Do you remember that book the 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman? The book was written in 1992 and outlines five ways people express and experience love. Here’s how to use your partner’s love language this valentines day.
After working with couples in his ministry, Gary identified five modalities people favor in giving and receiving love from their partners. With Valentines day just around the corner, I have been thinking a lot about love, and what makes some relationships work while others don’t. Very often it centers around whether the partners feel loved and cherished. I know that is true for me.
I took a course years ago on children’s love languages, and found it to be very valuable, not only in cultivating my relationship with my daughter but also learning more about myself and my loved ones. It was my first exposure to the concept and was an eye opener.
When a couple (be it you and your child, parent, close friend or spouse) are in sync with expressing love languages participants in the relationship feel fulfilled. However, if there is a mismatch in how we communicate our love, we, our partners, children or friends can feel unloved.
The five modalities are: Giving and receiving gifts, spending quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service and physical affection. If you are curious, you can take a quiz to learn your love language. See link below.
Do you know your love language?
My primary love language is quality time. When my former husband and I were dating, we enjoyed lots of quality time even though he traveled during the work week. When the weekend rolled around, we both looked forward to spending time and planning interesting activities together. That’s actually how he won my heart.
However, after we were married, he began spending more and more time out on doing things on his own. He was very specific about his need to have the freedom to spend time the way he wanted to. It hurt deeply, but I didn’t realize that the reason it hurt so much was because our quality time together was very deeply important to me until I began learning about love languages.
On Saturday morning, he always washed his truck. After we were married, he washed my car as well. He also spent time working a bit in the yard or at his workbench in the garage. Tinkering, doing minor yard work and washing the vehicles was a gift of service, his primary mode of expressing love.
He was frustrated because I didn’t recognize that his washing my car, taking the trash out and working in the yard (until he hired the guy across the street to do it) were his way of expressing love. Meanwhile, I never understood why we didn’t just take the car through the carwash freeing up the time to go on a picnic or go out to brunch together.
Once we began to understand the role our love languages played in our relationship, I wish I could say we were able to make changes to accommodate each other, but that didn’t happen. Though it does happen for couples who are willing to work on their relationships. It certainly benefitted my relationship with Brooke and now with Roger.
Do you know your partner’s love language?
While we are often clear about our own love languages and what we need to feel full and complete, we may be at a loss when it comes to our partner’s love languages. I believe important to understand and be able to speak the love language of your significant other, your children and those close to you.
Love Languages for Valentines Day
I thought it would be fun, as we get close to Valentines day, to consider our partner’s love language and select their valentines gift accordingly. I thought it would make for a really special Valentines Day. And while I agree that we should be expressing love and cherishing our partners every day, I still like celebrating and doing something special that day so I challenged myself to come up with gifts for each Love Language. I don’t know…sometimes I like to do stuff like that. So here goes: my list of love language inspired gifts for the Valentine in your life.
- Giving and receiving gifts: If your partner loves receiving little tokens of love, you’ve got it easy! There are so many beautiful things to purchase from her favorite perfume to jewelry, whether you have small or large budget finding the “just right” thoughtful gift will make your loved one glow.
- People who love words of affirmation love cards, framed quotes, necklaces, bracelets and rings with words of affirmation; and declarations of love. Love necklace in your handwriting, check etsy for framed prints.
- People who love quality time love picnics in the park, dinner for two, any activity that brings you together to spend time talking and enjoying each other’s company. (Roger is taking me to dinner then to the Bochelli concert where he got us special seating. This had been on my bucket list, and being Roger, he made sure to pull out all the stops.) I can’t wait. I love walking on the beach, watching the sunset with him, just hanging out together.
- If your partner loves acts of service, dust off his or her Honey Do list and do something special from the list.
- Physical touch: be sure to hold hands, give hugs lots, but for valentines day, perhaps a massage for two and a spa, followed by a weekend for two.
If you’d like to take the love languages quiz you can click here. To read more about relationships click here.