Revisiting a Classic: What’s Your Love Language?

love languages book

A while ago, I got the book thrown at me. No, I didn’t get arrested this time. I’m talking about the Five Love Languages book by Gary Chapman. In my perusal of blog world and even this here website, I’ve seen women repeatedly mention these golden scriptures. When I’ve seen this book in the past or heard women going off on one of their soapbox sermons about love, I’ve typically just stopped listening and focused my attention elsewhere. After reading through this book, I kinda wished I hadn’t done that. This isn’t to say that I don’t still think that the opposite sex has the most mind-boggling complexities on earth, because I most certainly do.

Having the book thrown at me (literally) a couple years ago may have been one of the best things I’ve had happen in my decreasingly youthful life. I sorta felt like I was reading Girls 101. Now for those women who haven’t read the book and all the men who I’m sure haven’t read the book, Gary Chapman breaks it down into the following Five love languages (in no particular order) that people like to give and/or receive:

  • Physical Touch: He’s not just talkin’ about rubbin’ her breasts or strokin’ the ego in his jeans — even though those things are important. It could be a mouth hug, kiss, massage, cuddle, rub on the back or shoulder, etc.
  • Words of Affirmation: Aside from “I love you,” this includes all those emo things that a lot of men don’t like to say because it compromises their inner G. It also includes simple stuff like “I appreciate what you did for me” and “Your booty lookin’ right in dem jeans gurl.” The latter may not work, but sh*t, then again maybe it will.
  • Quality Time: This could be quality conversation, a walk in the park, a day of shopping (migraine), a trip to the movies, or a thorough spoon session on the couch with or without forking. It’s time alone together where you’re just focused on each other. How sweet. This is crucial for making a long distance relationship work!
  • Gifts: Some people base how you feel about them on the gifts you give them and how much thought they think went into the process. So fellas, if this is her primary love language and you tell her all the emo stuff that you’d never say within an earshot of your boys, then proceed to give her a gift that she doesn’t think is “thoughtful” on one of the deal-break days, you’re gonna die.
  • Acts of Service: This can be a dude going over to shorty’s crib to set up the complex a$$ furniture she copped from Ikea, or it can be her coming over to clean his crib because she knows he had a rough week at work. Some folks judge the feelings of their significant other by what’s done for them. Sadly enough, I think this one gets people hurt the most. Dude comes over to “service” her and she thinks it’s love language when it’s really just nut language. Tragic.

So these are the five love languages. As I mentioned in my Gifts snippet above, folks have a primary love language that they want to receive. Where I’m pretty sure we all eff up is determining what that is for the other person, communicating to them “in a way they can hear,” and reinforcing what we need ourselves. Based on all the dealbreaker and wish list posts, I’m sure most of us will have no problem stating our needs, wants, and no-no’s. As for my own primary love language…

Well, I’m the self-proclaimed AND world-renowned Sultan of Spoon and Colossus of Cuddle. So (maybe) my primary love language to give and receive is Quality Time. Wait. Spooning is touching and I like kissing, rubbing, and forking. This means I’m primarily physical touch? **Scratches head** Ehh, well I know I suck at gifts and I’m not huge on receiving them. I also know I’m not big on judging what someone does for me as an indicator of how they feel. And as for words of affirmation…yeah girl, I love you too.

(You should go through the clusterphuck exercise in the previous paragraph. It’ll save you frustration later.)

So if you’ve read the book or this post made sense, what’s your primary love language to give and receive? If you can’t narrow it down to one, then pick two. Also, have you ever cut someone off for speaking in all the tongues except the one you needed? Did you even tell the person what language you speak?

I don’t wanna talk. I just wanna hold ya,

slim jackson

Note: This article originally ran in 2009. Since there are so many new readers today and because of a comment on Dr. J’s great post from last week, I thought it was a good idea to revisit

From Our Partners

  • Jenn Hill

    This past weekend I had a friend ask me what my love language was and I had no clue what she was talking about. I looked it up and took a quick test that helped me rank them.

