The 5 Love Languages & Their Dialects

The 5 Love Languages book by Gary Chapman became quite popular as it displayed the way people express and receive love in rather concrete conceptual behaviors. This is something I’ve broadcasted about, blogged about, posted about — and generally feel confident in some rather involved discourse.

However, through this lock-in-corona-pocalyptic-lifestyle….. I made a rather striking realization.

And, noted: This is likely not ground breaking… but, it was in those precious moments… for me any way. So, I thought to share 🙂

THE STORY BEGINS: Some mornings ago, my son discovered this love note written by my wife (words of affirmation written, love expressed) to my son (words of affirmation read, love received).

To me, this was a generally standard expression and reception of love within the framework of the 5 love languages.

I had long appreciated that how you give love isn’t the same as how you speak it. For myself, I tend to express through acts of service. However, I receive through quality time and physical touch.

THEN, it dawned on me — while “how you speak” isn’t how you necessarily “receive love;” there are additional complexities to dialects within each major love language. It dawned on me because my son didn’t initially have much interest in that love note.

Then, I told him that the way he feels when receiving gifts (one of his primary love languages) is the way your mom feels when she gets your snuggles. This is another way she wants to show how much she loves you. He immediately ran back to the love note to read it. Then, ran to his mom to give her the snugs.

I thought… this is different. There are nuances in translating each language to each other; YET, even within these love languages… there exist dialects!

So, without further ado… here are my April 2020 interpretations of The 5 Love Language & Their Dialects.

1. Words of Affirmation

Again… nothing earth shattering, just a moment of clarity. It came to me that affirmation comes in many nuanced shades — and, that even within this language there are dialects that are both receptive and expressive in nature. So, without making a thing of it… here are some ideas of how your loved ones might appreciate in precision “Affirmation” as a love language.

  • Words of encouragement.

  • Words of love.

  • Word of affection.

  • Words of recognition.

  • Words of compassion.

  • Words of empathy.

  • Words of understanding.

  • Words of assurance.

2. Quality Time

Quality Time is another interesting, but perhaps more salient language with more distinct dialects than words. Words, of course, mean more than what is said and many times it is what isn’t said which means most. However, with Quality Time, you have to be spending time together. So, much of the dialects within this language is related to what is being or not being done with that time.

  • Time doing nothing — just being.

  • Time doing an activity.

  • Time spent in a hobby.

  • Time completing a task or errand.

  • Time shared in entertainment.

  • Time shared in fandom.

  • Time playing board games

  • Time playing video games.

  • Time relaxing.

  • Time spent in physical touch.

3. Physical Touch

Similar to the concept of the three dimension’s of love: Intimacy, Passion, and Commitment — a la Sternberg’s Triangular Theory… I feel that Physical Touch exists in similar planes.

  • There is obviously physical touch that is sensual (or, passionate) in nature.

  • There is also physical touch that communicates commitment.

  • There is physical touch that conveys intimacy (or, trust).

  • Physical Touch can also exist in combination sets such as romance or companionship.

And, I do also believe that physical touch can be expressive and receptive in nature — that one may “speak” more fluently in say sensual love but requires receiving commitment love in physical touch in order to fill that meter of love going out and coming inbound.

4. Acts of Service

Acts of Service was really what struck me as intriguing regarding dialects of love. Nuanced much as in Words of Affirmation, there are parallel similarities with Quality Time in what is done or not done through actions.

  • Things done for the beloved.

  • Things done so that the beloved doesn’t need to perform those tasks.

  • Things done in addition or in conjunction to customary acts of service.

  • Things done as a surprise or bonus on top of acts showing love through service.

  • Things done with specifically loving intents.

I’ve learned much of these from my wife. Christina has routinely pointed out that I express much love through my actions. There are things she feels loved by which I do all the time; other actions I do only during special occasions; others matter because of the intent; and yet others, to alleviate the pressures to Christina, my beloved.

5. Gifts

Here’s another gem wisdom as pointed out by my wife. Gifts are big for kiddos because they don’t have the capacity or capability to afford their own. They don’t get to just spend money on toys or swag because they want to — they rely upon parents to buy it for them, which can both make it a battle and a joy, depending on how the family units responds.

