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Your love language?

Over my years of fanatic interest in psychology I've learned there are five hypothesized love languages

Acts of kindness

Gift giving

Quality time

Words of adoration

Physical touch (non sexual)

A big factor in failed relationships can be misaligned love languages. If you don't speak a language it won't make sense. For example, I don't understand gift giving. I can pick out what I need better than anyone else, don't waste your money. What languages do you speak? Do you not speak? Any crazy instances where others just didn't get it?

SocraticAddict 6 Feb 9

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It's an interesting theory, though I think at best it's incomplete.

Someone with a deep pathology is liable to act out on that pathology in some way, and that can be destructive to a relationship, regardless of how much is communicated in one or all of these love languages. A common sort of way that might manifest would be infidelity: once discovered, it shatters trust even though the unfaithful partner was behaving in very loving ways before and after the affair.

I'd also suspect that there is more to building a good relationship than expressing love. You need to have some sort of common interest, something enjoyable that you do together. People seem to do things that are fun for both of them when they fall in love, and I'm not talking about sex (that's fun for everyone). And people who sustain relationships find some way to be compatible with things like moral issues, money, and life ambitions.

I wish I were perfect about these sorts of things, but then no one is perfect. So there is still one more thing that needs to be there: tolerance and forgiveness when one's partner doesn't live up to the ideals.

Can't emphasize "can be" enough. However, infedelity is not typically considered a pathology, but a symptom of poorly communicated love. A person who cheats may not be receiving their percieved love language according to many relationship counselors. That's why it's important for both parties to understand and learn to translate or compromise those languages. Obviously shared interest is important, this thread is about love expression not shared interest which can still be poorly expressed if shared or vice versa.


Mine is acts of kindness which includes quality time with me and touch. Words mean little to me without action. Gifts are nice but for me they need to have meaning. Again, the action or forethought behind them needs to be there.


I speak all of those, but it omits perhaps the most noble of any such hypothesied linguistics of Love

Self Sacrifice for the sake of the loved one

That would fall under acts of kindness

@BarbaraParks I don't see those as equal, an act of kindness might be a ride in a car, self sacrfice might be your own life


I speak all of them fluently. I teach a workshop on the subject. Lots of people have heard of the general concept, but are unaware of the theory of dialects. Which means that two people can speak the same Language and still not connect because they're speaking different versions of it.

The biggest predictor of the impending demise of a relationship, however, is contempt. Read up on John Gottman's research on Bids For Attention. The Love Languages fit in here in what people recognize as Bids For or Responses to Bids For Attention.

People can have misaligned Love Languages and still work things out. But once someone in a relationship reaches a contemptuous stage in the relationship, not only will compatible Love Languages not fix the problem, but the Love Language can actually become weaponized and be used against the other person.


I display acts of kindness and words of adoration. My partner displays acts of kindness and physical touch. He's amazing, I would like more words of adoration. I can "read" them in his actions.
Hearing them would be nice, though.

Therapists typically point out it's unlikely to be exactly the same in your language. Recognition and translation is definitely important. It sounds like you already have that down. Both parties should adjust where they can but it's easy for someone to not notice they aren't communicating their feelings.


That's not entirely true.
I've been in relationships where these same things were reciprocal and the relationship came to an end eventually anyway.

"Big factor can be"

@SocraticAddict yes you didnt say the only factor


Fifteen years married to someone who hated to be touched. It eventually corroded our marriage to the point where we had a better relationship after we split.

My last relationship was with someone who did not like to kiss. Even though I knew it wasnt personal it affected me


I've come to realize how important this actually is for relationships. I'm a physical touch person, and if my partner doesn't speak my language, it's like we're not even together.

Marz Level 7 Feb 10, 2018

I feel the same way about gift giving. But, there may be other ways that come under gift giving of ourselves. Helping with something that the other person needs done.

That falls under acts of kindness. It's normal to not speak a couple of these languages. Knowing which ones you speak is all that's important.

Switching things up like that is actually a good way to get people who speak different Languages to learn how to speak each other's Language. If one person speaks Gift Giving, and another speaks Acts of Service, then the person who speaks Gift Giving can learn how to do Acts of Service by thinking of them as a Gift.

I have a partner who has the exact opposite problem. He doesn't speak Gifts at all, but he does speak Acts of Service. So he's learning how to speak Gifts by seeing them as an Act of Service - the process of learning who a person is well enough to buy gifts or make gifts for them, the physical act of procuring or making the gift ... all that becomes part of an Act of Service for him so that he can feel like he is expressing love instead of doing a thing that doesn't make sense to him or making gifts obligatory and the people who speak Gifts can hear his love in ways that they understand.

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