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Inspired Relationships

Are You and Your Sweetie Speaking the Same Love Language?

It turns out, Denis and I are not speaking the same Love Language… in fact, our Love Languages are so different that Denis might as well talk to me in Klingon for all the good it does to get through, and likewise right back at him.

The Love Language theory was developed by a lovely man named Gary Chapman (well, I don’t actually know Gary personally, but he does seem lovely). The theory goes that there are five Love Languages in this world, and everyone speaks their own distinct dialect. Essentially, what he’s talking about is the way you express to someone that you love them, and the way you interpret that they love you back.

Are you speaking different love languages?

The idea goes that if two people have the same love language, they will be able to communicate their love to each other without mishap. Speak different languages and you will have a harder time getting through to each other… For example:

My love language is Physical Touch. Me? I’m all about the touching. Hugs, kisses, hair tousling, holding hands, watching TV while nestled on the same couch (no matter how uncomfortable it may get, I won’t budge), back rubs, massages, a hand on the knee while sitting at the dinner table. Can’t get enough of it. I blame my mother. When I was a baby, she used to do the housework with me strapped to her in the sling. She would wake me up just to hug me again! Cute. I imagine my poor children will be smothered with love by me just the same. Of course, Chapman agrees that the way we are raised drastically impacts how we interpret love.

Denis speaks a completely different language. In fact, of the five languages, his is the one I identify with the least, according to the quiz in the back of the book (not off to a good start, are we?). His is Acts of Service. This means that he feels loved and appreciates it when I make the bed, clean the house, do the dishes, cook his dinner and much more (groan – this is, in fact, the lowest scoring language out of the five on the quiz I took in the back of the book. I scored 1 out of a possible 12 for this language. Plus, I’m lazy). He, in turn, naturally shows me that he loves me by fixing my computer, washing my clothes and putting oil in my car.

The problem with speaking a different love language to your partner is that your efforts at showing them you love them can be completely lost in translation… for instance, I might think that showering Den with hugs and kisses is a great example of how I feel about him. He usually just thinks I’m being clingy and annoying, and I get swatted away from him.

Den might spend four hours fixing my computer in a grand gesture of love, and meanwhile I’m complaining that he’s spent four hours ignoring me without so much as a peck on the cheek. The potential for communication breakdowns is rife!

Get in Tune With Your Sweetie's Love Language

It used to cause problems between us. We just didn’t get each other.

Now that we’ve read the book, we kind of understand. Chapman explains that you need to keep each other’s “love tanks” (or “love banks”, as they are also referred to), full. Which means if Den is in a sour mood, I can guarantee putting a smile on his face if I clean the house and make him dinner. Likewise, if I’m unhappy, a huge hug and a handful of kisses will set me right again.

There are three extra love languages – Quality Time people need you to set aside specific time to spend with them (date night, anyone?!) and will do the same for you no matter how busy they are, Words of Affirmation lovers crave constant encouragement from their partners and Gifts people love to buy and receive little tokens of love from their sweeties.

If you’re busy buying your partner bunches of roses when what they really want is a night just with you, or you’re doing the washing when they just want to be told they’re brilliant, you may have a communication breakdown.

Each chapter in the book ends with recommendations for how you can express love to your sweetie in a language they will understand. Den, if you’re reading this – taking my hand while we’re walking, rushing up to hug me when you haven’t seen me in awhile or rubbing my knee under the dinner table are all great ways to keep me feeling loved-up. (Meanwhile, it is recommend I degrease Den’s car… or let him make me a list of 10 things he would love for me to do for him that I can complete over the coming weeks so that he feels loved…. Ummm… who got the short stick in this arrangement?)

I can’t recommend this book highly enough if you think you and your partner are talking different languages. It has practical advice and is full of case studies so that you can better understand your relationship with your partner and get in tune with them. You may need to side-step some of the religious connotations if you are not that way inclined, but that’s neither here nor there.

If you’d like to buy it, Amazon has it for sale here: The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate and if you’re still not sure what your Love Language might be, you can take this quiz online to find out. 

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Author |

Writer, dating columnist, wife, coffee addict, foodie, fashionista... Melburnian through and through. Muser, dancer, blogger, tweeter. Likes to get her head on telly now and again. Sleeper, dreamer, a sucker for romance. And of course... a cheap date.


7 comments for “Are You and Your Sweetie Speaking the Same Love Language?”

  1. Posted by crystal | November 18, 2009, 7:14 am

    i’ve read his book, and it is as awesome and lovely as you say.

    love languages and understanding them are also very important when it comes to your kids… they can all have a different love language, esp in a blended home, and being able to connect with each child is so important.

    great reading for sure! i reference the book often in my life.

  2. Posted by james | November 19, 2009, 8:32 pm

    Good book!

  3. Posted by james | November 20, 2009, 5:10 pm

    Mine is the mens edition

  4. Posted by Stephanie | November 29, 2009, 4:19 pm

    I’m so glad you posted on this book! I read it awhile ago, loved it…then totally forgot about it. Now, when things are more hectic than they’ve ever been, we (he and I) could use a little help finding ways to remind each other we’re still there for one another. Great post, thanks!

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