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Find out if you love your language

Do you love the language that you’re learning?

What is love anyway? According to the triangular theory of love, there are three components to love, and you need all three for true love:

1. Intimacy – feelings of connectedness, attachment and a sense of bondedness 2. Passion – a feeling of physical attraction and a desire for sex 3. Commitment – the decision to label your relationship as a love relationship and a commitment to maintain the relationship for at least some period of time

If your relationship has all three of these, then you have what’s called consumate love, the true and perfect love.

What does this look like when applied to languages?

1. Intimacy – You might have intimacy with a language if you feel comforted and reassured when you come across it. You feel an instant bond with people who speak it and the fact that you’re learning it is a part of who you are. 2. Passion – You might have passion for a language if you intrinsically enjoy learning and using it. You feel more alert and focused when listening to it, you are engaged as you are writing it and you walk closer to strangers who you think might be speaking it. 3. Commitment – You are committed to a language when you’re intending to learn it for some period of time. The longer you intend to learn a language for and the higher your learning goals are, the more significant your commitment to a language.

What type of love do you have for the language that you are learning?

The combination of components that you have determines your type of love. Read the descriptions to see what type of love you have for your language!

Non-love – No components

  • The type of love you have for strangers.
  • You have this for a language that you feel no affection for, you don’t enjoy and have no intention of learning.

Empty love – Only Commitment

  • Often present in the final stages of relationships gone bad. Also often the first stage in arranged marriages, when all that exists at the start is commitment.
  • Might be what you have for a language that you are forced to study at school. You intend to learn it so that you can pass your exam but you are not excited when learning it and you don’t feel bonded to it.

Liking – Only Intimacy

  • What most casual friendships are like. You like your casual friends, but you don’t want to sleep with them and you’re not committed to maintaining the friendship.
  • Might be what you have for a language that you feel affection for, but you’re not blown away by how enjoyable it is, and you don’t have any firm intentions to keep learning it in the future.

Infatuation – Only Passion

  • When you have a core physical attraction to someone, but you don’t feel a closeness to them and you’re not in a committed relationship.
  • You might be infatuated with a language if you really enjoy learning it, but you’re not familiar enough with it to have a sense of bondedness, and you haven’t made any firm commitments.

Romantic love – Intimacy and Passion

  • Often the way relationships start: you like each other and you’re physically attracted to each other but you’re not making any long-term commitments and you’re not willing to use the ‘L’ word in describing what you have.
  • You might be in romantic love with a language if you feel genuine affection for it when you hear it and you intrinsically enjoy its sound and feel, but you’re uncertain how long you’ll learn it for and how far you’ll ultimately get.

Companionate love – Intimacy and Commitment

  • The kind of love you have for your best friend.
  • You might have companionate love for a language if you bond with people who speak it and are committed to learning for at least some period of time, but you don’t feel that raw attraction for the way the language looks and sounds.

Fatuous love – Passion and Commitment

  • Some Hollywood romances are stereotypically viewed this way – you are committed to maintaining the sex in a relationship but you don’t have intimacy with each other.
  • You might be in fatuous love with a language if you are committed to learning the language for the sensual pleasure you get from it, but you don’t feel a deeper, affectionate bond to it and its speakers.

True Love – Intimacy, Passion and Commitment

You really love a language when:

  • The fact that you are learning it is part of your identity.
  • You get energised and excited by any exposure to it.
  • You have a sense of inevitability about mastering the language in the relatively near future.

So which of type of love do you have for the language you’re learning? Take the test below and find out! (Adapted from here.)

Substitute _ for the language that you are assessing.

Intimacy

1. I get a warm fuzzy feeling when I hear _. Not at all          Moderately           Extremely (1)          (2)          (3)           (4)           (5) 2. I greatly value the presence of in my life. Not at all          Moderately           Extremely (1)          (2)          (3)           (4)           (5) 3. I feel better after seeing something written in  . Not at all          Moderately           Extremely (1)          (2)          (3)           (4)           (5) 4. I feel a sense of closeness to _. Not at all          Moderately           Extremely (1)          (2)          (3)           (4)           (5) 5. I receive considerable emotional support from spending time learning . Not at all          Moderately           Extremely (1)          (2)          (3)           (4)           (5) 6. Learning is an important part of who I am. Not at all          Moderately           Extremely (1)          (2)          (3)           (4)           (5) 7. I feel a special bond with people who are learning or who speak _. Not at all          Moderately           Extremely (1)          (2)          (3)           (4)           (5) Results 25 – 35 Strong intimacy 15 – 24 Getting there… 14 or less No real intimacy Passion

1. Just seeing _ excites me. Not at all          Moderately           Extremely (1)          (2)          (3)           (4)           (5) 2. I find myself thinking about frequently during the day. Not at all          Moderately           Extremely (1)          (2)          (3)           (4)           (5) 3. I find the sound of very pleasant and attractive. Not at all          Moderately           Extremely (1)          (2)          (3)           (4)           (5) 4. I cannot imagine another language making me as happy as _ does. Not at all          Moderately           Extremely (1)          (2)          (3)           (4)           (5) 5. I would rather learn than any other language. Not at all          Moderately           Extremely (1)          (2)          (3)           (4)           (5) 6. There is something almost “magical” about my relationship with . Not at all          Moderately           Extremely (1)          (2)          (3)           (4)           (5) 7. I cannot imagine life without _. Not at all          Moderately           Extremely (1)          (2)          (3)           (4)           (5) Results 25 – 35 Strong passion 15 – 24 Getting there… 14 or less No real passion Commitment

1. Because of my commitment to _, I sometimes miss out on leisure activities. Not at all          Moderately           Extremely (1)          (2)          (3)           (4)           (5) 2. I have confidence in the stability of my positive relationship with . Not at all          Moderately           Extremely (1)          (2)          (3)           (4)           (5) 3. I could not let anything get in the way of my commitment to . Not at all          Moderately           Extremely (1)          (2)          (3)           (4)           (5) 4. I expect my love for _ to last for the rest of my life. Not at all          Moderately           Extremely (1)          (2)          (3)           (4)           (5) 5. I cannot imagine ending my relationship with . Not at all          Moderately           Extremely (1)          (2)          (3)           (4)           (5) 6. Even when is hard to deal with, I remain committed to our relationship. Not at all          Moderately           Extremely (1)          (2)          (3)           (4)           (5) 7. I know that I will master _, it’s just a question of when. Not at all          Moderately           Extremely (1)          (2)          (3)           (4)           (5) Results 25 – 35 Strong commitment 15 – 24 Getting there… 14 or less No real commitment

So which type of love do you have? Were you surprised by the results? Post in the comments below!

Discussion

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