Oh Valentine's Day.
Some of us love it. Some of us hate it. And some of us love to hate it (my husband and I tend to lean more towards the latter). Don't get me wrong, I don't think there's anything wrong with celebrating romantic love; it's a beautiful thing and any opportunity to acknowledge it is a good one. However, I do worry about those who tend to place too much of an emphasis on grand gestures of love on this day or other holidays, and fail to show their partners they care on other days of the year.
It's important to remember, in the craziness of our daily lives, that we need to be intentional about expressing our love to our partners every day. And that does not necessarily mean showering him or her with flowers and chocolate on a daily basis (that could get old). It means "speaking" your love in a language that will be "heard" by your partner.
What do I mean by this? Don't worry, you don't need Rosetta Stone.
Dr. Gary Chapman's book "The Five Love Languages" identifies them as the following:
- Quality Time- This means giving your partner your time and attention by doing things with them. Put the phone down. And no, watching TV together doesn't count. Examples:
Going on a weekend getaway together.
Taking time after work to have a quality conversation without any distractions.
- Physical Touch- self-explanatory, but very powerful. If this is your love language, you need physical contact in order to feel emotionally secure in their relationship. Examples:
Hugging and kissing
Sitting close to each other on the couch
Massages and back rubs
- Gifts- visual symbols of love, can be expensive or free, made or purchased. Examples:
A pretty flower you found on a walk
A handmade card for no reason
A surprise treat from the grocery store
- Acts of Service- my personal favorite! Doing things for your partner that would please or help him or her. What kinds of acts that are considered "loving acts" may be different depending on what the receiver considers important (i.e for me it might be having dinner ready, whereas for my husband it's the floor being vacuumed). Examples:
Doing the laundry
Managing the bills
Taking care of car maintenance
- Words of Affirmation- these can be verbal compliments, words of appreciation or encouragement, expressions of empathy or forgiveness for past hurts
"I love how you're always so responsible. It's nice that I can always count on you."
"That dress looks amazing on you."
"Don't worry about it, we all make mistakes, and I'd like to move on from this."
So just from taking a look at these, what do you think your primary love language might be? What about that of your partner?
Click here to find out what yours is, you might be surprised it's not what you expected....
Next, share this with your partner, have them take the quiz, and talk about it! Learn how you can each become more proficient in speaking each other's love language. This is also something that can be brought into couples therapy to help address other relationship concerns.
Don't be that couple that only shows their love on certain days of the year. If you can fill up your partner's "love tank" using their primary language on a regular basis, you will find yourself in a much happier and fulfilling relationship than you ever could've imagined.