50 Date Night Questions – Get To Know Your Other Half In New and Deeper Ways

Date nights become more difficult when we are married

If you disagree, I’m sure that means you and your spouse have found ways of stepping out of the norm to keep things new.

If you found that the opener resonate with you, then fear not, this seems to be a common problem among married couples. This doesn’t necessarily mean that your marriage or love for one another is waning. Marriage is a bold and maturing step of any couple. In marriage, our lives, our living space, and our finances (hopefully) are shared. What this means is the couple now shares responsibilities together, are compelled to place more trust in each other and become more honest with one another (in fact, it should be the most honest relationship you have). Unless the union embarks on abuse or irreconcilable infidelity, this is a union with no backdoors, a relationship (perhaps a friendship) that says, “when the going gets tough, I’m not just going to run away. We are going to figure this out together and grow from it”. 

Still, couples are bound to feel periods of stagnancy when the two get into a routine. Now that you are living and bound to one another, perhaps you think you know everything about the other person already, perhaps asking how each of your days went gets old. Enjoyable and placating as it is to veg out with your spouse on the couch in front of the TV, deep down I’m sure the two of you are craving something engaging, some real quality time that is reminiscent of the “dating period”. 

In a previous relationship, I once asked a girlfriend to treat me as though I were a complete stranger, to pretend in front of our friends like we didn’t know anything about one another, to leave behind any assumptions, and to basically “play pretend”. The exercise never executed as there was some discomfort with the experiment, though I think there’s better ways of rekindling in a romance that spirit of “newness”.

Rekindling Novelty Through Date Night Questions

The awesome thing about date night questions is that it requires no fancy place to go out to, is affordable, and there’s actually an infinite amount of possibilities that will unfold with you and your spouse as you venture into said questions.

You’ll be surprised, you’ll disagree. Most importantly, you’ll probably see a new side of your spouse and get curious to see their other dimensions. 

I’ve searched for different lists of date night questions and I’m sure my list includes some of their suggestions. However, once you go through one list and had a good experience with them, you’re bound to want to try a new one. Here are 100 Date Night Questions meant to spur some new fresh talking material with you and your love.

Get ready for some crazy answers and conversation, and most importantly, get curious and dive deep into your love’s answers!

You’ll notice that some of these questions are meant to ask your partner to share about themselves and also for them to share how they perceive you. Hopefully this sharing provides new and exciting insights!

(PS: Comment below your set of Date Night Questions you’ve enjoyed using before or would like to pass on to others to try out!)

