I’m working through the article that I’ve saved to Pocket over the past few weeks and came across a poignant piece called Losing the Language of Love. It’s about how you develop a special dialect when you’re close to someone for a long time, whether it’s a partner, friend or family member, and how it feels when that person is no longer a part of your life anymore.
It reminded me of the almost three and a half years that I spent with Hari, my first girlfriend. Over the years we developed our own dialect between us, much of it derived from gamer speak – we’d call each other ‘noob’ if we did something wrong, or use ‘zomg!’ as an expression of surprise. And, like in most relationships, we had pet names for each other that made no sense to anyone else.
We split up in March 2009. As well as losing a partner, I also lost a reason to use those words – they didn’t really mean anything to anyone else. And I’d feel uncomfortable using them with Christine – after all, I see them as relics from an old relationship that didn’t work out.
But then Christine and I also have our own words. Like most couples, we have our pet names for each other, which in both cases is ‘Squishy‘, because we’re just that sick-inducingly cute. And, by extension, our pet name for our unborn child is ‘the Squishlet’, even though we’ve basically settled upon a name for it based on its presumed gender. Plus, there are other words and phrases that we use that are probably meaningless to others.
When a relationship with someone close to you ends, it isn’t just the physical things that disappear. It’s also the less tangible things like words and phrases, that meant so much to you and your significant other. To others, they are just that – words and phrases with no context.