re amazing.” I want help figuring out the mess I’m in. I want someone who will cheer me on and take serious interest in my outcome.
Words that comfort us. I’ll hold your hand till it stops shaking. I will stay with you in this grief. The promise of faithfulness during the awful, gross, dark times is what makes us stronger together. It’s more comforting to say you’ll stick around and follow through on it than it is to try to soothe the situation with strings of hopeful words.
Words that point to truth. You’re believing lies right now and I won’t stand for it. Listen to the truth. This is the real truth about who you are: You are beloved by God, and everything else comes after that. I can’t tell you how many times I get lost in a fog of muddled thinking and need someone to point me in the direction of light and truth. This pointing takes courage and love.
All these kinds of words require love of the kind that endures and fights for what’s right, and doesn’t worry about itself.
So when I’m about to speak to someone I love dearly, I’m trying to remember these nuances because I want to include the parts that make love complex and real.
There have to be a million ways to show loved ones affection in non-stereotyped ways. What are some of yours? Do you use words? Gestures? Pictures? Something else?