50 Date Night Questions

  1. If you had to live in another state/country for 5 years, what would be your top 3 choices be?
  2. If you had to start over and try any new field of study or career, what would it be?
  3. If you could experience a natural disaster without suffering harm or property damage, what disaster would I experience?
  4. What are my most attractive three features?
  5. What kitchen appliance would I be and why?
  6. What would you like you today go back and say to you from 3rd grade and you from middle school?
  7. What mundane super power would I have?
  8. What is something you are grateful for this week? What is something you wish you could have changed about it?
  9. In twenty years, I become famous for something. What is it for?
  10. If you could invite any celebrity over to your house for dinner, who would it be and why?
  11. If you could fly with wings or swim with fins & gills, which would you choose, and why?
  12. Your house starts on fire. Everyone else makes it out safe (including pets). You have a single backpack. What do you stuff it with, or, what three things do you take with you?
  13. What do you wish you could do over and why?
  14. What was your first impression of me when we first met? What was that day like for you? What feelings did you feel?
  15. If I had a podcast, what would it be called and what would it look like?
  16. What time and place in history would you love to go and visit and why?
  17. What extinct animal would you have as a pet?
  18. What hobby or skill do you wish you could instantly pick up?
  19. What is something you’d like me to work on?
  20. If you could only own five movies, what would they be?
  21. If I were a transformer (robots in disguise) what vehicle would I transform into?
  22. If they made a movie about me, what would they title it?
  23. If an actor/actress were to play me in a movie about me, who would you choose?
  24. In that movie about you, what opening scene would you choose?
  25. If you were stranded on a desert island, what three books would you have with you?
  26. It’s the apocalypse and you have a solar-powered CD player and just one CD. What CD is that?
  27. Money is not an issue. What does your dream home look like and where is it?
  28. Mention a dream you had when you were a kid that has stuck with you.
  29. Who is someone you wish I had a better relationship with (or extended grace to)?
  30. Which friend or family member of mine do you appreciate the most, and what is their best quality?
  31. What is the most hurtful thing a friend or family member has said to you, about you, or asked you to improve upon?
  32. What is something you wish you could improve in in regards to your relationship with others?
  33. If could be memorialized for one virtue, what would it be, and why?
  34. What food do you wish you could eat for the rest of your life without consequence?
  35. When have you experienced the most amount of pain in your life?
  36. What would you say is my spirit animal?
  37. What class are you glad you never have to take again? Why?
  38. Which teacher left the greatest impact on you? Why? What were they like?
  39. If you could ask any deceased person one question, who would you ask the question to and what would you ask?
  40. In 50 years, what invention or discovery will be attributed to me?
  41. What is a memory in my life I wish you could take a time machine to go experience?
  42. Round your age up to the next decade. If you could do whatever you wanted on that birthday of yours, what would you do?
  43. What is a fear I haven’t shared with you yet?
  44. If I wrote a self-help book titled, “5 Rules for Life” what would my 5 Rules be?
  45. Reverse Question 44…
  46. What literary/fictional character do I remind you of?
  47. When have you seen me at my best?
  48. Describe then share what you think your coat of arms, together would have, describing the following:
    1. What color (or two colors) would the shield be?
    2. What interlocking weapons/instruments/objects would appear underneath?
    3. What four symbols would appear on the crest/shield?
    4. What figures would be holding it up?
    5. What would be at the top of the helmet?
    6. What would the motto be at the end?
  49. Using my initials, describe me in three words.
  50. What question do you wish was on this list (write it down instead)?

Genesis 23-Gift Giving

Sarah lived to be a hundred and twenty-seven years old. She died at Kiriath Arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan, and Abraham went to mourn for Sarah and to weep over her.

Then Abraham rose from beside his dead wife and spoke to the Hittites.[a] He said, “I am a foreigner and stranger among you. Sell me some property for a burial site here so I can bury my dead.”

The Hittites replied to Abraham, “Sir, listen to us. You are a mighty prince among us. Bury your dead in the choicest of our tombs. None of us will refuse you his tomb for burying your dead.”

Then Abraham rose and bowed down before the people of the land, the Hittites. He said to them, “If you are willing to let me bury my dead, then listen to me and intercede with Ephron son of Zohar on my behalf so he will sell me the cave of Machpelah, which belongs to him and is at the end of his field. Ask him to sell it to me for the full price as a burial site among you.”

10 Ephron the Hittite was sitting among his people and he replied to Abraham in the hearing of all the Hittites who had come to the gate of his city. 11 “No, my lord,” he said. “Listen to me; I give[b] you the field, and I give[c] you the cave that is in it. I give[d] it to you in the presence of my people. Bury your dead.”

12 Again Abraham bowed down before the people of the land 13 and he said to Ephron in their hearing, “Listen to me, if you will. I will pay the price of the field. Accept it from me so I can bury my dead there.”

14 Ephron answered Abraham, 15 “Listen to me, my lord; the land is worth four hundred shekels[e] of silver, but what is that between you and me? Bury your dead.”

16 Abraham agreed to Ephron’s terms and weighed out for him the price he had named in the hearing of the Hittites: four hundred shekels of silver, according to the weight current among the merchants.

