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Food – The Sixth Language of Love – Transcript

Food - The Sixth Language of Love - Transcript
Food - The Sixth Language of Love - Transcript
Food – The Sixth Language of Love – Transcript

This is the transcript of the audio interview by Patrick Wanis  PhD – Food – The Sixth Language of Love – Audio.   Additional emphasis has been placed in the visual layout of the text.

This is Patrick Wanis, Human Behavior and Relationship Expert, PhD.

What does it take for you to feel loved?

What does it take for you to experience the sensation of love?

Well, of course, Marilyn Monroe, made famous the song and the phrase “diamonds are a girl’s best friend.” However, that wasn’t necessarily the truth for Marilyn Munroe because of course, when she died, she died very lonely; she died heartbroken, she died very sad, she died very depressed. So obviously, the answer for her wasn’t diamonds. Interestingly though, many of us experience love in many different ways, and a gift, a large gift such as diamonds can truly make one’s heart race. Does that then means that a person feels loved if they’re given a large gift?

There are actually 5 languages of love, and those languages of love have been identified by Gary Chapman, and he refers to words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. I say that there is a sixth language of love, and that language of love is food. So we must start off first with the question “why is it important at all to speak our partner’s love language?” We can only say it’s important to speak a love language if we understand what a love language is, and that primarily means that each one of us experiences love in different ways and feels love according to different things. So to clarify that is saying that some people feel really, really loved when they receive physical touch, other people feel and experience the sensation of love when they’re told how great they are, other people believe that they are loved and feel loved when they’re given something, given gifts, it can be a small gift, it can be a large gift. Other people feel loved when they’re able to just spend alone, quality time with their partner, and other people feel loved when the partner does something for them, it can be running an errand, it could be cleaning the kitchen, it could be something small, the active service makes the other person’s feel loved.

Why it is important that we speak our partner’s love language

Because our partner will only feel loved when we can communicate in their language. So imagine 2 people are in a relationship, one speaks Russian, the other person speaks French. How are they going to communicate? Well, they obviously cant, they can’t communicate using language. So we have the same challenge when people are in relationships. How are they going to communicate love to each other if they are speaking 2 different, 2 foreign languages? So if we have a person who feels love when she’s held and when she’s given gifts, but her partner feels loved when he’s told how great he is, and when he’s touched, then they’re not going to feel loved all the time. So what we’re saying here is that when 2 people have common languages of love, they will experience more love and there’ll be less emptiness in the relationship.

So if the 2 partners don’t speak the same language of love, they’re not going to feel loved by the other person, and there’s going to be a sense of emptiness and there’s going to be a sense of continual longing and a sense of not getting one’s needs met. And I’ve had this experience with clients where I’ve actually said to a couple that I was counseling, you both have completely different languages of love. So for this man, his language of love, his primary language of love was words of affirmation, being told how great he is, being appreciated through words. Her primary language of love was not that at all. So his primary language of love was words and then touch. Her primary language of love was actually gifts, not big gifts, just gifts and acts of service. So for her to feel loved, she needed gifts, she needed financial security, she needed money. If she didn’t get that, then she didn’t feel loved. So as you can imagine, neither of them together ever felt like they were being loved, they never felt that they got their needs met. He wanted to be touched and he wanted to be told how wonderful he is. She on the other hand wanted acts of service and wanted to receive gifts. Primarily though for her, was almost like a completely different language of love because a lot of this is financial security, that could also be argued as being another language of love, or simply a need.

Food technically embodies several love languages including gifts and acts of service; why would I say that it falls into a category of its own?

So yes, we can argue that if I’m cooking and preparing and serving a meal to you, we could say that it’s a gift because I’m giving you something, and it’s an active service because I’m serving you food. However, it’s much more powerful and meaningful than that because it’s an international language of love. In other words, it’s the one language of love that everyone has. Why is that and what do I mean by that? From the moment we are born, what’s the first thing that we are given? Obviously we’re held, and yet the real thing that we’re given, the way that we’re nourished is by being fed. So the child is placed at the mother’s breast to be fed. Whilst the child is being fed, oxytocin is being released and the mother feels the bond with the child. So I would argue that inherently, we all experience love and we all feel loved when we are being served food.

Now, I’m not saying here that the woman must serve the man and the man must never serve the woman, I’m saying that the act of cooking and preparing a meal and then serving it is an act of love, it’s an expression of love, it’s a language of love, it can be expressed and communicated between anyone regardless of their gender, regardless of their sexual orientation. It’s also different because it’s not something you can just go and buy. Yes, I could go and just buy you a gift of some food that’s prepared from whole foods, yet that’s not the same thing. So obviously, if I’m preparing the food, it is also an act of service because I’m preparing and I’m thinking about it and I’m placing effort and I’m thinking about what you need. I believe it’s a separate language of love also because it has a different connection to us, a different meaning and a different intention, because when we are sharing food, we’re nourishing and nurturing, and we’re saying to the other person, “I’m caring for you, I’m providing for you.

