“What are you doing here?”
It was an honest question. I had no idea how to respond, greatly aware that I hadn’t completely considered my reason.
The question hung in the air — time passing, and I still wasn’t answering. I had apparently lost the ability to “language.”
Before I could answer, though, I had to know myself.
Why was I there? My friend hadn’t requested I join him. There was no real purpose for my presence.
I’d just volunteered — maybe more like invited myself in. I tried coming up with my logic for joining him.
Do I want him not to be lonely?
He’s an introvert, so that wasn’t gonna fly.
He might need my help with something.
But he’s a grown man — older than I am, actually. Not taking off either.
I just want him to know I care.
That’s interesting. How would sitting next to him without speaking to each other while we work show care? Who on earth would find that “caring” or “loving”?
I would . . .
The answer hit me like a big yellow school bus. I wasn’t here for him; I was here for me.
Regarding The 5 Love Languages, my second greatest “love language” is quality time. I communicate and receive love simply by being physically present with someone.
We can be silent for hours — but if we are “intentionally” together, then I perceive it as a sign of care and love.
I joined my friend this day literally just to communicate that I care about him and, maybe more so, as a gesture to receive similar care and love from him.
I’d hoped to feel love from him.
That sounds innocent — but, obviously, I hadn’t told him this. I hadn’t even asked if quality time was a love language he understood enough — to give or receive.
It was like I’d started speaking Chinese to him without asking if he even spoke Chinese. And then I got upset when he tried to speak English or just didn’t respond to me.
I processed all this as fast as I could, the question still hanging in the air:
What are you doing here?
I laid out the answer. Plain and simple.
However, it didn’t quite work. The asker wasn’t convinced — or, at least, he wasn’t sure that was an okay reason.
But I do tend to ask myself hard questions and not be satisfied with the answers.
I decided to abandon the quest to feel okay and go back to reading.
My friend sat adjacent to me, oblivious. He had no idea I had just interrogated myself on my presence with him today.
Far as he knew, my focus on my reading never broke. As I flipped the page of my book, I glanced over at him.
I just hope he knows I care, I thought.
What are your primary love languages? When have you had a hard time either giving or receiving this love language to/from another man?