17 So Ephron’s field in Machpelah near Mamre—both the field and the cave in it, and all the trees within the borders of the field—was deeded 18 to Abraham as his property in the presence of all the Hittites who had come to the gate of the city. 19 Afterward Abraham buried his wife Sarah in the cave in the field of Machpelah near Mamre (which is at Hebron) in the land of Canaan. 20 So the field and the cave in it were deeded to Abraham by the Hittites as a burial site.

This reading of Genesis comes across as a Mediterranean family arguing over the bill at a restaurant. All parties become aggressively generous, dismissing each other’s graciousness to insist that they cover the bill. At its best, it’s an affable yet clumsy dance of generosity. At its worst, it’s a battle of wits, the most stubborn of the contest becoming the winner, paying perhaps for the food but in the end rewarded with a sense of superiority for being able to peacock their finances.

This back and forth between Abraham and Ephron has the potentiality of being both, of each party having good intentions while also gaining something selfish in refusing the other’s generosity.

The story reminds us that Abraham is fairly well off from all his adventures, but has become very poor through the death of his wife. He has settled among a new tribe that seems peaceful enough to dwell among, decent enough for him to dialog with. Even the people in the land regard Abraham as a “mighty prince” and perhaps see him and admire him or fear him. Abraham states his intentions, wondering who he may purchase land from to bury his wife. The people, including their leader, Ephron, insist that money is not a concern and that Abraham has free reign to choose from where he pleases.

Abraham insists on paying. Ephron and his people insist that he can have the needed land at no cost. The dialog goes back and forth like a tennis match.

ephron the caretaker

When we look at these circumstances from the perspective of Ephron and the Hittites, there’s a dozen possibilities as to why they are so insistent to give Abraham the land at no cost.

For one, Abraham is regarded as a mighty prince. As mentioned before, Abraham is known of even if he is “a stranger.” What remains unknown is if the people admire him for his power and wealth or are in fear of him. Bringing gifts to a foreign tyrant is not an atypical act for these times, but neither is buttering up a possible ally. Abraham’s power could be of interest to them, and the offer of the free land in some way is a transaction: buying off his wrath, or gaining a favor for his alliance in their time of need.

Another possibility is that Ephron’s insistence is a bit of a show, a kind of virtue signaling to bolster his character. We hear that Ephron has this dialog with Abraham in the company of his people. One can imagine his people seeing Ephron’s insistence of giving up the land is a morally good act and therefore he is to be regarded as a good leader. Another possibility is that Ephron wishes his people to see his power and wealth, to give up land for free is to perhaps communicate that he has something of great value that can be spared. Either way, there’s a possibility that Ephron’s personal interests in this are towards his own reputation. This isn’t something foreign to us today.

The positive spin on this story is that Ephron merely sees a grieving husband and is moved towards a gesture of empathy. Perhaps Ephron has lost someone in his life already. Perhaps Ephron fears of losing his own spouse seeing Abraham grieve. Even for those of us who have a hard time expressing our condolences see a value in providing a gift at the funeral: perhaps donating flowers, setting up a meal train, etc. Grief and loss comes for us all at one point in our lives, and perhaps this universal dynamic inclines Ephron and his people to invite Abraham to use their land as if he was their own kindred: they become brothers in this common human experience.

Abraham the loyal skeptic

As for Abraham, there’s some possibilities as to his insistence to pay for Sarah’s funeral.

The most immediate possibility, perhaps, is that this is a matter of pride to Abraham. Abraham has done very well for himself and so anything that comes for free to him is beneath him. Perhaps he sees the people’s gesture as robbing him of his status, of stealing away a sacred duty. Perhaps Abraham has struggled to ask for help in the past–an argument could be made of this as we see how often Abraham attempts to rely on his own wit, strength, and means before asking for God’s assistance.

