By Hope Light
Recently, co -host Sandy mentioned that food can be a “love language”; and I full-heartedly agree.
The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate, is a book written by Gary Chapman in 1992. It outlines five ways to express and experience romantic love which Chapman calls "love languages." According to him, the five languages of love are receiving gifts, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service, and physical touch. Food has the potential to simultaneously speak in all five of chapman's love languages.
On the eve of Valentine's Day people everywhere are rushing to purchase chocolates and other sweets to give to their beloved. Preparing food takes time, when done together it can be a joyful and creative shared experience. Alternatively, cooking for a loved one without their assistance can be an act of service. If you’re handy with icing, you can even scribe words of affirmation across your very own cakes and conversation heart cookies. For those whose love language is physical touch, try bringing a bottle of your favorite dessert syrup into bed with your partner.
Food is not only useful for deepening romantic bonds, research has shown that when people eat together, especially if they are directly sharing food or eating the same foods, they feel closer to one another. People may even be more likely to reach an agreement faster when sharing food with the person they are negotiating with.
Food should not be overlooked as an important aspect of self-care, eating foods that make your body feel good, which sometimes can mean indulging in that extra fudgy dessert, is a great way to love yourself.
I have often grappled with the seeming contradiction of being a feminist and of cooking dinner for my husband and children on most evenings; does the traditional labor division in our household regarding food make me less of a feminist? No. As a trained chef who no longer cooks for a living, it is a creative outlet I miss and more importantly, it is how I show I care; it is my love language. So if you're like me and you speak love through a language of food, don't be ashamed to cook for your loved ones this Valentine's Day and every day. Tonight, in true Mainer fashion, I'll be trying this lobster recipe from the New York Times.
To see some feminist inspired conversation heart cookies check out the sweet feminist and if you want to find out more about how sharing food can increase trust and cooperation check out this interview on NPR.