THE DIFFERENT WAYS OF LOVE
Inspired by American marriage expert Gary Chapman’s concept of love languages, we asked women and their parents to share how they show each other they care.
Seven women and their parents share how they show each other they care.
1 LOVE LANGUAGE: Words of affirmation “I moved to Singapore to be with my husband, but Mum still lives in Manila, Philippines. Because of the distance, we’re always sending each other text messages to say we love each other. One of her favourite lines is: ‘You drive me crazy, but I love you like crazy.’” – Jana Blanco, 30, student LOVE LANGUAGE: Quality time “Jana and I love doing everything together – eating, watching movies and dancing. We also share the same sense of humour and love making silly jokes, which sometimes don’t make sense to anyone else. Since we live apart now, we try to Facetime or text each other as often as we can.” – Jacqui Lane, 52, homemaker 2 LOVE LANGUAGE: Quality time “Mum and I bond over a common love for animals and old movies from my childhood. Every weekend, we take our dogs to the Bishan Park dog run and unwind by watching films like The Sound of Music, The Wizard of Oz or Pippi Longstocking at night. And knowing that she loves Cesar Millan, I surprised her with tickets to his show in Singapore last year. She was so pleased!” – Zen Law, 29, marketing and PR executive LOVE LANGUAGE: Acts of service “Zen’s very busy at work so if she manages to come home early, I’ll cook her favourite dishes – kiam chye (salted vegetable) soup or belacan (fermented shrimp paste) fish. I’ll also pick her up from work if she’s tired, and when she has to pack for work trips but doesn’t have the time, I’ll do it for her.” – Huney Goh, 59, homemaker
3 LOVE LANGUAGE: Quality time and acts of service “I don’t live with my parents, so I look forward to having dinner with them every Friday. Before he retired, I’d usually pick Dad up from work and we’d chat in the car. He’s very interested in gadgets, but has difficulty figuring out their functions. It took patience on my part, but I’ve successfully taught him how to use the iPhone and compact camera, and how to play app games!” – Kwok Tien Nee, 38, design director LOVE LANGUAGE: Acts
of service “I show my affection for Tien Nee through food. Whenever she stays over, I prepare a sumptuous breakfast of all her favourite hawker foods, for her to dig into when she wakes up. She loves durians, so when the fruit is in season, I load our fridge with it on Thursday nights for her to enjoy the next day.” – Kwok Fah Seng, 70, retiree
4 LOVE LANGUAGE: Quality time “Before I had my baby last year, Dad and I used to go for long walks – along the Kallang River and Bukit Timah Hill forest paths – at least twice a month. During these walks, I’d share what was going on in my life and seek advice if I was having problems. I really treasure those times together. Now, my dad helps look after my kid so he drives me to and from work, and we use these car journeys to catch up.” – Manda Tay, 29, civil servant LOVE LANGUAGE: Words of affirmation and acts
of service “I communicate with Manda quite frequently through SMS – usually just texts asking her how her day was, what she’s doing now or what she had for lunch. It shows her that I’m thinking of her and care about her. I travel to Malacca very often and when I do, I always buy her favourite fruits – langsat and mangosteens – and deliver them to her home.”
– Michael Tay, 71, retired 5
LOVE LANGUAGE: Physical touch and
quality time “It’s my habit to give Mum a goodbye kiss before I leave for work every day. And no matter how busy I am at work, I always find time to chat with her and check in on her throughout the day. On weekends, when we have more time to catch up, we usually have brunch before heading to church and then we grab a bite again after.” – Pearli Bersamin, 43, studio manager LOVE LANGUAGE: Acts of service “I show my love for Pearli by ensuring that she and her family are well-fed. Every morning, I pack lunches for her husband and kids to take to work and school. Then I’ll wait for her to wake up so we can have breakfast – that’s our private time together. When everyone comes home at the end of the day, there’s dinner waiting for them on the table.” – Jorgelita Carmona, 67, homemaker
6 LOVE LANGUAGE: Quality time and gifts “I take Mum out for monthly beauty treats – blowouts at hair salons, facials at spas and foot massages – and tea after that. These half-day catch-ups let us reminisce about the past, which I enjoy doing. I also pick up the tab for my parents’ twice-yearly holidays around the region with their siblings.” – Kwok Wai Mui, 37, programme manager LOVE LANGUAGE: Acts of service “Knowing that Wai Mui is health-conscious, I wake up at 6am to buy fresh fish and meat from the market to cook a nutritious breakfast of porridge, noodles or oats for her. She likes to have steamed fish for dinner, so I prepare a separate portion of cod fish, threadfin or salmon – the only fish she eats – just for her.”
– Teo Puah Sang, 67, homemaker
7 LOVE LANGUAGE: Gifts “Mum likes luxury bags. But she’d never fork out money to buy one, preferring to spend on the family and pick up bargain buys for herself. So after I got my first pay cheque, I saved up for three months and bought her her first Tod’s handbag. Over the years, I’ve given her five luxury handbags. She’s always happy and proud to carry them to her monthly gatherings with friends!” – Gabrielle Lim, 28, business owner LOVE LANGUAGE: Acts of service “Gabrielle has her own business and works from home. So if she needs help with logistics – packing and posting parcels or getting stationery – I’m there. When she’s stressed and tired, I prepare soothing herbal teas for her. I’ve learnt how to cook whatever she’s craving, like Japanese teriyaki salmon and Italian aglio olio pasta.” – Ong BG, 55, homemaker