Not sure how to plan for Valentines Day? Well as media and advertising tell us, every women wants a bouquet of flowers and some chocolates. So around Valentine’s Day flowers, chocolates, perfumes and jewellery are sold at a premium because that is what you are suppose to get…right?
Well I can only speak for myself and my husband, but as much as I appreciated the flowers my husband got me, I would have been equally if not happier with him using that money for something else that would allow us to spend some quality time together. For many years my husband and I spent Valentine’s day doing and getting what we thought the other person wanted, or what society told us they wanted.
It wasn’t until we were doing our pre-marital counseling course through our church that we were introduced to the book, ‘The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts’ by Gary Chapman.
Disclaimer: This post is not a promotion for this book (or a paid post). My views on this book are my own.
This book changed the way I express love to and for my spouse (and vice versa) and allowed me to concentrate my efforts on words and actions that would provide the biggest positive impact in showing him how important he is to me.
The premise behind this book is that we all express love the way we would like to receive it. However, we often tend to be in relationships with people that express love in another way. This book teaches us how to reconcile these differences by:
- Getting us to know what our 2 dominant love languages are. If you have never read this book but you want to find out what your 2 dominant love language are, complete the quiz and find out.
- Get your partner to complete the quiz as well
- Learn your partner’s 2 dominant love languages and find ways to express that to them throughout the year.
The 5 Love Languages the book talks about are:
After my husband and I read this book we could accurately determine what our 2 dominant love languages were. My love language was quality time and acts of service while his were words of affirmation and physical touch. Out of all the love languages, we both scored the lowest on gifts, which made perfect sense as to why some of our Valentine’s Day celebrations were not the best they could be before reading this book.
Since reading this book, we have made lots of changes on how we interact on a daily basis with each other and our expectations around special days like Valentines Day, some of these changes include:
- We only buy each other gifts twice a year. On our birthdays and wedding anniversary. Since we are both not ‘gift people’ the added time and money required to find and buy a gift will give us minimal utility for our efforts
- My husband will take on chores that I normally do around the home without asking. He will also run errands that I normally run. Because acts of service are one of my love languages, he knows I feel loved when he makes my work load a little lighter.
- We have weekly date nights (no kids yet) where we do an activity which does not involve technology. We might go for a long walk (I am a big walker) and grab some ice cream along the way, go for lunch or play boards games at home. This uninterrupted one on one time is great for me because quality time is how I feel loved.
- Sometimes if we can’t do date night because it has been a busy or hectic week (we both work full time and go to school part time) and life seems to be going through the motions, I remind him by saying ‘quality time’. Its super cheesy, but it is an understanding we have after reading this book. We then carve out at least 20 minutes that day to spend uninterrupted with each other.
- I congratulate my husband on all his accomplishments big and small. I make a big deal about them to people close to us when he is around (or not) because I know words of affirmation is important to him.
- Most days I will pack our lunches for work in the morning. Sometimes, I will include a cheesy but cute letter letting him know what a great husband he is.
- When we are sitting somewhere (i.e. church service), I will rub the back of his neck with one hand or hold his hand while we are seated. Physical touch is one of the ways he feels loved.
Even with my understanding of love languages, I still enjoy receiving gifts, being affirmed by positive words and physical touch. However, most people (including myself) will have 2 dominant languages which they value (whether they know it or not) more than others. So if done repeatedly and correctly, I get more utility and satisfaction from my relationship if my husband gives me quality time and acts of service. Of course, I think a balance of all 5 in different amounts is ideal for a healthy relationship.
Here are some suggestions of what you might want to do for your partner based on their love language:
This language relies on gifts as a way to express love. The gifts can be big or small, expensive or inexpensive, it is the thought that counts.
|§ Shower your partner with small gifts.
§ You can make them yourself, or buy them at the store.
|§ Provide them with an element of surprise with their gift. If they don’t see it coming it makes it that much better.|
This language relies on physical touch with the other person. Small and subtle gestures can go a long way to making this person feel loved
|§ Hold their hand or waist in public (or private)
§ Stroke their back & neck from time to time
|§ Giver them a massage|
|§ Find ways to get close to them and do small gestures to show them love|
This language relies on uninterrupted quality time with the other person. Being attentive to your partner is key. Make sure they feel you have their undivided attention.
|§ Take a walk around the neighborhood or to your favorite park and sit somewhere and talk. Refrain from conversations that may lead to arguments or discussing the routines of your daily life.
§ Turn your cell phones off (or keep them at home)
|§ Take them out for lunch or dinner once a week/month as your own special date night.
§ If you have young kids, then you may have to get creative. Carve out some time early in the morning or late at night to spend together at home. Refrain from talking about routines of life.
|§ Play a board game at home that you both enjoy. Avoid anything that would require technology like video games or games on apps as this can be distracting.
§ Turn your phones off to avoid any potential interruption during this time.
|ACTS OF SERVICE
This language relies on actions more than words. Lend a helping hand before being asked and find ways to lighten the load/responsibility for your partner by taking on things without being asked.
|§ If you have more of a traditional style relationship, take on chores that she would most likely do around the home.
§ Cook a full course meal for your partner. Take care of all the details and don’t have them lift a finger.
|§ Clean the house without being asked
§ Or take on whatever errands they would normally do without having them ask you too.
|§ Do the grocery shopping for the week.|
|WORDS OF AFFIRMATION:
This language relies on words to affirm someone. Positive, encouraging, loving and uplifting words really make this person feel loved
|– Find something special in the home (or buy it) and have it engraved. Spend some time in choosing your words.
– Examples of things that can be engraved:
a) Specialty frame
b) Jewellery box
c) A piece of jewellery
d) Specialty pen
|– Write a note in the morning and leave it prominently in a place at home for them to read while you’re not there.
– Surprise them with a note in their lunch bag. This works best if you normally pack the lunches.
|§ Make a special song list with compilation of songs that will express your love for them.
§ If you have musical talent, write a song for your partner and play something for your them.