Ah, Valentine’s Day. The Day of Love. It’s a day celebrated by partners everywhere. Some partners go big, some go small, and some don’t celebrate at all. However you choose to celebrate is right for you but also make sure it’s right for your partner. I mean, I love the idea of a hot air balloon ride at sunset but my husband, who is terrified of heights, may have different ideas.
Cue the 5 Love Languages.
Created by Gary Chapman, the 5 love languages help you discover the way you like to express your love as well as how you like to be shown love. You and your partner may not have the same love language. If your love language is Acts of Service and your husband brings you gifts all the time but never unloads the dishwasher or never takes your car for an oil change, you may not actually feel the love. If you pick up his dry cleaning and take care of lawn maintenance but never buy him any gifts he may not feel the love from you either.
If you get a chance today, hop over to the website 5lovelanguages.com and both you and your partner take the test to identify your love language. Once that’s identified read a little more about each other’s “language.”
Start using that knowledge to show your partner love in a way they can most appreciate.
Here’s a look at the 5 languages and a few suggestions of how you can show your partner love in their love language.
Quality Time…this means spending uninterrupted time with the other person. That means no texting and mindless Instagram scrolling. If you have kids, wait until they are in bed or schedule a babysitter. Ideas for quality time: taking a walk together, watching a show or movie together, doing a project together, or just sitting down with a cup of coffee or tea can all be great ways to show love to a partner who scores high in this love language.
Physical Affection….before kids I don’t know that this one is a problem for most couples in healthy relationships. After kids…well, that’s another story. Sometimes you are touched out. We get it. Maybe you’re breastfeeding and your hormones just aren’t helping you out. Here are some tips from our friends over at Northeast Doulas to make things go a little, ahem, smoother. That said, physical affection doesn’t have to mean a romp in the sheets. Other things like holding hands, touching your partner on the back as you walk by, a random kiss in the kitchen, and a really good hug are all also ways to show love to a partner who scores high in this love language.
Acts of Service….so I think this is one that becomes more of a things after kids come into the picture but some folks love acts of service anytime. Here are some ideas to show love to an AoS-minded partner: taking out the trash, cleaning out their car, running errands for them, making a call they’ve been putting off, etc. I like to think of this love language as the nitty-gritty of all the love languages. It’s not shiny and beautiful but it’s taking things off your partner’s plate by getting it done.
Words of Affirmation…this love language is all based around verbal and written thoughts. Ways to show love to a partner with this love language might include things like: putting sticky notes around the house with what you love about them, writing a love letter that highlights their wonderful qualities, texting that you are thinking about them at random times throughout the day, or using a dry erase marker to write on the bathroom mirror how much you love them.
Receiving Gifts….ah this is a fun one. Who doesn’t love to be showered with gifts? Well, actually, people who don’t test high in this love language may not actually appreciate it. BUT, if this is your partner’s love language, gift away! We’re not saying you have to go full-fledged Andy from The Office here but gifts should sometimes be big. Maybe plan way ahead from a special birthday gift and make it a huge one. Small gifts work too. Some good ideas for this might be: a bag of their favorite snack left in the front seat of their car, a gift card to a favorite store, and anything that just reminds you of them (The Dollar Spot at Target sometimes has great finds).
Regardless of how you choose to celebrate your love today, make sure you are loving your partner in the way that they most appreciate.
Happy Valentine’s Day to all of our readers!