That said, if done right: gifts, presents, treats, bonuses… these can become a huge deal and a great source of receptive and expressive love.

As mentioned above, I realized the depth of this when I told my son something to the effect, “You know how much you feel loved when you get presents and toys? That’s how much mom feels love when you give her the snuggles.”

This, on a separate day — he immediately RAN OFF… and, snuggled my wife for the longest and sweetest time.

While this is perhaps my weakest area in terms of love language fluency, I’ve began to appreciate it more because my son LOVES GIFTS. And, he legitimately feels loved through gifts. We crossed this stumbling block early one when we put his toys in time out… it CRUSHED him.

It took us quite some time to realize… putting toys in time out wasn’t crushing because he was losing privileges. It crushed him because to him… those toys EMBODIED our love for him.

To our son: Putting toys in time out meant that we were putting our love for him in time out.


So… (and, on such a positive note, LOL!) to close out today’s blog: Here are some examples of dialects within Gifts as a love language:

  • Gifts given because the gift reminded the giver of the beloved.

  • Gifts given because of a special occasion.

  • Gifts given for whimsical reasons — “just because I love you.”

  • Gifts given because it fills a long awaited need or desire.

  • Gifts given to match or add upon other gifting themes — such as collections or fandoms.

  • Gifts given to celebrate achievement or landmark/life-tile moments.

  • Gifts given because it was merely asked — like when a child sees an amazing toy and wants to have it. You surprise them by saying, “Yes. Yes, you may.”

The conveying of love and the receiving of love is highly interpretive. Context matters. Timing matters. The language used and the dialects chosen, matter.

So… what languages and dialects to you speak, and… hear???

They Were Wrong | Dad Thoughts While “Sheltered in Place”

Thanks to COVID-19, we’ve all had a lot more time to… think. At least, that’s the case if you’ve been living in a “shelter in place” / don’t leave home situation — thinking is the one thing you’ve probably had too much time for. That said, I wrote this list before the outbreak… and, today’s post is really more of just that: A list of short thoughts.

They Were Wrong About…

1. Pens vs. Pencils

“When you grow up, adults use pens… not pencils.” WRONG… And, NEITHER. The most common way we write… is with our fingers… in the sand — I mean, on a screen.

Grown ups don’t write in cursive with a fountain pen… they mash on letters with their thumbs. You know… because, I said so!

2. “When you grow up, you won’t be carrying a calculator everywhere you go.”

Guess teachers didn’t see that coming when they made us buy TI83s! 😒

3. “Video games will melt your brain.”

Playing Video Games Really Does Make You Smarter, Study Finds. Not to mention, most of our learning software and e-learning platforms are essentially video game platforms in their own way… they may not exactly look like a real time strategy game or a scrolling game like Super Mario — but, it IS a digital interface with rules, goals, and aims.

The thing is, you aren’t going for coins or points — your gaming for grades and degrees.

4. Cartoons Distort Your Sense of Reality.

There are waaaay too many examples — but, I have to say that productions in the 90s were WAY ahead of their time. My example of the day: X-Men, with great social lessons on discrimination, women in leadership; “different yet same” as with the character Master Mold, stating that there are humans that hate mutants — this is an oxymoron as mutants ARE human.

“So often in our history, unhappy misguided people have created scapes goats — blaming those that are different for the problems in their own lives.

Professor X, X-Men The Animated Series

Wow… right???

5. Sci-Fi is Pure Fantasy.

First off… in Star Trek, everything became real or is becoming real… and, very likely will otherwise be as such in due time… mostly. Maybe not Q… maybe? Who knows! But, here’s something for consideration:

ALSO: The Next Generation (TNG), Deep Space Nine (DS9) and Voyager also had some of the best “early” examples of inclusivity; strong female characters, women in leadership/career paths, diversity driven story arcs, females in story arcs that don’t necessarily involve a romantic interest, etc.

So yeah… They were wrong 😉

Just because something worked for one generation doesn’t mean that such success will transplant across to the next.

10 Year Anniversary: Life Tile Achievement, Disney World, and Social Distancing

Yes, 10 years ago — it all happened 🙂

*Bad-Dink!* — 10 Years Married
We were supposed to go on a two week vacation — well 10 days. Something like this not to unlike this…?

