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


  • Emma
    • Emma
    • November 29, 2020 at 10:49 am

    I’m an isfp female in with a polyamorous love life. One is an infj and the other is an ESTP. My ex husband is an entj. So I’m authenticity loving a harmony and an accuracy with an effectiveness in the past. I have to say this article hits the bull’s eye in all cases. My ex thought that being loyal to me and working hard to figure out how I operate are the love acts I was looking for, while I was drying up from not having the freedom to be me, and at the same time overwhelmed by his dedication to want to learn the details of my operation instruction but there’s no detail. In the end I had no more strength to hold on to him.

    My accuracy is a very impressive man who does well in everything he sets his eyes on and if not, he’ll try again with a better approach and mostly he gets it. Such a dedication and drive to perform and determine, apparently oblivious to all the feeling-obstructions like what would the people think, do I look silly doing this etc, are what attract me to him. At the same time it is not possible to talk to him in details about the intricacies and subtle motions of our feelings for each other. For that, I turn to the harmony.

    Harmony’s empathy and generosity are astounding. With him I can drop all strange pieces of armor I’ve accumulated in years to protect my soft isfp core. We’re both like teenagers again believing in the perfect boyfriend / girlfriend and treating each other as such, with warmth and unbounded enthusiasm and never hiding behind cynicism or irony or sarcasm. With harmony I’m completely emotionally bare and I feel safe, and he’s the same.

    Current problem with accuracy: he feels I’m not appreciating his expertise in the medical field with regards to covid. I feel he’s not appreciating the fact that while I know his expertise is not for me to doubt, it still has to go through my own private set of values and I come to another conclusion as he. I think he thinks I’m being childishly obstinate and I think he overestimates certain aspects and underestimates the others

  • Kenzie
    • Kenzie
    • July 20, 2020 at 12:54 pm

    I’m an ENFP as well and I totally agree…i dont really relate to showing love in the harmony types way but the questions are definitely ones I’d ask…if not directly to the person at least of myself

  • Alyssa
    • Alyssa
    • March 21, 2020 at 5:39 am

    Hello! I read your post and enjoyed reading about you and your relationships with the ENTP and INFJ. I re-read it after you said you weren’t expecting an answer because I can’t figure out what your Q is exactly!
    But I am an INFJ and very close to an INFP! I often distance myself from very close friends often and thought I’d share some of the most common reasons why I do this, so that it might help understanding why your INFJ is doing it.. (of course all 4 of these could not even be the reason why he is!)
    1. If I don’t feel safe anymore or if I feel misunderstood 2. My life is hectic. Such as experiencing abnormal amounts of anxiety or depression-like emotions because of something else like work, family…. 3. I don’t see the friendship/relationship growing any further. It’s kind of scary how easy it is for me to move on from friends and relationships sometimes. But it’s not that I don’t love that person still, I just personally feel my life is headed in a different direction. And 4. I try to pull back/distance myself when I feel like that’s what the other person wants. Maybe it’s something they said, or did that made me think they are the ones headed in a different direction.

    I think the best thing for you to do is communicate more clearly what you feel toward them. And ask those Q that clearly state “do you love me?”
    This hopefully will help understand their feelings and motives easier! I appreciate your ability to analyze and critically think about other people’s emotions. <3

    Best of luck with everything!

  • Vibrators
    • Vibrators
    • May 26, 2019 at 10:08 pm

    If you re not an INTP, you probably need some clarification on the second one, especially as seemingly innocuous things can feel like weighty burdens to us. Maybe you want to leave her a chat message that says I miss you :( to show that you love her and remind her that her presence enriches your life so that her absence is noted; there is a hole where she was — that s how important she is!! Who wouldn t want that affirmation??

  • 1sextoys
    • 1sextoys
    • May 14, 2019 at 5:50 am

    ISFP : Opens up to you. Shows you their playful side. Makes art about you. Tells others about you. Remembers little details about the time you ve spent together. Initiates affection. Asks you how you re feeling. Lets you take the lead, despite their independence. Makes you feel like the only person in the world.

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.