From giving bear hugs to lending a helping hand, we all show love differently. But is your Love Language just a personal preference, or does it have something to do with your personality type? Let's take a look.
Personality type and love languages: what the research says
While there’s limited research concerning the correlation between the Myers and Briggs personalities and Chapman's five Love Languages™, what little there is suggests there could be a link between certain personality traits and their preferred way of giving and receiving love.
One 2018 study looked at the relationship between the Big Five personality traits and Chapman's Love Languages - Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Acts of Service, Physical Touch and Receiving Gifts. The study found that:
- Conscientiousness is positively correlated with the love language of Quality Time.
- Extraversion is linked to both the Words of Affirmation and Physical Touch love languages.
- Agreeableness has a weak correlation with the Acts of Service love language.
- Receiving Gifts did not correlate with any personality trait.
The researchers behind this study concluded that “there were significant (but weak) positive correlations” between Chapman’s Five Love Languages™ and the Big Five Inventory. This means that while it's difficult to make a direct connection between your personality type and which Love Language you prefer, there could be some similarities.
By the way, a lot has changed since the 80s when Chapman first published The Five Love Languages™. We now know there are actually 7 Love Styles experienced in the modern day. Learn more by taking Truity’s Seven Love Styles Test, then keep scrolling to learn if others of your personality type could show love in similar ways.
The Love Styles of the 16 personality types
Everyone expresses love differently, but your personality could play a role in your preferred Love Style and how you show affection towards others. We’ve grouped the 16 personality types by Temperaments (Theorists, Empaths, Preservers and Responders) to see how each type might experience love.
Theorists: INTJ, INTP, ENTJ and ENTP
Love Style = Intellectual
Since they are so rational and logical, Theorists may have a hard time whispering sweet nothings or offering a surprise gift. In fact, they may forget your anniversary altogether. Being grandiose with affection will never come naturally to these analytical thinkers – but thought-provoking conversations are a sure way into their hearts.
Theorists are driven to think about and solve problems, and nothing says ‘I love you’ like intellectual stimulation. If you fall under this category, you probably feel love by connecting through the mind. Having someone in your life who matches you mentally, respects your opinions and is happy to discuss important topics with you matters a lot when you’re an Intuitive Thinker.
Empaths: INFJ, INFP, ENFJ, ENFP
Love Styles = Appreciation and Emotional
Empaths, as the word describes, are empathetic individuals who put themselves in other people’s shoes. They find meaning in helping others realize their potential and often imagine what it’s like to see the world through their significant other's eyes. Empaths look to forge meaningful connections in life. To do that, they tend to be expressive with their emotions, great listeners, and are the person others turn to when they need a shoulder to cry on. These traits make them perfect candidates for the Appreciation and Emotional Love Styles.
If you want to show an Empath you care about them, start with Appreciation. Sometimes, Empaths are so focused on helping others that they forget to take care of themselves. Showing them you care through words of appreciation, compliments and gratitude can make them feel valued and seen.
Empaths can also be compassionate with their time, offering emotional support to their loved ones. In return, they expect you to notice when they need that psychological support from you. It’s especially valuable for them when you notice they’re dealing with an emotional challenge and you offer your time and generosity.
Preservers: ISTJ, ISFJ, ESTJ, ESFJ
Love Styles = Practical and Physical
The traditionalist Preservers are some of the most dutiful and pragmatic Myers and Briggs personality types. Therefore, it’s no surprise that they lean towards a Practical love style to communicate their affection.
The Practical Love Style is similar to Chapman's Acts of Service. Sensor-Judgers with this style are likely to favor thoughtful actions, such as taking care of household chores, to demonstrate their affection towards you.
Though not fans of over-the-top romantic gestures, Preservers can also show Physical affection when it comes to the people they care about the most. ESFJs in particular are huggers-in-chief who recognize when you need someone to hold you.
Bear in mind that Preservers may not be the best at asking for help when they need it. Recognizing their Love Style and showing your love in a way that makes sense for your partner can go a long way. After all, Preservers want to feel needed, so gratitude means a lot to them.
Responders: ISTP, ISFP, ESTP, ESFP
Love Styles = Activity and Financial
The unofficial US Marine Corps motto “Adapt, Improvise and Overcome” reminds me of how Sensor-Perceivers go about their days. Why? Because rather than making plans, Responders will react to life as it’s happening. They're extremely aware of their surroundings, trust their instincts, and assess situations as they come.
Since Responders thrive on spontaneity, Activity is likely to be a preferred Love Style. These types love novelty and adventure and will often choose the road less traveled. It's even better if they can share those experiences with a partner in crime.
Financial is another Love Style of interest. People with this style feel and express love through financial means, whether that's gifts, treats, surprises, or taking care of practical things like your loved one's credit card bill. Thrill-seeking Responders may even combine these two Love Styles, using financial resources to show their love, and also by enjoying activities together. This Activity and Financial love combo can look like buying tickets to an improv show, or booking a couple's canoe trip, for example.
How do you show love?
Have you wondered about how you express love to others? What about the things that make you feel most loved? Maybe you take care of house chores when your partner is tired, or are happiest when your partner leaves thoughtful post-it notes in strategic places for you to find. Take Truity’s Seven Love Styles Test to find out what Love Style resonates with you the most. Does it match with your partner's or your Temperament?