In any romantic or pair bond relationship, there are myriad ways that a couple communicates to each other. Words, actions, expressions, mannerisms… we’re looking for and sending endless signals to and from our mate.

And while there are a million things each person says (both verbally and non-verbally) every day, it could be argued that there really is only one thing we’re actually looking for: the answer to the question, “Do you love me?”

According to Gary Chapman’s “The 5 Love Languages” we all express love a little differently. In Chapman’s model, the 5 primary ways are:

  • Acts of Service
  • Quality Time
  • Gift Giving
  • Words of Affirmation
  • Physical Touch

(For a quick reference listen to the Personality Hacker podcast “The 5 Love Languages.” For more in-depth information, read Chapman’s book of the same title. It’s a great read – we highly recommend it.)

These are five very important modalities of communicating love, and knowing which one you and your mate favor can make or break the relationship. That said, while we communicate love in different ways, we are also looking for very specific markers that transcend the form of communication – we’re looking for specific criteria which means love to different types.

For example, we might have a “Words of Affirmation” Love Language and we’ll always feel good when someone praises us. But what are they praising us for? Does it match our internal ‘list’ of important things? For example, one woman might be over to moon to hear her husband praise her beauty to his friends, and another woman might feel marginalized.

How “Evaluation” Becomes “Love”

In our program Couples Mapping we discuss how different personality types both ask the question, “Do you love me?” and how they answer it, “Yes! I do love you!” Here’s where it gets tricky: each personality type asks it in a slightly different way, and concurrently answers it in a slightly different way.

A quick refresher on how the 16 Myers-Briggs personality types correlate to their 'decision-making' mental processes:

All FJs use the mental process called Extraverted Feeling, or “Harmony” to make decisions.

All FPs use the mental process called Introverted Feeling, or “Authenticity” to make decisions.

All TJs use the mental process called Extraverted Thinking, or “Effectiveness” to make decisions.

All TPs use the mental process called Introverted Thinking, or “Accuracy” to make decisions.

The “decision-making” mental processes (Harmony, Authenticity, Effectiveness, Accuracy) are ways we evaluate the world and determine their rightfulness, truthfulness and importance to us as people.

Every personality type has a tendency to overvalue their criteria, and unless you understand the concept of different types it’s very easy to assume others are using the same criteria to make evaluations and decisions. That is, if you’re an Effectiveness person it may be very difficult to understand another person who is using, say, Accuracy. When they come to a conclusion that favors conceptual analysis over what works, the assumption is that person is being short-sighted, and somewhat stupid.

Since we all do this (to some extent), in a romantic relationship this can be disastrous. On some level we ‘get’ that other people see the world differently than we do, but without a solid model these differences end up becoming gender stereotypes. “Women just want men to listen to them and not solve problems,” or “Men just want to be alone in their ‘man cave’ when they have problems.”

Since there is definitely a gender skew in personality types, these stereotypes play out often enough that we take them for granted. Real trouble surfaces when we’re a personality type not common to our gender but we’re still expected to play out the normal ‘script’. When our mate can’t ‘read’ or ‘predict’ us (or vice versa!) it can become a serious issue.

It’s a frustrating exercise trying to communicate love (and look for markers of love from your mate) only to watch the attempts fall flat. In most things to ‘fail again, fail better’ is a noble pursuit, but in love if we believe the answer to our question “Do you love me?” is “No” or “I’m not sure” too often, you can do real damage to your own heart and your mate’s.

Knowing your own decision-making process and your lover’s is a much easier way of being able to say clearly, “When I look for love, this is what I’m looking at.”

How “Harmony” asks “Do you love me?”Myers-Briggs types: ENFJ, INFJ, ESFJ, ISFJ

  • Do you feel connected to me?
  • Will you check in and make sure I’m okay?
  • Will you acknowledge and take care of my needs?
  • Am I safe with you?
  • Do you accept and approve of me?

How “Harmony” answers: “Yes! I love you!”

  • I will meet your needs before I meet my own.
  • I will check in regularly and make sure you’re okay.
  • I will do my best to keep morale up.
  • I will show you appreciation in whatever way I’d like to be shown appreciation.

How it can be misinterpreted by other types: Smothering, intrusive.

How “Authenticity” asks, “Do you love me?”
Myers-Briggs types: ENFP, INFP, ESFP, ISFP

  • Do you think I’m being real with you?
  • Do you trust my motives and my intent?
  • Will you support me no matter what – do you have my back?
  • Will you give me space to be “me?”

How “Authenticity” answers, “Yes! I love you!”

  • I will be patient with your honest expressions.
  • I will honor your feelings and identity, even if it’s a struggle for both of us.
  • I will hold space for you, and give you alone time when you need it.
  • I will have your back no matter what the fight is.
  • I will trust you have my best interests at heart.

