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Have you ever wondered why your thoughtfully selected gift is often received with such nonchalance, or find your heartfelt letters of declarations carelessly tossed to the side? Perhaps your partner is not receiving your love in the way that they can understand, and feel.
Gary Chapman, a renowned marriage counsellor and author of the The Five Love Languages, has been helping partnerships for 25 years make sense of why they don’t seem to be on same page despite deeply loving each other.
This Valentine’s day take the Love Languages Quiz to ensure your message is received in a way that your partner can truly understand what they mean to you.
This may seem like the simplest language of all, but a stuffed teddy bear you bought at the service station on the way home from work, is not going to cut it. In any of the five languages, it’s all about the meaning behind why you did or purchased something. Your partner wants to know the thought process around why you picked this particular gift? What was it about this gift that made you think of your partner? It will always be the level of thought for your partner that will mean the world to them. Show them that you really see them. A partner who speaks this love believes every gift is a visual reminder of your love for them. Price has nothing to do with how the gift will be received. What item have they been eyeing off? What have they mentioned that they would really like? What would make them feel special because they wouldn’t necessarily buy it for themselves?
“For people that have this love language, receiving gifts is a way for them to understand and truly believe that the love is thoughtful and true. Some people need the visible symbols of love to feel the connection between themselves and their partner.” https://www.theodysseyonline.com/what-the-love-language-receiving-gifts-really-means
Valentine’s day idea
Create a printed photo book that tells the story of your time together.
Words of Affirmation
“One of the most important aspects of Words of Affirmation, however, is being genuine with those words. People whose primary language is Words of Affirmation care most about the intentions and emotions behind those words. If you are saying things just to say them, your partner will be keen to that. So, don’t fake it!” https://cratedwithlove.com/relationship-tips/words-of-affirmation-love-language-explained/
It’s all about the detail you put into your words, the why. Your spouse doesn’t NEED your words to build them up, but heartfelt words of affirmation will always go down a treat with a partner who speaks this language. Their heart will light up with discoveries like post notes in their lunch box and cards mailed to them on any occasion – or for no occasion at all! Anything that goes above an beyond the obligatory ‘I love you’ at the end of a phone call will make your partner’s day.
Valentine’s day idea
You could pen them a song, or make them a playlist, if you are musically inclined, but if melodies are not your thing, then you can never go past a traditional love letter explaining all the qualities that made you fall for your partner.
Do you elate your partner with public displays of affection? If this is their love language, this is what they need to feel loved by you. They want to be wrapped up in your arms and smothered in your kisses. They want you to plant a kiss on their shoulder as you walk behind them whilst they are doing the dishes, they want you to reach for their hand whilst your walking.
“[Physical Touch] It’s not just about sex. Sure, sex is a big part of the physical touch in a relationship — but what your partner might crave the most is the casual touch that happens outside the bedroom…… Sexual touch in a relationship is a given, but casual touch is not.” https://thoughtcatalog.com/christine-stockton/2016/04/11-things-you-need-to-know-before-you-date-someone-whos-love-language-is-touch/
Valentine’s day idea
Take their hand and head off for a hike, with lots of stops to look at the scenery where you can hug them from behind and snuggling into their neck. Raining? Get a blanket and spend the day on the couch watching Netflix with them enveloped in your embrace or distract them from the movie with your wandering hands….
Acts of Service
What can you do to lighten your partner’s load? What can you do to show them that you have put thought and EFFORT into doing something for them? They want to be wrapped in the knowledge that they are worth your effort to step out of your routine, your comfort zone, to help them out. Don’t like giving massages? It’s not about you, it’s about them. If you want them to receive your love, then surprise them by doing something they know is all about them.
“Rather than taking part in every conceivable task that *might* speak your partner’s language, you can get to the root of their “unspoken need” by asking them – ‘would it be helpful to you if I did…….?’ The only way to get the clarity you need is by discovering what areas they value your help in the most.” https://medium.com/the-ascent/got-a-partner-whose-love-language-is-acts-of-service-here-are-3-truths-they-want-you-to-know-58e19d1b4b4f
Valentine’s day idea
Give them the day off. Make them breakfast in bed and then let them know that you have taken care of every detail of the day, so they don’t need to do a thing. For example, arranged for the kids to be looked after, book in a house cleaner and make reservations at a favourite restaurant a long lazy lunch.
“When my wife (I recently got married) and I are watching TV, I will often turn it into quality time by making jokes about what we are watching, or have a more serious conversation about what we’ve just witnessed. Personally, I find that reality TV shows and documentary type shows offer the best opportunity to do that.” https://www.themodernman.com/dating/relationships/how-to-spend-quality-time-with-your-wife-or-girlfriend.html
This one can be the hardest languages for some people to make happen, no matter how straight forward it seems. Your partner just wants you. You and your undivided attention. Not you sitting next to them on the couch scrolling through Insta, not you going to lunch and then running into mate and spending the whole time talking to them. Just you, focusing your time on hanging out with them. There is no need to have a finely tuned run sheet for the day, just so long as your intention is the fill the day with hanging out.
Valentine’s Day idea
Take a road trip to explore a new area together, or even just an adventure around the city you live in. Pretend to be on holidays and spend the day being tourist, exploring your own backyard through new eyes.