My husband and I have now been together going on 12 years—married for almost 5—and have a 16-month-old. In this time, I’ve noticed my love language change. Knowing your love language and communicating it to your partner is essential in a relationship—otherwise, your partner might be expending so much on gestures that mean nothing to you.

In his book, The Five Love Languages, Gary Chapman claims that of the five, most people will only really have two dominant ones. According to him, the five love languages are:

Gifts: Gifts and thoughtful gestures are important. Even small gifts go a long way to please such people.

Quality Time: Focused and uninterrupted one-on-one time time is key. Special moments.

Words of Affirmation:  They want to hear you affirm your love in spoken words, a note, text, or card.

Acts of Service: They want you to help and alleviate their workload.

Physical Touch: Be near, in person; hold hands. They value physical touch and intimacy.

Dating

In the early years of our relationship as University students, gifting featured occasionally but it wasn’t the way to my heart. Not long after we started dating, I recall him slipping a new wristwatch into my pocket. He didn’t bother presenting it with the case because it was pretty early on and he thought I’d refuse it. On a couple of occasions, his gift presentations seemed like proposals. The first was an Arsenal football jersey—he knelt to ask me to become an Arsenal fan. (So dramatic, I bet he wouldn’t even attempt it today.) The second was a pair of gorgeous earrings in a case resembling an engagement ring box. For the record, I’d have said no at that time. It was too soon.

Words of affirmation didn’t mean that much to me then, either. I didn’t care much for the phrase “I love you.” It was nice to hear, but words can be easy, no? I needed more, and my primary love language seems to have been quality time. It was important that I got to know him and enjoyed spending time with him. And we did spend a lot of time together. Our faculties were just across from each other, so even though he lived outside the campus, he’d make the fairly long drive to school so we could catch up. I enjoyed our time together and he went to great lengths to speak this language. From a surprise birthday dinner on my 20th —complete with a two-tiered cake and the words “ich liebe dich”, to a random drive to Bowers Towers—the spot from where you can see all of Ibadan. Ibadan didn’t have much of a social scene, but we made time to explore the little it presented. If a new restaurant opened in town, we’d try to check it out. Another time, he drove me to church for a private mini-session about the essentials of a relationship—eyebrow-raising, but interesting.

Our quality time together wasn’t always activity-filled. Many times, it was simply good conversations or even boring activities like studying together (I know I studied, can’t say the same for him) or long walks while holding hands. Even when we weren’t together—holidays, for instance— quality time happened via phone calls or text messages. Interestingly, our first Valentine’s was significant because we didn’t speak that day. He was on holiday in London and I was with friends. According to his version of the story, he walked miles in the freezing cold to make a phone call to me and I didn’t answer. Now that I’ve lived in London in February, I reckon he must have been exaggerating. I pictured icy snow and road-blocks. But c’mon how cold can it be in February?

Without a doubt, his love language was also quality time. So, those three years in university definitely cemented our relationship. When he left university before me, quality time (in person) became hard and more appreciated. So his showing up at about 9 pm on the last day of my LLB exams—having left Lagos at about 7 pm and driven to Ibadan—it was the most thoughtful surprise.

Long Distance

He left Nigeria for his master’s in the UK in 2011.

Being so far apart, without real knowledge of his environment and activities (I’d never been to the UK),  words of affirmation became very necessary for me. Thankfully, he spoke this language fluently at that time. It was probably the season of our relationship in which he wrote to me the most. Long distance relationships can be hard, and his long emails and handwritten letters—reminiscing about the past, dealing with the present and hopes for the future—made this season less challenging.  Yes, I probably needed to hear “I love you” every day.

In the absence of quality time, gifts became my secondary love language—perhaps also because I was surrounded by people in their mid-twenties, getting employed and in the neck of dating who received gifts very often. I wanted nicely-wrapped surprise gifts, gifts on my birthdays, “no reason” gifts, “thinking of you” gifts. It didn’t have to be lavish or expensive, but thoughtful.  I guess it’s the only tangible way to show love when you’re apart? A funny story about one of Tee’s gifts:  Just before my Call to Bar, I was about to watch The Lincoln Lawyer with my friends and I texted him about our plans. He got frantic and replied, “No, no! Don’t watch that movie. I can’t tell you why now, but don’t.” It turned out he had got me the book and wanted me to read it first. Soon after, I received the law novel personalized this with a handwritten note which read “here’s wishing you the best in your legal career. You have planted the seed of greatness and I know you are on course to be one of the greatest the profession has ever seen. I am more than proud of you.”

Despite the woes of long distance, acts of service still featured in our relationship. Like Tee writing my first CV or reviewing my scholarship application essays a million times over. These definitely meant more to me than gifts.