Then… this happened…

COVID-19 … aka: Coronavirus

And then, sadly… all of this:

Which meant… our 10 year anniversary trip to Disney World which had literally been 10 years in the making… was cancelled.
Social Distancing Began…
Wait… one meter??? They said 6 feet… 🤔
Where… if you got lucky, the aforementioned achievement now became a game of…
Which fortunately, at least in California… you were allowed to do so long as you stayed 6 feet away from folks.

Nevertheless… while disappointed, we were determined not to be defeated by the happenings. So, this is how it all went down.

1. My First True Straight Razor Shave

Why not? I had been shaving with a straight razor shavette for a while; and, felt it was appropriate to be cleanly shaven for my anniversary. Wifey likes. Hint to the wise, be what wifey likes 😉

In any case, having been shaving with a shavette for about a year and half, I felt it was high time to invest in a high quality straight razor and all the accoutrements — brush, bowl, canvas and leather strops, and pyramid of whetstone grits… after all, I wasn’t going to send in the razor… I was going to be my own honemeister — especially having a side hobby of sharpening knives and axeheads, why not???

And, I must say… it was a joy and a success. No cuts!

2. Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse… I mean, Take House… I mean, Take OUT

We WERE going to have Teppan in Japan, ECPOT, Disney World. But yeah… NOPE! So, we did the next best thing which had become a micro-tradition for us: Ruth’s Chris.

And, truth be told: We were in it for the Creme Brûlée.

As I ordered everything over the phone, stuff was ridiculously half off for most orders. In retrospect, that was because 1/2 the experience at the restaurant is truly the plating. So, Chilean Sea Bass… 1/2 off — and also really made realize I just prefer fish raw. Sushi is my kind of seafood.

A bunch of sides… 1/2 off. Bone in Filet Mignon. THEN, two orders of Creme Brûlée. Half Off. Weird, right?

Well… that’s because they don’t have any plating or containers for the dessert… so it was 50% OFF…… served as a “bless their hearts” trying Creme Brûlée in a Cup… well, takeout box… all smashed up .. LOL. meh. what are you doing to do?

Answer: NOTHING.

3. “We did nothing, we did NOTHING!”

A hilarious bit by John Mulaney… we did nothing. Life has been so ridiculously busy. It was actually a spiritual reprieve to just be… to rest… to be still.

4. Play with Nathan for hours.

I’m not even kidding on this one. We’ve been playing for HOURS. I’ve been exhausted lol… it’s striking how much energy children have, how vibrant their imagination is, and how genius they can be in their thought.

I was also reminded of this one meme I came across… and, has since changed my ideation of “PLAY” forever. And so… we played. For hours 🙂

5. No Disney, No Cry!

Because… we have Disney+. LOL, but really… I have been quite up and down since coming to terms with the fact that our epic 10 year anniversary trip is dashed… ours and everyone else. And yeah… I’ve seen that Canadian kid. But, I’m not Canadian (and unlike popular opinion)… I’m not that nice! hah.

But, one night, I was browsing Disney+ content and found this “Melody Time” medley and stumbled across a wonderful bit that I had plum forgotten — Johnny Appleseed.

I cried. No seriously… it made me cry and remember how much I truly have to be thankful for.

Then… it reminded me of the other day, watching X-Men The Animated Series… content which was DECADES ahead of its time. That and Star Trek TNG. Trust me on that one, I think it’s still on Amazon Prime.

Oh, and… I hadn’t really known it but I was honored and pleasantly surprised to be named a Top Dad Blogger 2020. I know, right?!

Down for some lessons learned? Down?? DOWN!!!


1. Wait For Nothing

I am so blessed — even relieved… that we took that spur of the moment trip to Disney World as a family, and, that we recently had gone to Disneyland AND was able to (through a very generous series of events) experience Rise of the Resistance. Yeah… we did, it happened, and it was amazing. #SorryNotSorry

This even ties in with getting my straight razor. With the COVID-19 situation, shipping has gone to putt… unless it’s deemed essential, you won’t be getting your purchases for WEEKS…. not the usual 24-48 hours you’re accustomed to.

Want swag? Get it. It’ll be gone. They won’t make any more. We see this happen all the time at Disney Parks.

Want to achieve something, work up to something, try something out? Start now… RIGHT NOW. If anything, write it down in a piece of paper and tape it to your refrigerator.