Perhaps Abraham sees the gift as dangerous, not unlike the King of Sodom’s offer made after Abraham wins a war and frees his nephew Lot. We spoke earlier how gift giving has a temptation of becoming transactional, how receiving a gift can open up a gate for favors and undesired behavior as though we are handing the gift recipient a “free pass” to our own personalities. Abraham could see this gift and become afraid of repercussions, wondering if it might lead anyone to believe that he is in alliance with anyone, that Abraham might take sides when he has only tried to live for God.

The hope, however, is that Abraham has altruistic motives in insisting on paying. It’s plausible that Abraham shows how his treasure is not an attachment, and therefore insists on hospitality and generosity to those who he calls stranger, to those who perhaps have already been good neighbors to him. It’s also possible that Abraham’s payment is a solemn duty he has to place responsibility on himself to bury his wife. While Abraham is poor in land–being essentially a nomad going from place to place and living only on the outskirts of other cities–he is rich in his treasure, and so he wants some assurance that even the land he purchases is something not borrowed but something he can call his own, a sacred space that he can visit, consecrate, and adorn as he pleases for his wife.

A side note to this point is to remind us all that spending lavishly among our dead is not necessarily a gesture of dignity and love, but sometimes a strong arm of guilt that is sold to us. When our time comes to make arrangements for our loved ones, I think it important we not be ambushed by glitz and guilt at funeral parlors, but rather go in with an accountable voice that reassures us that we need not tack on zeros to a price tag to show love to those we have lost. The only true form of love we can show after that person’s passing is through prayer and fond remembrance.

Today, consider the following:

  • In what ways have you given a gift that consciously or unconsciously had something attached to it?
  • In what ways have we appeased someone because we wanted their favor or were intimidated by them? How can we be mindful of this while still maintaining integrity?
  • Consider yourself in Abraham’s shoes. What would the greatest thing a stranger could do for you or say to you?
  • When have you refused someone else’s generosity or act of kindness out of pride? What are some ways we can foster humility?
  • How difficult is it to ask for help or accept someone else’s help? What gets in the way? What can we do to let people in?
  • In what ways can we consecrate that which we love, both the living and the dead?

Genesis 14: Love Language

Genesis 14:1-24

In the days of Am′raphel king of Shinar, Ar′ioch king of Ella′sar, Ched-or-lao′mer king of Elam, and Tidal king of Goi′im, 2 these kings made war with Bera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomor′rah, Shinab king of Admah, Sheme′ber king of Zeboi′im, and the king of Bela (that is, Zo′ar). 3 And all these joined forces in the Valley of Siddim (that is, the Salt Sea). 4 Twelve years they had served Ched-or-lao′mer, but in the thirteenth year they rebelled. 5 In the fourteenth year Ched-or-lao′mer and the kings who were with him came and subdued the Reph′aim in Ash′teroth-karna′im, the Zuzim in Ham, the Emim in Sha′veh-kiriatha′im, 6 and the Horites in their Mount Se′ir as far as El-paran on the border of the wilderness; 7 then they turned back and came to Enmish′pat (that is, Kadesh), and subdued all the country of the Amal′ekites, and also the Amorites who dwelt in Haz′azon-ta′mar. 8 Then the king of Sodom, the king of Gomor′rah, the king of Admah, the king of Zeboi′im, and the king of Bela (that is, Zo′ar) went out, and they joined battle in the Valley of Siddim 9 with Ched-or-lao′mer king of Elam, Tidal king of Goi′im, Am′raphel king of Shinar, and Ar′ioch king of Ella′sar, four kings against five. 10 Now the Valley of Siddim was full of bitumen pits; and as the kings of Sodom and Gomor′rah fled, some fell into them, and the rest fled to the mountain. 11 So the enemy took all the goods of Sodom and Gomor′rah, and all their provisions, and went their way; 12 they also took Lot, the son of Abram’s brother, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed.