How it can be misinterpreted by other types: Passive, self-absorbed

How “Effectiveness” asks, “Do you love me?”
Myers-Briggs types: ENTJ, INTJ, ESTJ, ISTJ

  • Will you handle things – can I rely on you?
  • Will you make my life easier, can I relax knowing you’re “on it?”
  • Will you support my career and/or goals and be self-sufficient?
  • Are you loyal?

How “Effectiveness” answers, “Yes! I love you!”

  • I will be endlessly loyal on principle.
  • I will educate myself on you and learn how you operate.
  • I will take pride in you, boasting about your accomplishments even before my own.
  • I will protect you.
  • I chose you. I continue to choose you. Case closed.

How it can be misinterpreted by other types: Controlling, distant, “unromantic”

How “Accuracy” asks, “Do you Love Me?”
Myers-Briggs types: ENTP, INTP, ESTP, ISTP

  • Do you think I’m totally competent?
  • Are you impressed with my performance?
  • Do you trust that I’m not lying to you or B.S.’ing you in any way?
  • Does it make sense that you love me? That you stay with me?


How “Accuracy” answers, “Yes! I love you!”

  • I will be rigorously honest with you. If I have a ‘wandering eye’ I will tell you, and provide a solution.
  • I will gift you with my precision. I will learn you and give high performance at all levels.
  • I will protect you from others, but not from yourself.
  • I will never judge you. Instead, I will be there for you when things go bad, no matter why they went bad.

How it can be misinterpreted by other types: Harsh, insensitive, cold

Did this resonate with you and what you know of your type? Were you able to spot your lover’s decision-making criteria, and how can it help you communicate to them that you love them in a way that’s meaningful to them?

Let us know! Leave a comment and share your experience.


Interested in gaining deep insight into how you and your lover operate within your relationship? Want to get to the next level of intimacy on a deep, cognitive level? This article is just a taste of our full course “Couples Mapping: Personality Types in Marriage & Relationships."


How does each personality type ask, Do You Love Me? #MBTI


  • Ron Walker
    • Ron Walker
    • November 4, 2023 at 1:34 am

    I’m an ESTP male, I was married to an ISTJ female for 60 years after a 6 months exciting courtship. I can’t remember either party declaring, I love you or or similarly asking the question, ‘do you love me’? I just knew I wanted to be with her all the time and she identically like wise. We obviously loved each other. Any question is raising doubt. My beautiful wife passed away 2 years ago and I still struggle daily, with a life of memories. About 6 months after her passing, I was introduced to Myers Briggs, and have become infatuated with the accuracy with regards my own life’s behaviour and my ISTJ wife’s similarly. Disagreement & differences, were solved quickly via Sensing & Thinking, which facts & logic, dominating any feelings. Wildly different but so complimentary. Then I find, that the ESTP/ISTJ combination is recognised by MB, as a best of partnership, soulmate relationship. Absolutely amazing.

  • uzerucer
    • uzerucer
    • November 9, 2022 at 7:28 am

    thanks for making this!

  • Rav
    • Rav
    • May 27, 2022 at 11:31 am

    Holy-moly, this is scary accurate!!!!

  • Alison
    • Alison
    • April 20, 2021 at 5:47 pm

    Hi, I’m a female INFP blessed with having found my INFJ guy partner. It sounds like the endless questions going round and round is your “Exploration” function, the INFP passenger (2nd function) Ne, and not “Perspectives” the Ni function which is not in the conscious top 4 of your stack. As an INFP myself, what I find helpful is consciously applying our Te “Effectiveness” function to these endless Ne-driven questions that, in my experience, can feel like a bit of a whirlwind at times so I can relate to your frustration. It’s easier than you might think since they both are extroverted. I use it by trying to group similar questions together so as to organize them and then answer each question going group by group in the context of “how likely or possible will finding an answer to this be and will it be useful when I find it?” This of course is more appropriate with a task or goal in mind. If I’m just sort of day-dreaming and exploring conceptual possibilities or recognizing patterns and connections in my mental landscape of puzzles, I’ve learned to be more casual about it and to remind myself to enjoy the process as freely as possible by temporarily tuning some of my Fi “Authenticity” judging function out. I’m much more likely to enter a flow state when I’m not focusing on self-criticism and allow myself to take a break from the constant sphere of self-optimization I live in. Hope this helps, cheers.

  • Laura
    • Laura
    • February 3, 2021 at 5:26 am

    I am an ENTP female who, coincidentally, was hurt in a toxic relationship too. The first thing I’m thinking is this situation can damage the trust of any human, no matter what personality. Hearing the words “I love you” often enough, in any form, and then witnessing the opposite (toxic partner does things that no one would do if they really loved you) tends to cheapen those words, especially for a person who values truth and reason. We always say what we mean, and mean what we say, and having been burned by someone who doesn’t, tends to leave a wound, and the reflex to protect that wound from further injury. The need to wait, watch and be certain that person’s words line up with their deeds is a protective mechanism. In all likelihood, he does love you but will not tend to say it often, as this expression has been used for great damage in the past.

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