Five Love Languages for Valentines Day
I’m a huge fan of The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary Chapman. Since first reading it several years ago, I’ve found myself building better relationships with everyone on my life; informal acquaintances, my daughters, and most certainly my significant other.
Chapman’s languages describe the ways in which we feel most loved, and the way we can show others love in a way they’ll respond positively to. For instance, a person who is mistrustful of compliments may not feel loved when her partner tells her she looks great, but instead would question his motives. This person might prefer a partner who speaks the love language Chapman calls “acts of service.”
Recognizing your partner’s love language can help you tighten the bonds you already have and make your relationship better than you imagined without undergoing torturous changes and negotiations to get there.
This Valentine’s Day, consider incorporating the things that make your partner feel most loved into your celebration with these suggestions.
For those who are unfamiliar with the book, I’ll offer descriptions that will help you figure out what means most to your partner (and yourself!), but I’d still highly recommend reading Dr. Chapman’s simple, direct version that fully explains how these languages can affect relationships for better or worse.
Order the book in hardcover, paperback, or Kindle editions
What are your love languages?
The five languages are:
- Quality Time – spending time together, with or without participating in other activities.
- Words of Affirmation – compliments, kind words, boasting to others about this wonderful person.
- Receiving Gifts – wrapped and tied with a bow is especially nice.
- Acts of Service – doing nice, helpful things that aren’t necessarily required.
- Physical Touch – both affectionate and intimate touch.
Although all relationships have some degree of each of these, each individual will have one that is critically important to him or her. In fact, it’s something that is so important to a person that its absence would be sufficient to convince them that their partner doesn’t genuinely love them. For instance, a woman who thrives on hearing affirmations from her husband would be very unhappy with a taciturn man who demonstrates his love by doing nice things for her no matter how many kind gestures he shows!
If you’re not sure what makes your partner feel loved, don’t be afraid to ask them! If they can’t answer, look elsewhere. My husband stumbled on the question when I posed it to him, so I considered the close relationship he has with his father, who lives next door and sometimes mows the lawn or takes our trash to the curb when my husband forgets. “Aha!” I realized my husband values acts of service highly, but was a bit puzzled because he is also close to several people who do not show love in that same way. In those relationships, he seems to feel most positive when he spends time with them. In the last two years since I first attempted to ask him about his love languages, I’ve become convinced that quality time is most important to him, followed by acts of service. Conversely, he demonstrates his love for others using acts of service and words of affirmation.
Find Your Love Languages
- The 5 Love Languages
I wish we could have accessed these when I was trying to figure out my husband's love language! This free assessment takes about 5 minutes. Requires e-mail registration.
Once you’ve narrowed down your spouse’s love languages to the one or two that are as necessary to them as say, breathing, you can find a way to dedicate a few minutes a day to speaking their language so the relationship will keep being treasured as if it were new. For special occasions like Valentine’s Day, speaking your loved one’s language will make the holiday more meaningful than ever before. Here are suggestions to help in your planning.
Holiday activities that incorporate quality time may be as simple as going to dinner in a nice restaurant, but to add that extra something, consider hiring a carriage ride or limousine for the evening. Overnight camping trips, driving to the country with some comfy quilts for stargazing, taking a train ride together, or indulging in a champagne hot air balloon brunch will mean a great deal to the native Q.T. speaker.
These items are well-suited for couples who are seeking quality time this holiday:
If Your Valentine's Language is "Words of Affirmation"...
Words of Affirmation
A man or woman who thrives on positive regard will feel treasured by a partner who writes a poem or song celebrating their love, no matter how unsophisticated the results may be. If you are a gift-giver, a framed print of a sentimental quote is a great choice. Personalized items from Zazzle.com that let your partner see your love again and again can’t be beat.
- Zazzle | Custom T-Shirts, Personalized Gifts, Posters, Art, and more
I've used Zazzle to create personalized gifts many times, and I imagine I'll use it many more times. I can tell you that I've always been impressed with the quality of Zazzle products and printing, and their turnaround time is super fast.
Gifts for the "Gift" Love Language
A person who feels most valued by getting tangible tokens of love will appreciate the way you present whatever you choose. Instead of dropping it into a gift bag and throwing in a few sheets of tissue paper, find ways to make your presentation something more. Use ribbons, raffia, or netting to accentuate your gift bag or box. Make sure the gift inside is wrapped nicely in attractive paper. Build anticipation by setting up a treasure hunt with clues that must be solved in order to find the next clue, which leads to the next, until finally, your sweetheart gets to open that lovely package.
Acts of Service
Have you ever made your partner breakfast in bed? If cooking’s not your thing, choose to do one or two of the household chores he or she normally does. In thirty minutes or less, you could have the house vacuumed, the trash emptied, and the dishwasher loaded. Sure, it’ll all be a mess again in a few days, but the effect on your lover’s heart won’t vanish so quickly. Coupon books that offer your services for completing common tasks like taking the car in for an oil change or folding laundry will keep on giving after the holiday. (Yes, you do actually have to honor them!)
Men and women who treasure touch will especially enjoy massage. A day at the spa is nice, especially if you can enjoy it together. Delivering that touch yourself will be especially meaningful for your beloved if you’ve gotten out of practice lately. Foot rubs and scalp massages can offer pleasant alternatives from traditional back massages, too.
Don't worry... here are some tools for speaking these languages, too!
Whatever you plan...
Adding that extra something that's in your partner's love vocabulary will ensure that your Valentines Day is a memorable one.
Your Best Valentine's Day Ever
jellygator (author) from USA on February 20, 2012:
Thank you! Hope you two had a wonderful Valentines Day together!
Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on February 20, 2012:
Sorry I didn't find this hub before Valentine's, but obviously these suggestions are valid any time. My sweetie and I take every opportunity to physically touch, so I can attest to the effectiveness of that method. Voting this Up and Useful.