Also food obviously is a key component of survival. So food, water, shelter are the 3 primary components of survival, and although we don’t say that physical touch is a form of survival, we have identified through scientific research that physical touch is important to growth, to physical growth. Anthony Walsh, a sociologist, looked into the significance of physical touch and its relationship to actual growth in a child. [Anthony cites studies involving children who suffered love deprivation and lack of physical contact. The results indicate that they were vulnerable to a host of diseases, that their intelligence was lower and that their rates of criminal behavior and mental illness were higher.]

I believe men and women fall more in love with each other when they’re fed by their partner.

We’ve seen it in movies, we’ve seen in magazines and photos where we see the act of feeding someone as being an act of eroticism, more than love, an act of eroticism, that it can be something that leads up to sex, and that’s because we think of the mouth. And again, what is one of the first experiences, one of the most emotionally intense experiences that a newborn has? And that’s feeding off the mother’s breast regardless of whether it’s a male or female. We also recognize that we have certain senses, one of our senses is taste. When we’re being fed, we’re engaging in 3 senses, or when we’re eating or being fed, taste because we taste the food, we smell the food, we see the food, and if we happen to, we touch the foods. So now, we’re using 4 senses which again makes it a more emotionally intense or possibly pleasurable experience. It’s also important to note that a key component of our enjoyment of food is also smell, and you’ll notice the difference when you have a cold and you just can’t taste the food. You say it yourself, “I can’t taste the food.” Really, what you’re saying is I can’t smell the food, so I can’t fully experience it.

I think also that the act of serving food to someone or feeding a partner is a very personal and intimate act. For example, if you don’t think it’s intimate, go to a stranger. If you’re a man, go up to a woman, and if you’re just sitting with her and having a business dinner, try and offer her some food with your spoon and watch her reaction as she gets extremely offended, because you’re not just entering her personal space, the act of taking food and putting it in someone else’s mouth or feeding it to someone is a very intimate action, it’s a very intimate gesture.
Making food for someone provides benefits for the preparer in terms of relationship growth.

Yes, I would argue that when you are cooking and preparing food, you are getting closer to the person because you are actually spending time, thought, attention, and focus on what you’re going to give to this person. Your intention is to express something. Even if we say it’s not an expression of romantic love, it’s an expression of your own person and you’re expressing how much this other person means to you. In other words, you are saying to this other person “you are significant to me, therefore I’m going to put the time and the effort to create this great food and I want to see you enjoying the pleasure. So if I prepare this food and I serve it to you, then what happens? Quite simply, I watch you have pleasure eating the food, and so therefore you use that to associate pleasure with me, and I associate pleasure with you because I’ve prepared this food and I see you enjoying it. So you automatically start to bond by sharing things together, sharing the act of pleasure.

How does preparing food for someone differ from creating food with someone, and are both important?

Yes, they’re both important and they’re very, very different. When I’m preparing food for you, then I’m thinking only about you, and thinking about what you want, what you need, what you unique tastes are, what your unique desires are, what your unique likes are, and I’m thinking about giving you pleasure, and I’m thinking about serving you and making you happy. Now that’s different to you and I getting together and preparing food. Why? Because now we’re bonding from the actual preparation of food, and we’re bonding from the actions of the preparing a food which might occur over a long period of time. It might be 20 minutes, it might be an hour, it might be an hour and a half. And maybe we’re communicating, maybe we’re laughing, maybe we’re gesturing, maybe we’re still kissing and touching and holding. So it becomes a bonding experience. So again, preparing food for someone is more of a bonding experience or much more powerfully bonding experience than preparing the food and serving it.

Final Word

I think that we’ve lost the art of expressing love through food because we’ve become so accustomed to rushing up to drive-through and complaining if it takes more than 30 seconds to receive the food, and then by the time we’ve actually exited the car park or the property of the fast food outlets, we’ve half-guzzled the food. So we haven’t had time to experience the food, to enjoy the food, to savor the food, nor have we had time to use the food as a bonding experience with whoever we’re with. So my point is that a lot of pleasure can be had by a couple getting together and doing the following: actually cooking food together, preparing food together, laying out the table, then eating the food together, maybe feeding each other. And another great gesture in communication and language of love is preparing the food on your own, for your partner, and then serving it.

Doing these things helps us to slow down time, help as to enjoy quality time with our partner, helps us to express an act of service, helps us to also give a gift, and it helps us to engage all of our senses. Thereby we feel much greater love. Remember that regardless of how we define the 5 or 6 languages of love, the more that we can engage all of our senses, the greater the experience is going to be, and the more emotionally intense and pleasurable the experience will be.

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