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  • Creative Writing

    39 Kind Words for a Friend, 101 for a Boyfriend

    Before I wrote a list of reasons why I liked my best friend, I hadn’t heard of the 5 love languages. Similarly, when I noted down what I loved him for once he became my boyfriend. It was only several years later that I found out how excellent my present was since his love language was words of affirmation, i.e. kind words.

    My first kind words

    When my best friend invited me to his 18th birthday party, I was less than 16 and had neither money nor ideas for a splendid gift. I knew it couldn’t be anything ordinary, but I had no means to compete with his classmates in buying a present. Therefore, I decided to give him something personal. A gift that he could only receive from me. Moreover, it was to be prepared with him in mind. That’s how I came up with a 39-item-long list entitled: ‘What I like my friend for’.


    Kind words for a friend

    Number 39 was not symbolic in any way. At first, I considered writing down 18 reasons, but decided that would be too few. I wanted to overwhelm my friend with the number in order to show him how wonderful he was and boost his ego. So I wrote down everything that came to my mind, and thus arrived at a number that didn’t evoke any unnecessary associations: 39.

    The list contained e.g. my friend’s numerous virtues:

    – he plays tennis very well,

    – he has a good sense of humour,

    – he is not a conformist;

    The things he did for me:

    – he rejoices at receiving my Christmas cards,

    – he eats my leftovers when I can’t have any more pizza,

    – he promised me he would never shave his head;

    Things that were important to me:

    – I may confide my secrets to him,

    – he doesn’t smoke,

    – seeing him makes me smile.

    As you can see, the list included both trivial matters (eating pizza) and serious issues (keeping my secrets). I tried to mix them, so that reading the list wouldn’t be boring. My last reason, no. 39 was:

    ‘Because he is just the way he is.’


    Kind words for a boyfriend

    Several years later, on our first dating anniversary, I decided to revive this idea and remind my – now – boyfriend of it. This time I replaced ‘like’ with ‘love’ and set myself a more ambitious goal: 101 reasons for which I loved my boyfriend. I tried not to repeat the items from the previous list. Meandering between sacrum and profanum, moving from general issues to details and mixing in a touch of humour, I didn’t find it that hard to fill three A4 pages with ideas. We had already experienced many adventures together, went on voyages and had wonderful memories that I could draw upon. This time, after I had finished writing my 101 reasons, I ended the list with:

    ‘And now, jokes aside. In fact, I don’t love you for the WAY you are,
    but for the FACT that you are, and I just couldn’t do otherwise!’


    Kind words for those who express their feelings with words of affirmation

    In this case, the gift was tremendously successful because my husband’s (yes, he is now my husband) love language is words of affirmation [your may read more on love languages in my post: ‘5 Ways to Express Love in Gifts‘]. I think that is the reason why he has preserved both of these gifts till this very day. If you know or presume that the love language of your friend, husband, boyfriend, mother, grandmother, daughter, etc. is words of affirmation, try to present them with such a list of kind words. It may include reasons for which you love them, appreciate them or things you are grateful for. Instead of a gift card with printed best wishes or a trinket that will gather dust on a shelf, move them to tears with the thing that they understand best: kind words.


    And don’t forget to let me know about the effects and the number of items you came up with!


    My advice:

    – Both of my lists were written on the computer with an ordinary black font. The only decorative elements I used were headings and endings. The first time I used the WordArt tool, and the second time the Monotype Corsiva font, which resembles handwriting. If you have a nice handwriting, you may write your list with a fountain pen or a quill. If I was to make such a list now, I would probably add a frame with the Word function:  Page Layout -> Page Background -> Page Borders -> Art. Remember, however, that the content is more important than the form here, so you don’t have to be preoccupied with the latter too much.

    – In a number of my previous posts, I suggested other ways to express gratitude. Your kind words (which may also include reasons for which you like or love somebody) may be written on Merci bars, tea bags, Jenga blocks or photos in a slideshow.


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