Love Language Crossovers


We all have our love languages. Before we can talk, we discover the ones that work for us. And before we know it, we’re married to someone with a different love language.
Sure, you could try to explain to your mate how to love you your way, but my approach is a whole lot easier and more likely to feel like you’re being loved:

  • Gift lover married to a quality time giver? Transition into your conversation or joint activity with a bit of ceremony. Take the time to see the big bow wrapped around this gift of connection. Unwrap it slowly and step into your gift.
  • Quality time lover committed to a physical touch giver? Sign the two of you up for a massage class together. Schedule a sensual weekend getaway. Take up ballroom or salsa dancing.
  • Physical touch lover partnered with an acts of service giver? Ask for sexual favors, hand or face massage, hugs, and kisses. They feel more loving to your mate when done as an act of service, odd as this might sound to you. You’ll feel the extra love.
  • Acts of service lover loved by an affirming words giver? Listen to the words carefully. Hear them as a poem written just for you. As you read that greeting card, picture your mate going to the store, selecting just the right sentiment, adding that little extra touch, and making sure to present it to you at the right moment to have the most effect. These are acts of service.
  • Affirming words lover with a gift giver? Pay attention to the card that comes with the gift. Pay attention to the words with which it is presented, because gift givers delight in presenting gifts to their beloved. If the gift is given silently, ask something as simple as, “Is this for me?” The answer may be worth even more to you than the gift.

Those are but a few of the possible combinations. What would you recommend to an affirming words lover who wants to discover more of the love offered by his or her quality time giver?

About the author

Patty Newbold

I am a widow who got it right the second time. I have been sharing here since February 14, 2006 what I learned from that experience and from positive psychology, marriage research, and my training as a marriage educator.


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  • Someone’s getting loved with gifts and acts of service and wants more physical touch?
    This is one where you cannot change your view of what’s given, but you may be able to get touch included more often. Gift givers and acts of service providers generally appreciate hints about what will be well-received. And they adore gratitude and reciprocation.
    “I wish I had more shirts like this one or any others you would like to cuddle up against and feel wrapped around your shoulders.”
    “My back is killing me. Would you be willing to give me one of your great massages?”
    “You bought the discount coupon book from the kids next door? I hope it includes a coupon for dance lessons. I would love to learn to dance with you.”
    “Thank you so much for cleaning up tonight’s dinner. Would it be OK if I gave you a great big hug of gratitude?”
    “I added some great massage lotions to my online wish list today.”
    You might also find ways to get some of the touch you need elsewhere. Get your hair done where it comes with hair washing, a scalp massage, and a slow comb-out. Visit a legitimate spa for Swedish massage, facial massage, or the totally relaxing Watsu massage, done while you float in warm water. Take ballroom dance classes on your own. Hug the men in your life. Spend more time with young children in any environment where they are free to hug you and be held by you without suspicion. When you need a bit less touch from your mate, it gets lots easier to ask for it.

  • It’s also worthwhile to try being very clear and direct about what you want and to make a point of finding out what your partner wants. Ask him to exchange lists with you – “Things that makes me feel loved.” It must be written in a positive rather than a negative way. That is, rather than saying what you don’t want, just say what you do want. Be specific, so your partner will really understand. Don’t just say, “Touch me more.” Say “Hold my hand when we are out together.” Be encouraging about things your partner has already done so that he’ll want to do more. (“I love it when you write personal notes on a greeting card.”) Study your partner’s list carefully and make a point of doing those things. When he does something from your list, even if only a little bit, show great appreciation.

Patty Newbold

I am a widow who got it right the second time. I have been sharing here since February 14, 2006 what I learned from that experience and from positive psychology, marriage research, and my training as a marriage educator.

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