The Asian Pacific Student Program (APSP) took full advantage of the love that was in the air on Wednesday, Feb. 10, with “Girl Talk: Unfiltered.” During this event, womxn not only learned more about themselves through the different love languages, but they were also able to take part in a lighthearted conversation regarding dating and relationships. “Womxn” is used by intersectional feminists to avoid perceived sexism in the standard spelling of “women” and to explicitly include transgender women and nonbinary people. As a result, the womxn were encouraged to feel safe and comfortable sharing their stories, which made for an exciting night.
The event started with coordinators Esther Kim, Melissa Wong, Angelica Juhaina Habeebulla and Nia Tulifau breaking the ice by introducing the topic of love languages and how they affect different people and their relationships. While a Zoom call for this type of event may feel awkward, the coordinators of “Girl Talk” did an excellent job making introductions feel personal and safe. After everyone spoke, Esther explained the five different love languages ー physical touch, acts of service, words of affirmation, gift giving or quality time ー and how they were developed by Gary Chapman in order to help people in relationships better understand each other. Following this, the womxn were given an interactive opportunity to take a quiz in order to determine their own individual love languages.
Once everyone had their respective results, Kim then showed a video with a breakdown of what each language meant. This way, participants were given the opportunity to learn about each language and gain insight about themselves in the process. When the video came to an end, each participant took turns sharing their love language, and it was interesting to hear how most people shared love very differently from how they preferred to receive love. A majority of the womxn agreed that they all liked to receive love through quality time, physical touch and words of affirmation. However, in regards to giving love, many of the participants preferred physical touch or words of affirmation. Additionally, the participants explained that love does not always have to be from a romantic partner and that these love languages can apply to friends and family as well. The productive conversation of love languages made the event more inclusive and encouraged us all to talk more about relationships and dating.
The discussion seamlessly shifted into how each womxn interpreted dating. In this portion of the event, the womxn were encouraged to share their opinions on the difference between dating and more serious relationships. The consensus among everyone was that dating does not have to be labeled and that it could be more casual, whereas a relationship is more exclusive. Nonetheless, labels and relationships mean nothing if communication is not present. This sentiment was shared with all participants, and it was agreed that consistent communication with your partner is a must-have.
The event concluded itself with everyone sharing their own relationship stories, starting with Kim sharing how she met her husband. Offering hope that there is always light at the end of the tunnel, Kim explained, “Meeting the right person means a million valentines forever.” At this, all of the participants were given a bit of optimism and comfort in the fact that being single is okay and that we will all meet the person we were meant to be with all along. Seeing so much hope among the participants when it came to finding their soulmates someday reinforced the importance of love, regardless of its form.
“Girl Talk: Unfiltered” was a very important and insightful event that connected all the participants through the experience of finding, giving and receiving love. It was a perfect way to kick off Valentine’s Day weekend and encouraged the participants to welcome love into their lives with open arms.