Rachel had grown up in a family where you showed love to people by feeding them - by cooking and baking and offering them the fruit of your loving labour. Rachel loved it when people prepared food for her. Food was part of her language of love.
And so Rachel decided she would bake for Richard. And she did. She started to bake him a cake or cakes every Friday. She would take them to the store and give them to him. He would be bound to get the message that she was feeling very affectionate towards him.
The problem was that Richard didn't particularly like cake. He had grown up in a household where he had been taught to be abstemious about food (fat was the unforgivable sin). In his household he had grown up with a different language of love - where you showed your affection by taking the rubbish bin out and by clearing the table. (OK, it wasn't so exciting as cakes, but it had worked in his family.)
And so Richard said to Rachel: "Rachel, please stop bringing me cakes. I don't like them." But Rachel didn't listen. She reasoned that Richard didn't mean it - I mean, everybody knew that you showed love by baking cakes, didn't they. So, she didn't stop baking.
And so Richard started to deal with the cakes he didn't want. Sometimes he threw them in the rubbish bin. Sometimes he gave them to other staff. Occasionally he gave them to other customers in the shop. And he became very annoyed that Rachel kept baking.
Rachel was saying: "I am going to go on showing affection in the way that feels normal to me, using the language of love that I grew up with, even though Richard is pretending that he doesn't understand my language of love."
It was as if Richard only spoke and understood German and Rachel only spoke and understood French. And in spite of knowing that, Rachel was determined to go on speaking French (regardless of the futility and counter-productiveness), and had no interest in learning a little German.
What language of love does your partner speak? Are you trying to communicate your love using her/his language, or are you persisting in continuing to use your own? Does your partner know what your language of love is? Have you tried communicating that?