When I moved to the UK for my master’s, quality time returned to the number one spot. Because this love language is his specialty, we had some good times, such as my 24th birthday—a spa date and dinner, complete with a saxophonist special number—and our first trip to Paris and Amsterdam, albeit on a lean student budget.

Marriage

After marriage,  acts of service became my primary love language.

There was nothing nicer than coming home to a clean sink, or not having to vacuum, and generally just having someone help out with house chores. And giving credit where it is so due, my husband was at my service—whether he was driving me to the salon, cooking, fixing stuff at home, or grocery shopping with me. Quality time came a close second and he consistently spoke this language, from surprise birthday parties like my 26th to getaways for my 27th and 28th, and more recently, a surprise baby shower.

For three and a half years, we created some awesome memories and spent significant time together. That coupled with a lot of acts of service and the occasional gifting was more than enough for me.

We didn’t even really do Valentine’s—we never have.

Baby

When our son arrived, my primary love language remained acts of service. What quality time? I was home most of the time and couldn’t even make a solo trip to the corner shop. Neither could we go anywhere together, baby-free. So I needed him to speak the language of changing diapers, bathing the kid, being a 110% hands-on dad. Again, he rose to the occasion. I mean, I still don’t know how to fit a car seat.

But parenting takes a toll on you and your intimacy. With all the sleepless nights and just trying to wing it, we weren’t spending enough time together. For the first time since being married, he wasn’t around for my birthday. In the midst of everything, we were still trying to forge our careers, and even the “holidays” we went on, felt more like work.

In fairness, it hasn’t been all routine, and there have been some really good moments. Like my “surprise” 30th dinner last November. I knew it was happening—but it was still a sweet gesture from him.

Spot the kiddo?

The Present

16 months post baby, what’s my current love language?

I actually can’t pick one. I want them all. But with a generous helping  of “romance.” Does this have anything to do with being 30 and wanting to live more intentionally? Maybe.

But I want all of the celebrations—not necessarily lavish, just in the most romantic ways possible. Flowers are nice, but I’m still not a huge fan. Instead, I want the love letters in hidden places. I want the stolen kisses. I want the “wear this dress I got you and let’s go to dinner.” I want the getaway trips for two. I want to hold hands all the time. I want date nights, breakfasts in bed—I want all of the LOVE.

And I don’t just want to receive it—I want to give it.

Love is action. But if not fuelled, you run the risk of getting comfortable. Being with the same person for a long time can make you too comfortable. Add being  a new parent to the mix? Ha.

Instead of lazily asking Tee to pick out gifts for himself which I may have done for his last two birthdays, I want to be more conscious. The spirit is willing; I hope the flesh doesn’t become weak.

Interestingly, I think he’s on to this as well. He’s been speaking of getaway trips, romance and being more intentional.

Did I celebrate Valentine then yesterday? When I told my colleague “it’s such a commercialized day,” she—an Italian (they love Love) who has been with the same guy for 22 years—responded,  “And so? You’re young, you should celebrate love! Do something romantic. Buy something.”

Unfortunately, we only had this conversation on the 11th of February. Probably a bit too late to sway me.

But we’ll see…

For the record, if I walked in to love notes and roses, and a sink full of dishes, or still had to fold laundry, that would be no fun. But I don’t need my husband to do these things—let’s just get someone to do the boring stuff, while we jet away to Bali, yes?

And where shall we keep our son? Is this all wishful thinking?—I have no idea!

_____

What’s your love language? Has it changed over time? Do you have one or two, or is it more of a combination? Some people say Gary’s categories do not cover their love language—which is food or money! Let us know your thoughts.

P.S: check your love language here

read too: How We Met, First Date + a 9 Year Later Photoshoot and 3 Years Married and a Fun Husband Tag


47 COMMENTS

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47 Comments

  1. Oladeji Olayinka Doyin

    February 15, 2019 at 10:19

    First to comment here! Yaay! It’s interesting to see how our love languages change with the different seasons of life. I think mine are words of affirmation and acts of service. My husband and I agree on affirmation but he prefers quality time. We often make compromises on speaking each person’s love language. And yes, to more romance, travel and living life with so much love while we are still young. Thanks for the post, Kacheetee

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      February 21, 2019 at 21:07

      Yay! Thanks for the comment. Tbh I think if the “service” didn’t need to be done, I’ll be a words of affirmation person. We’re young oh… we should live!

      Reply
  2. Olaa Bobade

    February 15, 2019 at 10:34

    Kachi, I love this post! Especially because I believe strongly in the love languages. Mine is acts of service and I feel you on the walking in to meet roses and love notes but not having fun when there’s a sink of dirty dishes. That’s so me, lol. Love the pictures as well. Too cute. xxx

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      February 21, 2019 at 21:05

      Thank you girl! The roses will even make me upset in that instance Lol!

