Can You Speak a Different Love Language Than You Receive?

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Photo by Nadine Shaabana on Unsplash

hen it comes to love languages, I’m a words of affirmation and an acts of service person. I need to hear that I’m important to people verbally and very regularly. I need people to initiate conversations with me, check in to say hey, and say “I love you.” I feel very loved when someone does something for me that takes a task off my plate or lets me know they’re thinking of me.

And I definitely give those love languages back. I am prone to picking up my friends’ plates and glasses at the bar to clear the table for a game, and I’ll always be that mom friend who asks for an extra chair when we need one. I will write you an amazing pep talk message or set aside time to chat one on one with you when you need it.

My love languages rank very high on words and actions, mid-to-high on touch and quality time, and a big ol’ 0 on receiving gifts.

But when the planets align, I am powered by gift-fueled mania to find or create just the right gift for someone. Sometimes for Christmas. Sometimes for birthdays. Sometimes just because I saw something that jumped off the shelf and screamed, “Buy me for that person who loves squirrels!”

Could it be that I speak the gifts love language without needing to receive it?

The five love languages

You might be missing out on hearing the love others are trying to give you.

If you haven’t taken the 5 Love Languages Quiz yet, I recommend it. Knowing your top love language is a great way to start learning how to ask for communication in more loving ways.

If you don’t know your love language, you might be missing out on hearing the love others are trying to give you, or communicating love in a language your loved ones don’t hear.

Since I’m an acts of service person and a words person, I’m very sensitive to changes in actions or communication toward me, and I’ll feel like something is wrong. A former partner used to make me coffee every morning when I woke up, and then stopped without explanation. To me, this felt like a source of love had been shut off.

The love languages are:

  • Words of Affirmation
  • Acts of Service
  • Physical Touch
  • Quality Time
  • Receiving Gifts

It’s possible to have just one main love language, a mix of two or more, or even qualities from all five. And as I’ve discovered, it’s also possible to put out different love languages than you take in.

How to use your love language to your advantage

The only wrong way to communicate your love language is to expect people to read your mind about it.

You can’t just state your love language on a first date and consider yourself well-communicated about your needs. It takes practice, but communicating your love language is important and not too difficult. The only difficulty is when you’ve had past relationships that made it hard to express yourself due to gaslighting or someone not respecting your boundaries.

But I promise it gets better the more you practice.

Find out your love language and talk to your friends and partners about it. Invite them to find out their love languages too. Write them down if you want to be able to have a reminder later. Give your friends a manual on how to speak your love language.

The only wrong way to communicate your love language is to expect people to read your mind about it.

Prone to sudden bursts of encouragement. They/them. Queer, autistic author of bit.ly/GaslightingMillennials

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