If you write it down, you’ll be that much more likely to do it.

2. It Takes Strength To Be Kind

For reference, click here to view this Instagram story I posted. TLDR…er. Watch..??… it was about me buying a basket of food for someone who needed it. The amount of shock to kindness received was reward enough. It was my turn to be kind.

I can only imagine how the world would benefit in this outbreak of COVID-19 in such a time when fear is running amok, kindness would be that much more wonderful.

PARTICULARLY during a night where I was broken by the news of Racist Attacks Against Asians Continue to Rise as the Coronavirus Threat Grows: Countries worldwide are reporting an uptick in assaults against citizens of Asian descent. Yeah yeah… I know, it’s People Magazine. But, I dare you — Google it. It’s corroborated by many outlets… and, please remember…. I have quite a bit of mixed heritage.

At risk of hijacking my own thoughts… let’s just end this all with: Be Kind. Be Generous. Give Often.

3. Resilient. Relentless. Resolved.

The world is a rough place. Life isn’t fair. People aren’t always nice. And, there’s but a small group of people you can truly count on to watch your back.

Therefore: Be resilient in your walk. Be relentless in your pursuits. Be resolved to finish your path.

I teach my son as much and as often as I can about grit. I told him…

Grit: “Never give up. Finish the job.”

—Daddy In The Raw

LOL, yeah I just quoted myself. Common, you all know that I like to be happy. I like liking things — I have 90 minutes of me fanboying out and saying so, right here on the Duck Legs Podcast: Life Lessons from Star Wars & TROS Review with Dr. Ben Fung & Dr. Scotty Butcher [E].

Final random “dad” ideas…

During this time when we all seemed to be shelter in place…

ONE: I was thinking of doing a regular dad hour…. eh… dad 10 minutes broadcast/video-podcast/raw thoughts. Daddy In The Raw Food For Thought? LOL… yeah it’s late and it’s been a week… we’ll come up with a better name for this hair-brained-idea.

And, TWO: I was thinking about taking up comedy. I realized in all my public speaking, I tend to embed quite a bit of humor… dad jokes…… I got a great one regarding body chills, but, I’m not allowed to tell it (yet).

How Star Wars, Game of Thrones, and Avengers: Endgame Made Me A Better Parent

LOL…. bet you were never expecting to read THAT kind of title from a dad blog. #InsertSmirkEmojiHere… oh wait,…. ⇒ 😏

Seriously though, there is something about these stories in certain commonalities for certain schools of thought.. and, it’s all based on…

Now that enough time has passed for general audiences to not panic about #NoSpoilers… we need to talk.


The Last Jedi, the last season of Game of Thrones… even the smashing success of Avengers: Endgame — these have been incredible contributions to cinema; AND YET, there has been and continues to inevitably be, a bunch of sour folks who call themselves “fans” in a fashion as if they are the only true fans… being salty poor losers that the way these stories unfolded, didn’t go the way they wanted them to.

And, here’s the thing… it’s not even THEIR story to tell.

But, as you were reading it, you probably read it that way, didn’t you?

“…. the way their stories unfolded”

Here’s the thing…

I like things and I’m a happy fan.

Even with the closure of the Skywalker saga with Star Wars Episode IX — I’m *still* a happy fan!

That’s right, I like to like things, and, I no matter how the lore unfolds in these many universes and stories that I adore, my day is not made worse because it wasn’t told in the way or put forth in the type of direction or conclusion that I otherwise would have liked, preferred, expected, or felt to have been “better.”

I have my mindset as such because I know these aren’t my stories to tell. I’m a fan. And, I’m a fan of the stories no matter how they go — because, I believe that there are LESSONS to be learned and more importantly… lessons to be TAUGHT to our younglings.

Here are a few examples of things I didn’t like, but… served to really tie in the lore of these wonderful stories.

Fair Warning: SPOILER ALERT!