      Reply
  3. Kemisola Oyinlade

    February 15, 2019 at 11:05

    Interesting read Kachee! I hope you get all of the “more romance” that you want. I have been single for too long that I’m not even sure what my love language is. But it seems more like Quality time and Acts of service.

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      February 21, 2019 at 21:04

      Thank you! Hugs to you as well! I hope that you get all the love that you seek for.

      Reply
  4. Atinuke

    February 15, 2019 at 11:32

    I didn’t want this to end, I really enjoyed reading this! I have always wondered how having a baby can affect the romance in a marriage, to the extent that I have decided to start making babies a year after the wedding. Hahaha.For me, it’s more of quality time, acts of service, words of affirmation and occasional but thoughtful gifts. I’d love to look forward to getting that gift that doesn’t come in regularly but when it does, OMG, it is amazing! Is that too much? I don’t think so, it’s fair enough.Thanks for sharing, Kachee. I wish you all you wish/ask for and more! X

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      February 21, 2019 at 21:03

      Hahaha! Thank you Tinuke. Having a baby can definitely affect the relationship and it takes a lot of consciousness. A year isn’t bad at all. We waited for about 3 years or so. So enjoy!Also thoughtful gifts are the best actually! I agree with you

      Reply
  5. Dee Olateru

    February 15, 2019 at 12:43

    Loved reading this!!!! I’ve always been an acts of service and quality time (not quantity oh). I hope you get and give all you want 🙂

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      February 21, 2019 at 21:01

      Lol! You had to stress the not quantity. Thank you SO much girl.

      Reply
  6. Kelechi

    February 15, 2019 at 15:32

    Love this post! Its interesting to see how the love languages change over time. I’m definitely an acts of service and quality time kinda girl but my husband prefers words of affirmation.

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      February 21, 2019 at 21:00

      Thank you Kelechi! It’s great that you know your husband’s!

      Reply
  7. Tosin

    February 15, 2019 at 17:40

    Woah, brilliant adventures!

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      February 21, 2019 at 20:59

      Thank you Tosin.

      Reply
  8. Aisha

    February 15, 2019 at 18:54

    Let me just say……Awwwww 🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰 then I come back for a proper comment 😂😂😂❤️❤️❤️

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      February 21, 2019 at 20:59

      Still waiting! Lol

      Reply
  9. Osar'

    February 15, 2019 at 19:29

    This post was just sweet😀

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      February 21, 2019 at 20:58

      My girl! Thank you.

      Reply
  10. Onyi Asomba

    February 15, 2019 at 23:55

    Love this!! While reading this I just kept asking myself Onyeka what is your love language… hmmm… Torn between quality time, words of affirmation, physical touch and acts of service! Gifts don’t even do it for me..P.s – I have missed this blog thanks to mat leave and life but I would be back in full force to catch up!

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      February 21, 2019 at 20:58

      Hahahah. Take the test and lets see. Thank you my love. Catch up catch up!

      Reply
  11. Mary-ann Sparkle

    February 16, 2019 at 06:32

    So niceeeee…..ma’am Kachee, I love this blog

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      February 21, 2019 at 20:58

      Glad you do! Thank you for reading.

      Reply
  12. Tiese

    February 16, 2019 at 13:37

    Wipes tear. This was so so sweet, I couldn’t keep a smile off my face while reading. Cheers to love, and lots of it between you both and your beautiful baby! ❤️❤️❤️I’m realizing too that the categories may be a bit restrictive, though isn’t that just how categories go. It’s hard to put things into a neat little box. My love language has always been acts of service. Second is words of affirmation. I like to say and hear positive words of affirmation.

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      February 21, 2019 at 20:57

      Thank you my love! It is indeed restrictive for a strict categorization but it helps to know at least..

      Reply
  13. 'Dara

    February 16, 2019 at 14:29

    Off to take the test because I’m not sure I know mine

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      February 21, 2019 at 20:56

      send me the results!

      Reply
      • 'Dara

        February 23, 2019 at 04:03

        Took the test! ‘Receiving gifts’ and ‘words of affirmation’ were the top two.

        Reply
  14. Toluwalade Toyin-Kehinde

    February 16, 2019 at 19:29

    How I’ve missed reading your blog!! This was very cute to read. Some of us are still outchea looking for love oo lol but i agree food needs to be on that list😂

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      February 21, 2019 at 20:56

      I have missed you! Lol. Don;t worry just know the love language ahead of time so you can let all the fellas know – no time to waste!