    I asked my man friend to do the same and he was like this sounds gay but did it anyway. After he took the quiz he was like this is gay. But it really meant a lot to me that he did it anyway.

    Quality time is my number 1 while Acts of service is my number two for receiving. Giving I'm more of a Gifts and Acts of service type of person.

    This is a great relationship conversation piece.

  • Peter Parker

    Good post and something I think everyone should understand. I was introduced to the Love Language concept after reading an article by Paul Brunson. It's amazing to understand how people display their love and affection to the opposite sex. I never read the book, but I did take the test online http://www.5lovelanguages.com/ and discovered Quality Time and Physical Touch were tied. It is very accurate and I highly recommend this for people in relationships or the single folks out here.

    • BlueSteele

      Gotta love Paul Brunson

  • cancergirl08

    Mine were physical touch and quality time. The book was a good read in my opinion. Anything that can help you understand your partner is worth the effort.

  • bellatrice1

    Another thing to point out is that, the Love Languages don't only apply to romantic relationships. This can be used to improve relationships with parents, siblings and friends.

    Mine are Quality Time and Acts of Service.
    My recent post SBF Seeks Long Term Living Arrangement

  • CandyIsIt

    I was introduced to the 5 Love Languages through this site. Took the quiz and tied on Physical Touch and Quality Time which was dead on point. Now I just need to get the book to learn more.

  • cynicaloptmst81

    I am so into this concept that I know my 5 by heart, LOL. Djm…

    1. Quality Time
    2. Acts of Service
    3. Physical touch
    4. Gifts
    5. Words of Affirmation (I had a ZERO in this, btw, LOL)

    So basically…give me (or include me in) the majority of your free time (we'll leave some for breathers, fam, and your boys, lol), help me out as much as possible when you see me in need (or even if I'm not in need…offer your assistance), touch me while we're QTing as you're helping me, buy me gifts on my bday and Christmas, and top that all off with random sensible musings about my greatness…and we are GOOD TO GO…FOREVER!!!!!!! :-)

    If only it were that simple, lol…smh.

    • MissLia

      Wow this is my exact order lol. Except the top two I scored way higher than the others.

  • http://RealGoesRight.Com RealGoesRight

    My love language is words of affirmation. I’m emotionally retarded and I don’t get close to people. As a matter of fact, I’m pretty sure 97% of the women I’ve dealt with in the past don’t really know much about me in terms of the inner workings of my mind and some of the shit I’ve been through with other women. So, in order for a woman to know how I feel about them, it’s a big deal for me to 1) tell them I love them and 2) open up to them so they could see past “RealGoesRight the womanizing negro.”

    Most of the women I’ve dealt with seem to be in the “acts of service” category. Which is odd, b/c I…well…nevermind.

    Great post, Slim.

  • lisalisa

    *Sighs* maybe i will oneday experience this with a Man, i actually Like and LOVE, lol!!

  • KitKatCuty84

    I get all five from my dude and five all five back in return. I'm golden, and living my life like it's golden. :)

    • BlueSteele

      Overachievers of the world, lol

    • Bree

      thats whats up KitKat!

  • MissLia

    I've had that book for a while now, good read. My top two are tied: Quality time and acts of service. Which totally makes sense because I tend to believe a person's actions over their words. I can get a good sense of how much someone cares about me based on those two things. Likewise, the people I care about the most tend to get more of my time and I'm usually willing to do more for them.

  • The CPT

    My love language is pretty friggin vulgar.

  • http://glippost.wordpress.com Darrk Gable

    I’ve read it once, a couple years back. My primary language is “words of affirmation”. If I’m doing something, and deciding on what to do, telling me I’m appreciated, and my efforts are as well will do wonders. If I don’t get that, I start thinking it’s being taken for granted, and resentment may begin to set in. For those in LTRs or married, it’s a great book to read with the s/o or spouse.

