Love Relationships

Do You Know Your Love Language?


Back in elementary school, when we were essentially forced to make Valentine’s cards for each other, we never discussed love or compassion. We were taught that a good partner should intuitively know what would give the other person happiness.

We were definitely not instructed to ask for what we want.

Ideally, we are supposed to to put aside own egos and give what we know would bring our partners joy.

Even if we aren’t totally into it.

That kind of sacrifice is called love.

Compassionate love is hard to sustain.

But without it, relationships fail.

No doubt, cutting out construction paper valentines was fun, especially when paired with a cupcake and a nappy.

But it taught us the wrong message.

Store bought cards signed without any sentiment aren’t enough, even if paired with a handful of Hershey’s kisses.

If we really want to show someone that they are important to us, we need to think about what they want and be mindful to do so in a way that they will most appreciate.

Several years ago, I read Dr. Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages. In his book, Chapman asserts that it’s rare for two people to speak the same primary love language, and we become confused when our partner does not understand what we are communicating.
Chapman reiterates that the euphoric high of the honeymoon stage wears off after about two years, and while we still try to express love, the message may not be received because we often speak to our partner in what is, essentially, a foreign language.
In order to have a successful relationship, Chapman says it’s necessary to understand one’s own primary love language as well as that of our partner. And he asserts we must attempt to express love in his or her primary love language.

What Are These Love Languages?

Chapman identifies the five primary ways that people show love:

  1. Words of Affirmation:  You feel most cared for when your partner is open and expressive in telling you how wonderful they think you are and how much they appreciate you. Basically, you need people to remind you that their world is a better place because you are in it.
  2. Acts of Service:
    If your partner offering to watch the kids so you can do what you’d like to do gets your heart racing, then this is your love language.
  3. Physical Touch:
    If you like to hug, kiss and touch a lot, and/or if naked time with your partner makes you feel most loved, this is your primary love language.
  4. Quality Time:
    This love language is about being together, fully present and engaged in the activity at hand, no matter how trivial.
  5. Gifts:
    If you feel most appreciated when your partner takes the time to buy you something you’d really like, this is your primary love language.

When I took Chapman’s test in the back of the book, I learned that my primary love language is “Physical Touch” followed by “Quality Time.”

Chapman asserts that we have to figure out what our partners really want based on their primary love language. When our unique needs are met, he asserts, it feels like “our love tanks” have been topped off; however, if our needs aren’t being satisfied, we will feel drained and experience health problems.

What am I doing this Valentine’s Day?

1) Treating myself to a pedicure. 2) Celebrating my son’s 16 & 1/2 birthday; and 3) Remaining hopeful that one day I’ll find someone who understands me… and my love language.

Which language is your love primary language? What about your partner? What would you most love to receive for Valentine’s Day? Are you willing to do something different this year in the name of love? I’d love to hear from you!

 tweet me @rasjacobson


19 thoughts on “Do You Know Your Love Language?

  1. Happy Valentine’s Day, beauty! Your plans and hope sound stellar. ❤️

    We’re both really big on quality time, touch and affirming words – for me, in that order. His order is probably the reverse.

    I dated a few guys who showed love through gifts, and I often blamed myself for our unhappiness. You’re so right about the importance of sacrifice and requesting what we want.

    1. Relationships are difficult and people change. I didn’t realize that my soon-to-be ex was so into giving gifts to show his love. I should have, but I didn’t. That’s TOTALLY not my love language – at all. I’m sure he felt that I rarely showed him the kind of love that he needed.

      Here’s hoping that today you give and get all the quality time, loving touches and affirming words you need! <3

  2. Great post Renee. Wish I’d known this ages ago. Guess I’ve figured it out after 39 years together. Would have made the road much easier.

  3. If I had known my love languages, it might have spared me a lot of disappointment when my ex and I didn’t sync well. Mine are physical touch and quality time, and hers were acts of service and gifts (if I had to guess from my experience with her). I felt constantly run ragged by her need for me to do things for her, and she wasn’t very touchy feely. What a mismatch made in he…ck.

    My fiancee and I have talked about ours, and have tried to work out how we can best meet each others’. Her big one is quality time. I think words of affirmation is important to her, too, even though she hasn’t called it out.

    1. I think you’re mad brave for getting back on the horse again. I’m pretty she’ll-shocked. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to make that kind of commitment again.

      Good in you for having those difficult discussions this time around.

      1. Oh, I stayed single for a long time. My divorce was final 10 years ago. I needed time to heal from my awful marriage and I wanted to focus on being a dad to my sons. The youngest is a junior in high school now, and I’ve done the hard work to recover and mature. So now I’m in a good place for marrying again.

        My wish for you is that you’ll heal, too, in time!

  4. Pizza isn’t one? I believe mine to be Physical Touch and Words of Affirmation. I believe hers was Quality Time. I tried to remain aware of that. On Valentine’s Day, a good movie and a box of Chinese takeout and a single blanket would have been golden. I’m always willing to do something different for a different result. What about you, Renee?

    1. Honestly Eli, I think we share the same primary love languages. Chinese food and a blanket to cuddle under would have been great. A movie is nice, too, especially if it is an opportunity to get horizontal and snuggle.

      Add laugh.

      (I got your email. Will be in touch soon!)

  5. I am catching up again. Glad I didn’t miss this one. Figuring yourself out first is so important. Being able to tell someone, ‘this is what I need’, is the next most important thing. Usually, if you can say to someone what you need within the context of a relationship and they are not a complete narcissistic azzhat, it is the first step to creating a lasting bond.

    It isn’t that your love language must be the same, it is that you must be able to meet each others needs.

    I once said to my ex, ‘you do not have to love what I love, you must love me enough to meet me where I stand’. The problem always was he couldn’t.

    1. Yes. That was the problem here, too. I continue to doubt myself in this area, too. I feel like the thing I want is the thing that it completely free. It requires no money, and I’m willing to give it to someone freely. I’ve never felt so vulnerable in my whole life. After sharing what I really need, I was still met with a cold look. Turns out, we didn’t want/need the same things at all. Such a painful realization.

      1. I don’t think it is an issue of wanting or needing the same things. It is rare to do so. I think it is an issue of being able to understand the needs of the other person and being willing to meet those needs. All to often what we find is the other person wants to meet your needs with their needs. What this means is this:

        I am validated by gifts thus I will validate you with gifts.

        It doesn’t matter if your need is to sit close, be held and share space for an evening. This isn’t my need. I don’t understand your need for physical intimacy and I receive no validation from physical intimacy, thus I am not going to meet your need for physical intimacy. I am simply going to do for you what I want you to do for me, to validate me.

        This is where we run into problems. When our partner doesn’t understand the road to love is a two lane highway.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop