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Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews -- For those who like their news and truths frank and sharp

The five love languages that are not

Let’s first define love.

Jewish Love

My understanding of love in the Hebrew Bible is that it doesn’t mean having warm feelings for someone.

“I love fish,” said the man, and he had another herring. But, if he really loved fish, he wouldn’t eat them.

“I love her because she’s so beautiful” just means that she makes him feel good, just like the herring.

I love the Jews because I want to be close to them. Can’t be the real thing.

“Love your neighbor” rather must mean: Make your neighbor feel that you love them. It must have to do with them, not just with you.

“I love people who look like/talk/have …” is the same self-love. You love the feeling you get with such people. That’s not loving the other.

In a working, eternal love relationship, it works best when both lovers make the other feel loved, not chase what they want from the other.

(That’s what could make porno or masturbation so counterproductive. It trains you to seek what you want, instead of developing what you have to offer. For some women, denied their sexuality, it may have some value.)

To reach the other, the following tries to help.

Communicating Love

Thirty decades ago, someone suggested five different ways of how people can feel loved and try to communicate their love. When partners speak a different love language, they may fail to receive and send the love there is.

These are the ones he found:

● Spending quality time together

● Giving small gifts

● Doing something for the other

● Physical touch (may include sex if appropriate)

● Nice, supportive words.

Learning your partner’s love language could help you understand what translation your loved one needs from your ‘natural’ way to give love. And to explain to your partner what translation you need to receive their love.

So, one may give a present, and the other might think: “I could’ve bought that myself,” or: “anyone can buy me something small.” If it would be their love language, they would think: “It’s special because you gave it to me.”

For some, a hug supports. For others, it says: “You want me to shut up?”

One might do the dishes, and the partner could think: “A housekeeper could do this. But, when will I hear something nice?” Or one may say sweet things, and the partner could think: “Just words; why not do something?”

And, things may be even less simple. Your loved one’s love language could be touch, but since s/he was sexually abused, the offer to touch might need to be suggested with much patience and sensitivity, and the tiniest trigger warning must be heeded immediately always, maybe for a decade.

Words of support are also not always simple. Most people would love a word of encouragement. But, some people feel slighted by that. “As if any words could alleviate my great suffering. If it was so simple, I would have heartened myself.” They may feel heard and seen by a simple empathetic acknowledgment: “How hard this must be,” “How do you go on?”

Another problem with this system is it relies on self-reporting. You’d ask me: “Do you like presents?” Since I’m not possessive, I’d say: “Nah.” But if you’d give me a present, I’d be overcome by emotions and feel loved.

Also, it assumes that how we try to give love is the way we expect love. Not necessarily so. Your generous way might differ from your own need.

Open Your Mind

However, this love languages system looks at five communication ways, and surprisingly it finds … five ways. Duh. ​Does not work for me. Makes me imperceptible because it doesn’t hear some of my languages.

It’s always a problem in therapy when therapists assume that some approach works best for everyone instead of keeping an open mind.

Let me give six more love languages, not to say: that’s all there is, but rather, to advocate to keep an eye out for whatever individuals deal with.

● Being similar (in taste, opinion, work, looks)

● Being opposites (worldview, character, emotional strengths)

● Being close, emotionally and physically

● Doing activities together (activism, vacation)

● Protecting the other (in Asian romantic movies)

● Surprise the other (be the first to answer their need).

So, there must be 50 ways to love your lover.

One bonus tip. If you want your partner to change, love them. That’ll give them wings. But if you’d tell them to change, they feel unloved and stuck.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, previously a daily blog contributor to the TOI. He often makes his readers laugh, mad, or assume he's nuts—close to perfect blogging. As a frontier thinker, he sees things many don't yet. He's half a prophet. Half. Let's not exaggerate. He doesn't believe that people observe and think in a vacuum. He, therefore, wanted a broad bio that readers interested can track a bit what (lack of) backgrounds, experiences, and educations contribute to his visions. * This year, he will prioritize getting his unpublished books published rather than just blog posts. Next year, he hopes to focus on activism against human extinction. To find less-recent posts on a subject XXX among his over 1500 archived ones, go to the right-top corner of a Times of Israel page, click on the search icon and search "zuiden, XXX". One can find a second, wilder blog, to which one may subscribe, here: https://mmvanzuiden.wordpress.com/ or by clicking on the globe icon next to his picture on top. * Like most of his readers, he believes in being friendly, respectful, and loyal. However, if you think those are his absolute top priorities, you might end up disappointed. His first loyalty is to the truth. He will try to stay within the limits of democratic and Jewish law, but he won't lie to support opinions or people when don't deserve that. (Yet, we all make honest mistakes, which is just fine and does not justify losing support.) He admits that he sometimes exaggerates to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quite a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * Sometimes he's misunderstood because his wide and diverse field of vision seldomly fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what some love about him. He has written a lot about Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (including basic statistics), Politics (Israel, the US, and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight reality), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, LGBTQIA+, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), the Climate Crisis, Ecology and Veganism, Affairs from the news, or the Torah Portion of the Week, or new insights that suddenly befell him. * Chronologically, his most influential teachers are his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach, and, lehavdil bein chayim lechayim, Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff, and Rav Meir Lubin. This short list doesn't mean to disrespect others who taught him a lot or a little. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, and disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed. He aims to bring a fresh perspective rather than harp on the obvious and familiar. When he can, he loves to write encyclopedic overviews. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds should be disputed. In short, his main political positions are among others: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, anti those who abuse democratic liberties, anti the fake ME peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, pro-Science, pro-Free Will, anti-blaming-the-victim, and for down-to-earth, classical optimism, and happiness. Read his blog on how he attempts to bridge any tensions between those ideas or fields. * He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (https://diethylstilbestrol.co.uk/studies/des-and-psychological-health/), born in 1953 to his parents who were Dutch-Jewish Holocaust survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork. He grew up a humble listener. It took him decades to become a speaker too, and decades more to admit to being a genius. But his humility was his to keep. And so was his honesty. Bullies and con artists almost instantaneously envy and hate him. He hopes to bring new things and not just preach to the choir. * He holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam) – is half a doctor. He practices Re-evaluation Co-counseling since 1977, is not an official teacher anymore, and became a friendly, powerful therapist. He became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years, he was active in hasbara to the Dutch-speaking public. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second-generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having an original peek outside of your cultural bubble. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me.
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