You’ve been warned…
  1. Star Wars: The Last Jedi
    I did NOT like the way The Last Jedi depicted long range turbo lasers.
    It DID, however, do a great job reinforcing and explaining away that different energies in the Star Wars universe can be shielded for in different ways. AND, that blaster bolts in this universe dissipate energy over distance, much in the fashion that musket fire from the 1700s weren’t accurate nor energy efficient over long distances. So, the space battles we see in Star Wars as well as land battles with blasters makes a lot more sense with the legendary inaccuracies of the Stormtroopers — despite their serving as highly trained and equipped Imperial shock troopers.
  2. Game of Thrones: Season 8 — Jon’s Ending.
    So what if he’s heir to the Iron Throne? Did he ever want it or anything of that ilk? He was raised thinking he deserved nothing. All he ever wanted was the absence of judging eyes and freedom. He also was a duty bound character, which led him to much suffering despite his grit. He deserved the throne in many ways… he didn’t get it. Tough. Life. And guess what? Jon was happy with it… to be free folk.
  3. Avengers: Endgame — The Rushed Ending
    Phase 4 is around the corner, so all the loose ends can’t be tied up. There is now a serious multi-verse situation in the MCU. So, what about Cap? Of ALL the characters, he deserves a break…. as in his life to be lived. And, yeah… I cried like a baby for the entire ending… and, on my way out of the theater…. just like…. emotional destruction for a grown @$$ man. LOL. But, I loved it!
  4. Honorable Mentions As Of Late…
    => Toy Story 4… cried
    => Solo movie, explained — “I’ve outrun Imperial star ships. Not the local bulk cruiser, I’m talking about the big Corellian ships… she’s fast enough for the old man.” Episode IV, Han Solo.
  5. Back to Star Wars IX: Rey was a Palpatine all along.
    I don’t mind saying that I CALLED THIS. Regardless of if this was originally the plan, completely retconned for Episode IX… whatever the case. #CalledIt

    Listen to these podcast episodes:
    => Life Lessons from Star Wars & TROS Review with Dr. Ben Fung & Dr. Scotty Butcher, The Duck Legs Podcast
    => Same podcast — on Apple podcasts

So… how does all this lead me to being a better parent?

Tough Lessons from A Galaxy Far Far Away, Westeros, and Earth-199999 (and/or Earth-616).

I know this isn’t the most organized post. But, I wanted to put these random thoughts out as a collection of cognitive slices to communicate that all these stories tell tales of struggles; of life and death; of heroism and cowardice; of good versus evil; of massive gray areas; of fandoms vs. the way things are vs. the way things should be.
Here are lessons from these fandoms that made me a better dad:
  1. Doing the right thing doesn’t always reward you, but it is the right thing.
  2. It’s not YOUR story… so you don’t get a say. But, you DO get to enjoy it and you do get to play to your own imagination and fandom.
  3. Heroes make the sacrifice play. It doesn’t mean its a winning play.
  4. The quicker you accept what has happened, the swifter you can begin affecting the future.
  5. Where you come from, does not define you.
  6. You are not your family.
  7. How you grew up, doesn’t destine you to repeat it — in others (your kids) or yourself.
  8. We are never too old to learn from our mistakes.
  9. It is never too late to change.
  10. Some people will always been Full On Daenerys (GoT Reference). They will never know it, but YOU will know it as you watch them enjoy making the world burn to build their own kingdoms.
  11. The enemy always works from the shadows.
  12. Incorruptibility is found honest souls.
  13. Even the best of intentions can lead to disasters.
  14. Lead selflessly and people will come when you need them most.
  15. When new information comes to light (retconned or not), you can choose to accept it; or, you can continue to live in your past understandings which are very much most likely now in complete error. This is a thing in science, in social contracts, in relationships…. etc.
  16. New information should not ever shake your faith. Faith and knowledge are on different planes, but they do intersect.
  17. Vanity can destroy generations of peace.
  18. Impossible happened because you let it happen.
  19. Own your mistakes by never permitting them another sunrise.
  20. You are never alone.

We all have things we geek out about. That’s whats so cool about the enjoyment of life, imagination, play, and common interests. Whether these are sports teams, SciFi opera characters, feudal fantasy realms, or anything else — a sense of unity beyond all the daily things that weigh us down.

Fandom creates this sense that regardless of creed, we can all enjoy this thing we love for at least this time together.

Perhaps thats a metaphor about life. Life is so short, so precious, so terrifyingly fragile… what these fandoms really taught me in terms of being a better dad:

Be my kid’s biggest fan.