  • BlueSteele

    1. Quality Time
    2. Acts of Service
    3.Physical Touch
    4. Words of Affirmation
    5. Gifts (I hate gifts, even at Christmas.)

    • Mr_SD

      I'm taking notes..lol

      • BlueSteele

        ;-)

  • Bree

    My 2 main ones are:
    1. Quality Time
    2. Physical Touch
    Then:
    3. Acts of Service
    4. Words of Affirmation
    5. Gifts – I like gifts but don’t need gifts to feel the love.

  • InsomniaPoet

    I guess I am the only person who's primary language is gifts! LOL They don't have to be extravagant gifts. Like I realized my ex loved me when he started bring tahitian treat & turtles home everytime he saw them in the gas station. It's not the value of the gift, it's that you remember what I like, thought of me when I wasn't with you and made it a point to get it for me. I've also ended relationships when someone didn't get me something for my bday or a major holiday. I am a hoarder too, I dried the roses I got from my high school sweetheart and still have them in my memory box. I am not big at all on touching – maybe b/c my fam doesn't rock like that. We aren't the touchy feely type…I am the why you always gotta be all up on me person if I'm with someone big into cuddling. Save that mess for the bedroom only.

    1. Gifts
    2. Acts of Service
    3. Quality Time
    4. Words of Affirmation
    5. Physical Touch

  • nayonowen

    Wow, never read this book. but i am so digging his language of love.
    Quality time – yes, face time is very important to me
    Physical touch – bonding is a huge factor.
    all the rest can line up.
    good post

  • MsChi

    I read this years ago and it made all the sense in the world to me. I found that love languages also apply well in other relationships and not only the romantic.

    My love languages are words of affirmation and physical touch.

  • FlyyLibrarian

    One of my married girlfriends recommended it to me.

    Physical touch and Quality time. I enjoy both from my friends (touch:hugs hello/goodbye), and mate.

  • MaggK

    Damn it makes a lot of things so simple!!! People would understand that the reason i say a fake "yeahhh" when they offer me something (especially flowers -_-'!) is because i don't care about gifts!!
    Quality time is my thing :D !

  • oh ok…

    I gotta check the book and website out! Fun activity 4me &he! lol! :-D

  • Jai

    Although I loved the book and the test when the hubby and I took the test we scored the same order not the exact number but close enough to say… O.k. who lied on their test?! LMBO I think what you do with the info is what determine's your level of communication. It's of no use taking the test, learning the language and not making moves on it. The most important point of taking the test on love language is to answer the question's based on YOU! Not the way you "want" other people to perceive you. It really doesn't help a relationship grow if you continue to lie to yourself! Your mate will begin to communicate in the love language and you will not be able to "Hear" them. And, to top it off you may unknowingly blame them for the error!
    "This above all: to thine own self be true,
    And it must follow, as the night the day,
    Thou canst not then be false to any man." ~ Polonius (Shakespeare Hamlet, Act 1)

  • http://twitter.com/SecretSweetLady @SecretSweetLady

    Acts of service, physical touch, words of affrimation….

  • Muffie Bradshaw

    Hmmmm…..

    1. Acts of service
    2. Words of Affirmation
    3. Gifts (Don't judge me. Lol.)

  • IAAJ

    I always feel so shallow when I explain mine, but eh… It's what I need.

    1) Words of affirmation- You just have to be able to verbalize how you feel, even if it's… Nevermind…
    2) Gifts. Thoughtful gifts (not big ones) let me know you're listening. One of my favorite gifts was getting The Lion King on Blue Ray. Simple, really silly and yet VERY me.

    I often show my love through acts of service and words of affirmation as well. Physical touch comes after those. I'm not big on hugs/hand holding. And quality time is cool, but we can talk on the phone and that will still make me happy.

    Great post, this very subject has been on my mind the past week or so!

  • Danielle

    I am an Acts of Service woman. I learned about this book years and I encourage all my friends to do it. it will save a lot of problems from happening if you know your partner. Because it is spot on. I've even had my kids do it and my language of apology.

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