As a Middle-aged Man on a Dating App, I Would Like to Show How Modern I am by Quoting a Book Published in 1992

Jennie Young
3 min readApr 10
Photo by Foto Sushi on Unsplash

Hi Ladies. I get it: you’re sick of meeting men who are “afraid of commitment” or “really busy with work” or any of the other fairy tales my gender loves to tell. Most of all, you’re done with guys who are emotionally unavailable and unevolved.

I realize that most of the men on this app have the EQ of a cane toad and haven’t kept up with modern relationship science. Not me, though: I’m cutting edge. Not only am I an expert on psychology, but I can set myself apart by quoting this hot new book that was published in 1992. Impressive, right? Kinda caught you off guard that I’d be aware of an international bestseller that’s sold 20 million copies and been translated into 49 languages. Clearly, I’m not like other men; I am capable of reading an entire book cover-to-cover, especially if it has lots of bullet points and bold text.

Anyway, enough mystery! What is this magical book, you might wonder, and how is it relevant to me, a single woman looking for a long-term relationship? Well, it’s called The Five Love Languages, by Gary Chapman. It’s wholly uninformed by research, laughably gendered, and reduces all complexities of human connection into 5 pithy-but-stupid sayings. Needless to say, I was hooked immediately. I’m really busy at work, so I don’t have a lot of time to waste on details and nuance. And I definitely don’t have time for drama!

Anyway, I’m being coy, aren’t I? I’m sorry, I’ll get to the big reveal here. Even if you’ve never heard of this megahit from 30 years ago, at this point you’re certainly wondering, “But which love language is THIS guy’s love language?” Well, you’re probably going to be surprised, but here it is:

My love language IS . . . . . . . . . .

Physical touch.

I realize you probably don’t see that one a lot on this app, but for me, it’s true.

And rather than dragging you through the whole boring saga of my tense, sexless marriage and my absolute failure to interrogate my complicitness in the dry spell of its last 17 years, I can just tell you that “My love language is physical touch,” and you’ll know everything you need to know about me. I’m basically giving you…

Jennie Young

Professor and humor writer in Green Bay. McSweeney’s, The Independent, HuffPost, Ms. Mag, Education Week, Inside Higher Ed, Slackjaw, Weekly Humorist, others.