13 Then one who had escaped came, and told Abram the Hebrew, who was living by the oaks[a] of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol and of Aner; these were allies of Abram. 14 When Abram heard that his kinsman had been taken captive, he led forth his trained men, born in his house, three hundred and eighteen of them, and went in pursuit as far as Dan. 15 And he divided his forces against them by night, he and his servants, and routed them and pursued them to Hobah, north of Damascus. 16 Then he brought back all the goods, and also brought back his kinsman Lot with his goods, and the women and the people.

17 After his return from the defeat of Ched-or-lao′mer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley). 18 And Melchiz′edek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was priest of God Most High. 19 And he blessed him and said,

“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,    maker of heaven and earth; 20 and blessed be God Most High,    who has delivered your enemies into your hand!”

And Abram gave him a tenth of everything. 

21 And the king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the persons, but take the goods for yourself.” 22 But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have sworn to the Lord God Most High, maker of heaven and earth, 23 that I would not take a thread or a sandal-thong or anything that is yours, lest you should say, ‘I have made Abram rich.’ 24 I will take nothing but what the young men have eaten, and the share of the men who went with me; let Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre take their share.”

Fatherly Love

It may seem strange that we are discussing love language in the context of our first chapter on war in the Bible, yet we see various examples of it through three figures of leadership in Genesis 14.

As touched on in yesterday’s reflection, although Abraham has given Lot the opportunity to become his own man, he also is ready to come to Lot’s aid when he is helpless. Both are fatherly acts. 

Love often presents a challenge as to what the proper action is required, especially when it comes to a parent and a child. A parent sees to a child when they are crying and attempts to address the need. Burp if there is gas, feed if there is hunger, soothe if there is fright or pain. A parent has a responsibility to address the needs of a child given the power dynamic and given the wisdom/experience they hold.

And yet, this cannot be the only expression of love of a parent, or of any individual.

Love also requires us to surrender control, to trust someone else, and give them the space to do for themselves. Abraham didn’t settle all the disputes for Lot, make the decision where Lot would go, or till the land, he was to settle in. Abraham trusted Lot to carve his own path, to let go of that dependency, to endure a bittersweet good-bye so Lot could grow up and do for himself.

It’s a fine line of love to navigate, balancing between doing for someone else and giving space for someone to do for their own. This is not merely a dynamic seen of a parent to their child but occurs also for a child to their elderly parent that is suffering from waning strength or mental capacity. The dynamic plays out anytime there is a temptation to see overfunctioning and underfunctioning relationships, wherein an act of love develops an unhealthy dependency instead of addressing a need in order to help empower that person to later do for themselves.

Kingly Love

What follows in the narrative are tokens of appreciation from some of the Kings who have profited from Abraham’s bold charge into battle. Enter King Bera and Priest-King Melchizedek. 

It should be noted here that often Melchizedek is identified as “King of Sodom” in part because of the disjointed conversation that happens with Abraham and the King of Sodom (Bera) and the King of Salem (Melchizedek). While we may be tempted to reconcile the interruptions at the end of the chapter by saying “the two were one in the same” it doesn’t settle why King of Sodom was named at the beginning of the chapter, why the two kingdoms were named separately, and how could the priestly king that is exalted here and later in Hebrews was also ruler of the wicked city of Sodom.

What is actually more profound about the two kings coming to meet Abraham is to see the difference in their interactions with Abraham, to see stacked against each other their tokens of appreciation.

Melchizedek offers bread and wine and gives a prayer or blessing directed not to Abraham but rather to God. The symbol of the wine and bread is multi-fold, but predominantly the image that strikes us perhaps immediately is that of Communion, of the Lord’s Last Supper identifying bread as His Body and wine as His Blood. We can also see the bread and wine as a sacrifice as in the same verse that the two are mentioned we read that Melchizedek is a priest. A strong case can be made that Melchizedek wasn’t giving this to Abraham, but rather offering these two to God at an altar, on behalf of Abraham for his work. 

