I’m not usually a fan of quizzes and personality evaluations. I had to do a Myer’s Briggs one for class when I was in college so there’s definitive proof that I’m an introvert, but I don’t take these tests often. Partially because I hate the idea of pigeon-holing myself and also because there are so many little idiosyncrasies of personality that aren’t quantifiable.
But I must admit that I’ve become curious about love languages lately. Because the ways in which we communicate love to one another affect how we react to and feel about our loved ones. I might be single now, but it’s important that I understand what makes me happy so that I can communicate that to any potential partners. After all, if I don’t know what makes me happy, how could I expect anyone else to know?
So I took the test. It’s basically a bunch of situational questions with two possible answers and you choose between them based on what you believe would make you feel happiest and most loved. And then it gives you a score of up to twelve points in any of the five categories of Quality Time, Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Physical Touch, and Gift Giving.
Here’s how I scored:
Quality Time: 9pts
Words of Affirmation: 9pts
Acts of Service: 7pts
Physical Touch: 5pts
Receiving Gifts: 0pts
I suspect that some of the answers are skewed based on question biases. The order of the questions and which ones came up head to head against each other would definitely affect the outcome. For example, if too many Quality Time answers came up versus Gifts, it might make it seem like I love Quality Time just because I really don’t care about Gifts.
But let’s evaluate these based on what’s here.
I’m not at all surprised that I received a score of zero for Gifts. I can understand where some people are drawn to these as a physical display of feelings and appreciation, but it’s never something that mattered all that much to me. Sure, I want my friends and family to acknowledge my birthday, but taking me out to a nice dinner where I don’t have to pay is more than sufficient. Plus, I get stressed out by the idea of pretending to like a gift that really doesn’t suit me. Which is why my family has learned to mostly supply me with things like Barnes and Noble gift cards or chip in towards furnishing my apartment rather than try to pick something out. I’m also trying to be sustainable about my lifestyle and really don’t want anything that isn’t on the list I keep of things I actually need to buy.
I’m also not surprised by my Words of Affirmation score, though I guess I thought it might be a bit higher. I don’t lack for self-confidence in most areas of my life, but when it comes to relationships I’m as innocent as a newborn babe. I don’t know anything about love, least of all my own feelings. So articulating how I feel, out loud to someone, is a really special thing for me and not something that I do casually. Likewise, I treasure opportunities to hear those words in return. It’s also a reflection of how important honesty is to me; it’s easy to misinterpret situations or actions, but you can be very straightforward and blunt with words and I really appreciate that. Plus I’m a writer. Naturally, we like words.
Acts of Service is about where it belongs. I don’t delegate well at all because I have this unfortunate need to be in control of things from start to finish. This is rooted in my trust issues and backed up by many disappointing group projects in which I did or rewrote all of the work by myself. But as little faith as I have in other people, I still love the idea of someone surprising me by actually doing what they say they’re going to do. The thought of someone else taking out the trash without my asking them to is just heaven. Seriously. I’m a fully capable adult who doesn’t need anyone to take care of her, but in an ideal world I would be in a relationship with someone who had enough initiative to just take care of practical things on their own.
The two categories I feel should probably be swapped are Physical Touch and Quality Time, but only if we’re talking about romantic love versus friendship.
In terms of friendship, Quality Time is my jam. It soothes my introverted heart to give dedicated, uninterrupted attention to friends and family that really matter to me, to have those deep conversations and memorable experiences. Because I’m an introvert, any time I spend with other people is mentally draining for me. I have to be ‘on.’ So if I’m choosing to spend time with you and not enjoying the quiet ‘off’ time I get when I’m alone, then it’s a big deal. Because even though it will drain some of my energy, I feel fulfilled by spending that time with you and love you enough to share it.
However, I rely on Physical Touch as a big indicator of my romantic feelings. I’m not a particularly expressive person and while I hug my friends sometimes, I obviously don’t look for the same kind of physical intimacy in them that I look for in a partner. So for starters, I want to know that I have physical chemistry with someone I’m romantically interested in. Oddly enough, this is not always a given for me. I’m prone to saying things like, “He’s great! If only I found him attractive…” And because there’s a small part of me that always doubts I’m deserving of romantic love (again, my lack of self-confidence in romance) being physically reminded through small touches and snuggles is kind of a huge deal. It’s literally the thing I look for to reassure me that someone wants me and not just me as a friend, because it’s what I’m looking for in them. Which logically makes very little sense because for many people physical needs can be very separate from feelings, but I also know that I still need this because it’s something I absolutely loved about my ex. When we were together, he was always touching me, putting his hand through the belt loops of my jeans, on my lower back, kissing my cheek, etc. and I found that very reassuring. It was like he read my mind and gave me the thing I needed when I didn’t even know that’s what I needed yet. It was as reassuring to me as it would have been for him to verbally give me Words of Affirmation, which he also did and still does as my friend. So if I’m aiming for romance, swap Physical Touch with Quality Time. Hands down.
What are your love languages? Let me know down in the comments.