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Old 07-11-2017, 11:33 PM
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Shaya Shaya is offline
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Default Love languages

If you've never come across it, there's this concept of love languages that many swear by. Essentially, the theory is that different people like to receive different things to feel loved. For some, receiving gifts from their significant other is viewed preciously as love. For others, receiving physical touch might mean more. The other 3 commonly-discussed loved languages would be acts of service, quality time and words of affirmation.

The theory, as I understand it, is that each person may have different love languages. People are 'geared' differently towards love and we should give in love what the other person wants, rather than what we're geared towards.

I was wondering if it was more nuanced than that. My question is, for those who are polyamorous, do you find your preferred love languages shifting depending on who you're with?

My reasoning is that if I have 2 partners and the first partner is geared towards physical touch then I may not feel like that's missing from the relationship, as they would naturally give more physical touch to the point where I may not feel like I need any more. If I were monogamous with this person, I may not even identify physical touch as something I need. However, when I pick up a relationship with a second person who does not need physical touch as much as myself, then suddenly physical touch might become important and I might identify physical touch as one of my love languages. The distinction being that the love language is a sign of what you want more out of the relationship rather than something that you are 'geared' towards.

I thought a polyamorous board would be the perfect place to explore something like this. Thanks in advance for your replies! I look forward to seeing what you guys think.
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Old 07-12-2017, 12:11 AM
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You'll find the book and/or website is often recommended here for people who are feeling unloved by a partner or who's partner is feeling unloved by them.

I'm not sure I understand your question. The Love Language theory isn't about "things I wish my partner would do", or "things that are missing in my relationship", it's more to do with how an individual has learned to feel and express love. Nobody is going to fall so completely into one category that they're completely blind to the other four, although some may have difficulty "understanding" their less preferred styles except intellectually.

Think of it as a favorite food. Just because I like chocolate doesn't mean I don't also like fajitas. If one partner is feeding me all the chocolate I can eat and the other has hot 'n cold running fajitas that doesn't mean the first is deficient in their delivery of Mexican food or that I now feel fajitas are "missing" from relationship #1.
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Old 07-12-2017, 03:46 AM
AlwaysGrowing AlwaysGrowing is offline
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My primary love language is quality time - across the board, with everyone. Same with secondary (acts of service). The others vary a bit depending. Gifts from Boy mean more, for example, because he and I so rarely buy each other things (other than date activities like dinner/movies). Hubby and I buy each other things ALL THE TIME so it tends to mean very little unless it's something super special (like I just ordered him movies that mean a lot to an event that is important to him - he's over the moon as am I).
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Old 07-12-2017, 04:27 AM
Hannahfluke Hannahfluke is online now
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While my top score is quality time, whether I'm answering with a specific relationship in mind or just generalizing how I feel, the order of the other ones vary, depending on which relationship I'm thinking of when taking the quiz or if I'm generalizing. Both in general and in my relationship with my husband, my second love language is physical touch, followed by words of affirmation, acts of service, and lastly gifts. I've been with my husband since I was 16, so it doesn't really surprise me that my generalized love language preferences reflect what I want in my relationship with him, 28 years with someone, especially when they start in your teen years, tend to form how you romantically relate in general.

Interestingly, when I take the test and only think about how I feel in relationship to my dom, the order changes somewhat. Quality time is still at the top, but it's followed very closely by words of affirmation, then physical touch, acts of service, and lastly gifts. I did find it interesting that when my dom and I first transitioned from friends with benefits to a D/s relationship, giving gifts to him was really, really important to me, regardless of if it was something simple like his favorite cheese or something a bit more, like the Star Wars shot glasses I found in New York while on a vacation with my husband. Gifts are not high on my dom's list of love languages, but it was important to me to physically show him how much I appreciated him and our new dynamic, because he offered to change our dynamic because he thought it would help me emotionally, which it has, and I felt like I wasn't giving him back anything close to the gift he was giving me by being my dom. As I've gotten more comfortable in our changed relationship and feel like I’m giving him less tangible but more important gifts, this need to give him physical gifts has tapered off. It was just interesting to realize that even though gifts are at the very bottom of both of our love languages, I felt, for a time, driven to give him gifts, almost like a thank you. I think we're both more comfortable now that I don't have that pressing urge.
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Old 07-12-2017, 04:32 PM
icesong icesong is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emm View Post
You'll find the book and/or website is often recommended here for people who are feeling unloved by a partner or who's partner is feeling unloved by them.

I'm not sure I understand your question. The Love Language theory isn't about "things I wish my partner would do", or "things that are missing in my relationship", it's more to do with how an individual has learned to feel and express love. Nobody is going to fall so completely into one category that they're completely blind to the other four, although some may have difficulty "understanding" their less preferred styles except intellectually.

Think of it as a favorite food. Just because I like chocolate doesn't mean I don't also like fajitas. If one partner is feeding me all the chocolate I can eat and the other has hot 'n cold running fajitas that doesn't mean the first is deficient in their delivery of Mexican food or that I now feel fajitas are "missing" from relationship #1.
I don't think that's entirely true though - for me, one of the things that differentiates a lover from a platonic friend is the desire to touch/be touched. If a lover *doesn't* touch me as much as I want to be, I'm not going to feel loved, no matter *what* else is going on in the relationship. Acts of service, for instance, make me feel loved as a person, as part of someone's life, but it's not the same.
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Old 07-12-2017, 06:21 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Quote:
My question is, for those who are polyamorous, do you find your preferred love languages shifting depending on who you're with?
Sure. The dynamic between me and one person is not going to be the same as the dynamic between me an another person. People are not cookie cutter copies of each other. Everyone has their own preferences, wants, needs. How those things line up will vary within each dyad.