Conversely, the King of Sodom comes out without any blessing or prayer, but rather giving him the spoils of war–his own property he lost originally. This is to put it nicely as King Bera seems to almost haggle with Abraham for an undesignated people; we are left to wonder if these people are his own that were taken captive, or if they are prisoners of war from the other side that he’d like to take possession of. Though it sounds like King Bera is pleading/bargaining for some cut of the spoils, Abraham’s response indicates to us that King Bera was looking to gift Abraham for his troubles, to have no discrepancy of what he lost as a token of appreciation–what was his is now Abraham’s.

The reaction of the two kings is a stark difference. A meager offering–not even to Abraham–of bread and wine mingled with a prayer to God versus a great sum of wealth uncontested by a defeated king. Which is the greater offer?

Perhaps Melchizedek’s response was greater considering he gave bread and wine from his own means instead of sacrificing what he lost from the skirmish. After all, King Bera is “gifting” to Abraham what he lost in war, and “to the victor goes the spoils” in such a lawless time–this all rightfully belongs to Abraham without any international law saying otherwise. Moreover, Melchizedek offers prayer to Abraham’s god and purpose, to the Most High God, whereas King Bera makes a pseudo offering that sounds suspiciously like a negotiation.

Love Language

Gary Chapman theorized in his book “The Five Love Languages” in what ways we enjoy most receiving love and in what ways we typically show love. This consists of physical touch, words of affirmation, gifts, quality time, and acts of service. What I find helpful of the term “love languages” is that it puts a microscope under our methods of showing appreciation and establishing connection with others. What I think is required of anyone subscribing to this philosophy is to see the shadow side of some of these love languages and how there might be more languages that we typically don’t think of.

Through the example of Abraham, we have seen how acts of service comes through strongly as a love language. Abraham risks his life and those within his service to save Lot from his circumstances. That being said, we’ve also touched on how Abraham did the opposite of an act of service for Lot as a fatherly act of love: he trusted Lot to make his own decision and to grow. We perhaps don’t think of giving freedom or trust as a love language because it typically involves doing less or something that doesn’t tend to draw people together. And yet, a strong argument can be made how Abraham and Lot grew in longing and grew in appreciation once they were reunited.

King Bera communicates the love of gift-giving, though Melchizedek too to some degree. What King Bera examples vividly, however, is the vanity of gift-giving, the danger that comes with showing appreciation through material relinquishing. We see this in Abraham’s response to the spoils, mentioning how he will not hold a single spoil or piece of Bera’s treasure, mentioning that he would never want to be convicted of being called rich because of Bera’s “generosity”. Abraham communicates what I think many of us might feel when receiving large presents from someone of power, a hesitation to accept a gift when there might be strings attached to a gift, a conviction of guilt that we are in debt to the individual, turning the gift into a quid pro quo of material good for acknowledgment or respect.

We are easily jaded when a gift is guilted against us when a large sum we are given comes with some kind of expectation. The reason for this resentment we feel is because the gift is a mere disguise for a trade we are suckered into. We may find ourselves at the point of throwing out a gift or ripping up a check when we foresee a demeaning consequence to our integrity. These gifts are the true “Gift” communicated in German, a hidden poison that later destroys us.

That being said, not all gifts are awful or unholy. Gifts that are given with discernment and with true good-will overwhelm us. What seems to hold true of these good gifts is that they are not vain, shallow, or insurmountably valuable, but rather they meet our aim in life. Melchizedek’s gift was paradoxical, not something of great or rich in face value–a day’s worth of sustenance at best–and yet it was of insurmountable value considering that the gift was to God on behalf of Abraham. Abraham sees the offering made for him, hears Melchizedek’s prayer, and sees Melchizedek knows what he is about and joins him in that common goal.

Melchizedek’s prayer is also a kind of word of affirmation. Again, we ought to be careful about this love language as too often we pay vain compliments we don’t really mean, lip service to temporarily ease-out someone’s ache for validation or attention. Instead, Melchizedek’s words of affirmation go to God, acknowledging Abraham indirectly through his direct speech to God. Abraham need not feel embarrassed receiving an accolade, for God receives the glory, and Melchizedek in-passing mentions Abraham’s allegiance with God.