      Reply
  15. Racheal

    February 17, 2019 at 19:29

    This was so sweet to read! And it has got me thinking about my love language(s). P.S- I haven’t been here in sooo long, time to catch up! xx

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      February 21, 2019 at 20:55

      Catch up catch up!Thank you for reading.

      Reply
  16. Abby

    February 18, 2019 at 13:06

    You know I’ve never really thought about love languages changing through life seasons but this post puts it in perspective and ’twas such a sweet read!Money and Food doesn’t count as gifts? 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂Wish you and Tee many more years of loveeeee! and yess to jetting off to Bali!

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      February 21, 2019 at 20:55

      Thank you my love! I better get ready for my Bali slay!!! Food can’t really be purely gifts oh because eating out in restaurant might be act of service, same as breakfast in bed. Food in any form is a separate love language! Lol.

      Reply
  17. Debs

    February 18, 2019 at 14:38

    Kachee, I miss reading this kind of post on this blog. I have been reading this since I got to work today and I just manage to finish at 3:35pm and I wish I can continue reading, lols.I started reading this book but got carried away reading another book, now I have to go back to it. You just opened my eyes to a whole lot of things. Currently in a long distance relationship and I get worried unnecessarily many times but reading this, I already have a note on a few things to work on and adjust.And I love how very honest you are in this post.www.debwritesblog.com

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      February 21, 2019 at 20:53

      I’m so glad it could help you reflect in a little way. That means a lot to me!And hopefully I get back to writing these kind of posts. This was in my draft for months. Valentine season forced me to finish it up.

      Reply
  18. TemyO

    February 19, 2019 at 01:05

    This was a very interesting read. Thank you for sharing

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      February 21, 2019 at 20:52

      Thanks for reading Temy!

      Reply
  19. Desire Uba

    February 20, 2019 at 11:34

    Aww, Kachee. This post warms my heart so much. It reminds me of your posts from your earlier blogging days, in such a good way.Currently mine are Quality Time and Acts of Service in that order. I guess they probably will keep changing because it used to be Words of Affirmation but that’s 3rd place now. I also want all the feels. Someday soon, hopefully.www.desireuba.wordpress.com

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      February 21, 2019 at 20:52

      All the feels. All are necessary to be honest and yes the top ones keep changing. Hahaha @ earlier posts. Was I mushy?

      Reply
      • Desire Uba

        March 5, 2019 at 10:22

        You had a lot of personal relationship posts then, this just reminds me of them. Love KT, then and now!

        Reply
  20. Ajibike 'Dammy

    February 20, 2019 at 13:20

    Smiled from the beginning of this post till the end. The undergraduate part made me laugh. Ibadan really has no social circle. My love language are words of affirmation, quality time, physical touch and receiving gifts. Awesome post Kachee.

    Reply
    • RuthsTravel:Because I Believe

      February 20, 2019 at 20:22

      I smiled too!

      Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      February 21, 2019 at 20:51

      Thank you Dammy! Ibadan was so hilarious but I loved it. I see you as a words of affirmation person. You like words!

      Reply
  21. RuthsTravel:Because I Believe

    February 20, 2019 at 20:31

    I loved, loved, loved it! OmG! I love how we can read about the transition of the love languages. Talking about getting (and giving) all that love, I’m like, Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaass!!! Yeeeeeees! 😍❤️ I wish both of you love that is strengthened with each passing moment. I also love and appreciate that neither of you are stuck on being the same person. Imagine experiencing your love language change and your partner is so frustrated that you can’t just be pleased. This is such a blessing that your partner is able to understand and transition as well. Your family is so blessed and when you need to take that trip, please, call Grandma! ❤️

    Reply
    • Kachee || KacheeTee.com

      February 21, 2019 at 20:50

      Thank you Ruth!! Hhahaha we shall have to call Grandma soon because we need that trip!

      Reply
  22. Tola

    March 2, 2019 at 06:56

    This was such a heartwarming post to read, the transition of your love language at different phases in your life is beautiful to see. I wonder if Tee’s love language changed during the exact times your did too.

    Reply
  23. Aisha

    March 3, 2019 at 02:26

    I finally took this test cos of this post (not today tho. And I’ve been ignoring the test) and top of the list for me was Acts of service. I knew that even before I did the test, and my theory for why this is major on women’s love language is because we’ve come to realize no woman fell from heaven knowing how to do all these things that make us multitaskers. Instead, we want someone who is willing to get involved in taking care of us and the home (baby) equally. Never a bad thing!2nd on the list for me is Quality time which is a struggle if you’re in a LDR 😭😭. I’m not big on gifts but I love a thoughtful gift, who doesn’t? 😂😂😂Really love this post cos it’s just so cute and I’ve read it like 20 times (no jokes) 😂😂😂 and sent to people I love.

    Reply

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