Quote:
People are 'geared' differently towards love and we should give in love what the other person wants, rather than what we're geared towards.
Ok. I get that. Treat people how THEY want to be treated. Not treat them how you want to be treated expecting them to just want the same things as you.

You might love chocolate ice cream, and want people to bring you that for a treat if they are offering to bring treats.

But I'm allergic. Be better if you brought me a treat *I* like if you are going to be offering me treats. Not just bring me the stuff you like assuming I will like it too.

Quote:
My reasoning is that if I have 2 partners and the first partner is geared towards physical touch then I may not feel like that's missing from the relationship, as they would naturally give more physical touch to the point where I may not feel like I need any more.
Well, they are treating you how you want to be treated.

You don't even have to ask because they enjoy expressing love through touch and just do it "automatically."

Quote:
However, when I pick up a relationship with a second person who does not need physical touch as much as myself, then suddenly physical touch might become important and I might identify physical touch as one of my love languages.
Ok. And this one isn't treating you how you want to be treated "automatically." Here you actually have to speak up. Make an actual request for more touch. Because they are not mind readers.

Quote:
The distinction being that the love language is a sign of what you want more out of the relationship rather than something that you are 'geared' towards.
It cannot be both? You enjoy "touch" as a love language. That's your favorite.

AND you want more touching in the relationship that doesn't provide it "automatically" for you?

ANOTHER SCENARIO


What about this? In the 2nd relationship, maybe you ask for more touch and learn they don't do a lot of "casual touching" because they have chronic joint pain. They touch you lovingly when they do, but you realize they are not able to be as touch oriented as the pain free partner. When they pass by to get a drink from the fridge they aren't going to ruffle your hair in passing. They might do "kind words" instead because that doesn't hurt their hands.

Then it's on you to decide if you want to (keep your expectations for lots of touching) and break up with the partner because they are not able to touch you as often as you ideally want.

Or you (change your expectations for touch in this relationship) and you accept less touch from this partner. You are willing to pay the "price of admission" since you want to be with them and you can live with having less than ideal levels of touch.

I think there could be other nuances to a dynamic than just the nuances revolving around "love languages."

That's why I say at the beginning... people are not cookie cutter copies of each other. Each dyad will have it's own dynamic. It's on the people in the dyad to build a dynamic together that is pleasing enough for them to keep participating there. Things either line up enough or not.

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 07-12-2017 at 06:50 PM.
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  #7  
Old 07-13-2017, 01:11 AM
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kdt26417 kdt26417 is offline
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I only have one partner, so I don't know whether my love languages would shift from one partner to the other. I guess it makes sense to say that they could shift.
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Old 07-20-2017, 08:57 PM
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Reverie Reverie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post

ANOTHER SCENARIO


What about this? In the 2nd relationship, maybe you ask for more touch and learn they don't do a lot of "casual touching" because they have chronic joint pain. They touch you lovingly when they do, but you realize they are not able to be as touch oriented as the pain free partner. When they pass by to get a drink from the fridge they aren't going to ruffle your hair in passing. They might do "kind words" instead because that doesn't hurt their hands.

Then it's on you to decide if you want to (keep your expectations for lots of touching) and break up with the partner because they are not able to touch you as often as you ideally want.

Or you (change your expectations for touch in this relationship) and you accept less touch from this partner. You are willing to pay the "price of admission" since you want to be with them and you can live with having less than ideal levels of touch.
I love this—it applies to some stuff I've been thinking about recently and is very well said.
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Old 07-27-2017, 09:57 PM
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Spork Spork is offline
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I don't find that my LL that I prefer change from one partner to the next. For me, Words are king. If I'm getting nothing else, the right words that push the right buttons will put me over the moon. If I am feeling insecure, words fix it better than anything else. But the wrong words are like a punch in the gut. Touch is a close second.

I don't know where you would put eye-gazing. Being able to just look into one another's eyes and for me, when Zen looks at me there is joy in his eyes. A secret smile. It makes me feel very loved.

Quality time is on the positive end of the spectrum, too. I love doing special things with my partner and spending time together, or just dinner and a movie, or anything like that. Experiencing the world and life together is cool.

But gifts and acts of service...receiving them can sometimes make me uncomfortable, depending on what they are. Particularly if they are extravagant or excessive. They lead me to "scorekeeping" or feeling like I have to do something to balance the ledger, and if I don't then I feel like I'm an inadequate partner. Might have been part of the issues with my former quad...Analyst was a gifts guy, and Hefe is big on service. I always felt bad, like I needed to repay them but didn't know how.

But when it comes to GIVING LL to my partners, spontaneously, it varies. I have been a big giver of gifts or acts of service, I've set up quality time, I'm always pretty wordy (you guys know this, me and my walls of text right?) and when I know that touch is wanted I might give a lot of that...it's all in what I feel the person might like, or when I'm thinking of them what I am able to do. I can give any of them, but only prefer to receive some.
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