Touch & Quality Time

The two remaining of the love languages seemingly missing from this chapter are that of touch and quality time.

Perhaps we can argue that these were still present in Abraham’s love for Lot. By allowing Lot to leave in the first place, he surrendered the proximity–the touch–of his nephew, and then by saving him he restored some quality time with him. 

But where I feel these particular love languages coming through stronger is through Melchizedek’s offering, through their symbolic foreshadowing of what was to come: Eucharist.

God’s love is manifest in this story through the prefiguring of Communion. In Eucharist, there is an actual tangibility with God through the bread and wine, a sacred moment wherein man has the opportunity not just to experience God on the outside with his hands or touch, but for God to dwell within through receiving of Communion.

We are not alone. God is with us.

Lastly, the response to this act of love is for us to set aside time with God. While we might be tempted to say “I do my prayers” and “I go to church” we ought to consider to what degree we are giving God our attention and our heart when we do this. While these are proper and right steps towards Him for our betterment, it takes intentionality on our part to make this quality time. Just as one cannot say they spent quality time with their child by sitting on the couch with them simply scrolling on the phone or watching TV, so too we cannot argue that we have given God quality time if there is some distraction taking our thoughts or heart away from that meaningful time.

Limitations in Love

With all this being said, I think it’s prudent to give a final caution to how we view love.

The love languages are great diagnostics as to how we behave and how we prefer others to behave, though there’s some work on our end to wonder and be curious as to why we tend to give love in that certain way and why we tend to want it in a certain way. If we concede there are even five love languages to begin with, we must consider that our love language will be different from someone else’s, for better or for worse, and therefore we may then need to modify how we expect it of others and how we will give it.

There is a shadow to each of the languages lifted. Gifts become transactions, touch becomes violation, acts of service becomes an overfuncitoning dynamic, words of affirmation become lip service. Unless this is personal bias, I would argue that quality time is of the more innocent manifestations of love, that if true listening, vulnerability, and bonding is occurring that there can be no dark side to being present unto the other.

The other function that identifying these love languages has is being able to get curious as to why and how we show love/appreciation. Do we find gift giving to be our love language because we knew what it meant to be given something during a time of financial uncertainty, or do we lean on this one because it affords us something when it becomes something transactional? Do we prefer touch because we were not shown or were overly shown consolation via hugs as a child, or does the touch itself assure us that others trust us and can be intimate with us? Acts of service is not unlike gift giving in it capable of being transactional or stemming from a time of need or an underfunctioning dynamic we grew up with, and words of affirmation like touch can be something we lean towards when we feel we weren’t verbally acknowledged (or were overly acknowledged) in our growing. Perhaps the quality time we desire also fits into the words of affirmation and touch, an unmet need of being heard or given intimacy.

This is not an exhaustive list of possibilities, but I mention some of these to spur us to consider why we tend to give love and tend to expect it in a certain manner.

It is perhaps also important for us to take inventory of what love means to each of us. In English, there is only one word for love, and it is lacking in its spectrum of manifestations and usage. For some, love is an affinity or a preference. For some, love is an obsession or fixation. For some, love is a duty and stoic. For some, love is doing everything for the other. For some, love is contingent or contractual.

And yet, I think Abraham and Melchizedek example proper manifestations of love in this chapter. Their example does not cover the full spectrum of love, though certainly they show how small gestures can mean the universe, and how difficult a line it is to walk when it comes to doing for the other and letting go out of love.

Today, consider the following:

  • When do I too much for the other or struggle with the theme of control? How might I manage this?
  • When do I fail to do anything for the other when there is a real need that needs to be met? What gets in the way?
  • If I had to pick a love language that I tend to gravitate towards, what might be some reasons for developing that love language and what might its drawbacks be?