Each year when Valentine’s Day rolls around you start seeing the same gift ideas pop up in nearly every store: chocolate in the shape of a heart, stuffed bears and greeting cards. But have you really asked yourself, “What would my significant other actually enjoy?” Maybe it’s not a gift but it’s a planned date night, or to come home to dinner already cooked and the laundry put away. Maybe it’s a hand-written letter that celebrates love. This is where the Five Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman comes in handy.
Dr. Chapman explains how important it is for couples to understand how they both prefer to give and receive love. Understanding your spouse’s love language and acting accordingly will fill their “love tank”. The love tank analogy is a metaphor for describing how loved someone feels. Like a gas tank in a car, our lives run best when our love tank is full and constantly being topped off. The alternative is running on fumes and burning out.
Dr. Gary Chapman’s Five Love Languages.
- Words of Affirmation
If this is your love language, you feel most loved when your partner is expressive about how wonderful they think you are and how they appreciate you. If this is your spouse’s love language, maybe this Valentine’s Day you write a poem expressing your feelings and put it in their driver’s seat to find before work.
- Acts of Service
If your partner offering to stop at the grocery store so you can squeeze in a workout makes you feel giddy, this may be your love language. An idea to consider: Offer to put the kids to bed one weekend night so your spouse can meet friends for a late dinner.
Just as it sounds, a hug, a kiss, any touch makes you feel most loved when this is your love language. An idea for Valentine’s Day: Purchase a new set of lotions and offer to give your spouse a massage.
- Quality Time
If scheduling a babysitter so you two can go to the movies makes you feel warm and fuzzy, then this might be your love language. Fully present and engaged in the activity, no matter how small it is, fills this Love Tank. An idea for Valentine’s Day: Plan a weekend getaway doing an activity your spouse has always wanted to try.
Your partner taking time to go out and purchase a gift, big or small, like stopping for your favorite gourmet coffee or remembering to get your favorite cereal, are great examples of this love language. Consider enrolling in an arts and crafts class to make your spouse a handmade gift this Valentine’s Day. It will become a family heirloom and something to cherish forever.
How to figure out your love language:
- Your upbringing can speak into your love language. How did you parents show you love growing up? What made you feel the most loved as a child? There is a high probability that this will be your primary love language.
- When you really want to show someone you care about them, what first comes to your mind to show it?