Each of us has a primary and a secondary language. We measure whether or not our partner loves us by our own love language. If our partner is not speaking our love language, we may believe that he or she doesn't love us. The truth may be that our partner is expressing love but it is according to his or her language but not ours. A vivid example of this mismatch came during a class I was holding on love languages. A man had spent a lot of time refinishing an antique piece of furniture for his wife. He did a beautiful job. When he presented it to her, she was furious. Why? Her love language was quality time and to her this piece of furniture symbolized so much time away from her. His love language was gift giving. This is what would make him happy but did not work for her. That is one of the problems in relationships. We express our love the way it would make us happy but we may not be speaking his or her language. The obvious lesson in this is to discover what each of us means by love.
Often we measure how good our relationship is working by unexpressed role and love expectations. These expectations often come out as criticisms or complaints such as "If he loved me, he would be expressing his love by the way I express it to him." If our partner's love language is acts of service, it may not occur to him to initiate quality time. He is not doing this because he doesn't love his partner. It may not be natural for him to think that way because he has a different definition for love.
It would be prudent for us to remember that for a relationship to be satisfying we can never assume that our partner knows what we need without our teaching him or her. We have to be good relationship teachers.