Help! I Don’t Know My Love Language

Updated:

For years, I didn’t even know that love languages existed, let alone what mine was. Back when I was unaware, I’d have said it didn’t make too much of a difference in my romantic relationships. Oh, how naive I was. But hindsight is always 20/20, which is why I’m going to do an act of service (that’s a love language, FYI) by imparting the wisdom of love languages to you!

If you’ve ever found yourself wondering why you and your romantic partner’s gestures of love and affection don’t hit the mark, you probably don’t know each other’s love languages. And maybe you don’t know your own, and that’s why these demonstrations of love fall flat or even make a cartoonish “womp womp” noise in your mind.

There’s a reason for this—you are speaking totally different languages on the love spectrum. It’s like you’re talking to them in Japanese, and they’re replying in Spanish, and there isn’t a translator in sight. Not even Google Translate can help you out.

That’s where we come in with our handy guide on figuring out what your specific love language is and how it helps you and your romantic partner get on the same frequency!


heart in bubble

What Are Love Languages?

Not sure what love languages are? It’s actually pretty simple—they define how we express and receive love. These different love dialects were coined by Dr. Gary Chapman, and the concept has become a great tool for improving romantic relationships. The five languages are Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch. Identifying and knowing yours can be like finding a secret door that opens to better connections with your loved ones.


question mark in bubble

The Great Mix-Up: Why It’s Tricky

You might be thinking, “But hey, I like all of those things!” And you’re probably right! Most of us appreciate love in all its many forms. But there tends to be one or two languages that really speak to our hearts and emotions. If you’re confused and thinking, “Help! I don’t know what mine is!” do not panic or call 911. It’s important, but not an emergency. It’s not that you’re too hard to please or too emotionally complex for anyone to understand—it’s just that you haven’t pinpointed what yours is yet.


How Can I Figure Out My Love Language?

Take a few deep breaths—it’s going to be ok, and it’s pretty easy to hone in on what yours is! Here’s how to figure out your own love language:

thought bubble with heart in bubble
  • Think About the Past: Harken back to moments you felt the most loved. What exactly happened? Was it a surprise birthday party (Quality Time), a beautiful love letter (Words of Affirmation), or maybe a day when your partner took over all of the housework duties without being asked (Acts of Service)?
  • Notice What You Ask For: Pay attention to what you frequently request from your partner or friends. Do you ask for hugs, an ear to bend, or help around the house? These asks could be pointing right to your love language.
  • Observe What You Complain About: Our complaints often show what we value most. If you find yourself upset about unreturned texts or feeling neglected at social events, you might crave Quality Time. If it’s lack of help you bemoan, perhaps Acts of Service is your thing.
  • Take the Quiz: Yes, there’s a quiz for that! Dr. Chapman offers a simple quiz on his website to help you zero in on your love language. It’s a great starting point for helping you figure it out.
  • Experiment: Try expressing love in all of the different love languages to others and see what feels most natural and satisfying to you. Sometimes, the way we give love mirrors the way we want to get it back.

lightbulb with leaves in bubble

Understanding Means Growth

Knowing what your love language is isn’t solely about bettering your romantic relationships, so don’t misunderstand and rely too heavily on it. It’s just a tool for self-discovery that can improve how you connect with anyone important in your life, be it family, friends, or colleagues. When you understand your emotional needs, you can communicate them more clearly, cutting way back on misunderstandings or conflict and strengthening connections.


brain in bubble

The Common Catches

Do not fall into the common trap of thinking your love language is the only valid one! It’s easy to get into the mindset of, “If my partner really loved me, they’d just know what I need.” Unfortunately, love isn’t a mind-reading game, and humans are not psychic. Not everyone will intuit your love language, so communicating your needs and wants in this realm without assuming they’re obvious is super important.


book in bubble

Expanding Your Love Language Vocabulary

While finding out what your primary love language is a great tool, why stop there? Challenge yourself to become fluent in all five languages! Not only will this make you a more versatile romantic partner and friend, but it also helps you appreciate the different ways the important people around you express their affection—be a multilingual love speaker!


compass in bubble

The Voyage Is the Destination

Bear in mind that identifying your individual love language isn’t a one-and-done deal, as our needs and preferences can, and often do, change as we grow. What speaks to you now might be different five years from now, so keep the lines of communication open with yourself and your loved ones. The pursuit of understanding your love language is a work in progress, an excursion of personal growth and better connections.


Takeaways

In the end, love languages are about giving and receiving love in ways that feel the most meaningful to us. They show us that love is never a one-size-fits-all deal but a melting pot of gestures, words, and actions. So, if you’re feeling lost in the language of love, take heart. With a little introspection and experimentation, you’ll find your way. And keep in mind that the effort you put into finding out and understanding your love language is itself an act of self-love.

confused woman looking at phone with question mark background and a heart-shaped speech bubble with a surprised face emoji inside of it

Left Swiping My Way to Therapy | A Collection of the Most Bizarre Dating App Conversations

If you’ve ever been on a dating app, you know that it can sometimes feel like you’re participating in an advanced psychological study on human ...
woman looking through closet with question marks around her

The Do’s and Don’ts of First Date Fashion | Avoiding Common Mistakes

Want to be fashionable on a first date? Of course you do! Unless you are too “cool” to care about first impressions—which is not a ...
man looking out the window thinking with a brain and heart in head graphic

5 Must-Have Skills for Successful Dating

In a perfect world, every human being is kind, respectful, and conscious of the needs of others.  But this is in no way a perfect ...

Our team of experts diligently research and review all of the products and services we recommend. If you buy through our links, we may receive a commission. Learn more here.