The Five Love Languages
A few years ago (quite a few, actually), Dr. Gary Chapman published The 5 Love Languages after much research. And the world went wild. We finally found the key to communicate with our beloved! But come time for Valentine’s Day, we often revert back to the hype of chocolate, dinner, and teddy bears or the like. But what if we planned to intentionally make our beloved feel special in the way they most understand?
Just Hype – Or is it?
Now, if you’re anything like my dad, you might think Valentine’s Day is mainly commercial hype, since you’re supposed to show love all year long. And while I agree that there is truth and merit in that ideology, I also believe there are some historical Valentine’s roots that run deep. A few different myths exist detailing the origins of Valentine’s Day, but each myth has a common thread: one who was willing to sacrifice his life (all three have martyrs) for the justice and freedom of others to love and live. Now, if that’s not an illustration of the love the Lord has for us, I’m not sure what is! And that is the kind of love we are to be showing each other – including our spouses. So why not make a concentrated effort on one day to do that? This year, make your Valentine’s Day gift giving, selfless, sacrificial, and genuine. It doesn’t necessarily have to be “big” or “expensive” or live up to the hype of commercialism. Consider these ideas! And don’t worry that Valentine’s Day is tomorrow – build up they mystery and hype with an open certificate promising a wonderful things in the coming days!
Love Language : Words of Affirmation
- Print your favorite pictures of you two together from happy vacations or wonderful memories. Add a little note at the bottom of how they made you feel during that experience, or what wonderful characteristic you discovered about them during that time. Tape them up around the house, apartment, and even at their work if you can sneak in there!
- You can definitely write a love note, but consider emailing little pieces of the note throughout the day. When Norm and I were dating, we would email back and forth sweet little snippets of thoughts to each other as we crossed each other’s minds (now we share an office, so we can just turn around in our desk chairs! HA!). Or send at sporadic moments via text! This is especially great if you are spending the day physically apart.
- Make a list of your favorite qualities and characteristics about them. Also consider including compliments about their skills and talents that might otherwise go unnoticed on a daily basis, how they make you feel loved, and how they love others well. Type them in a document and print on a nice paper, and consider framing it so they can display it. This works great if you already have a family – get the kids involved as well and let them begin expressing their love in new ways! This is also a great idea to print and display wedding vows or maybe a previously-written love letter.
Love Language : Quality Time
- Plan a night out of new adventures. Don’t tell him/her. Consider their favorite activities, and find new places to go to that are similar! Make it unforgettable – take an impromptu car ride to find snow (if you’re from the South like me and hardly ever see snow!), or head to their airport and pick a place to buy a couple of plane tickets to fly to and spend the weekend together alone.
- DON’T plan a night of new adventures! Stay home. Turn the TV and your phone OFF, and put it away in a drawer somewhere! Play catch, cook dinner together, share bucket-list item adventures you’d love to share, swap favorite memories.
- If you’re a social butterfly couple, gather friends and family for a night together either out on the town or at home with a lovely dinner or garden party with yard games!
Love Language : Gifts
- If heritage is central to your family, consider framing favorite family photos for display. Consider a generational portrait display with yours and your beloved’s parents’ and grandparents’ portraits to group together.
- Consider a more practical gift that will be appreciated on the daily. My dear, dear husband bought me a showerhead for Christmas. I wasn’t very excited about it at the time (and I’m sure he knew it! HA!), but after a couple of days using it after we’d replaced the old one and I was hooked. It is THE BEST showerhead, and helps me feel like I’m at the spa every time I turn it on. Plus? It is water-efficient, so it saves some cash. My appreciation of that has increased exponentially. Something like a new bath towel or sheet set – practical, but with high quality will transform a bed or bathroom into a boutique hotel-like haven. Other ideas : purchase a house-cleaning service, a hunting experience, a spa day, or a club membership. We bought Norm a membership to our local outdoor gun range, since that’s one of his favorite hobbies, and he has thoroughly enjoyed that for two years now!
- Buy all the books in your favorite bookworm-beloved’s series! Or purchase a couple’s devotional book. It’s a gift that will help you strengthen your marriage, while spending time together as well!
The key to gifts is that it is a thoughtful giving which your beloved would most likely not ever purchase for themselves.
Love Language : Acts of Service
- Remember framing those photos we mentioned before? Consider making a collage on a wall. Use varying frames in a similar color, or keep them all the same standard frame. This might be more difficult with shaped images from old portraits (think oval) that many portraits were made in years ago. Keep those in their original frames as they are, since those images may be very brittle.
- Actively take on a chore or two for a few days or over time that will help relieve some stress for your beloved. This takes consideration of what your beloved’s pain points are right now, so watch carefully. Or it could be as simple as doing the laundry this week, or cleaning the bathroom if that’s their least enjoyable responsibility.
- Take your beloved’s vehicle to be detailed. Don’t tell them if you can – just up and surprise them with it! There might even be mobile detailers in your area if you’d like to order one to detail on-site while your beloved is at work!
Love Language : Physical Touch
- Snuggle on the couch. Seriously, it’s fun. Get cozy under the blankets, and watch a movie together, or talk together talk instead. This one is physical touch intensive, so if you need space for yourself, make sure to take a couple of space breaks so you don’t get overwhelmed.
- Take a walk through the park reminiscing your favorite memories and holding hands. Take a moment to share a single swing and give Eskimo kisses. Give piggyback rides (ladies, if your beloved is a big hunk of a guy, you might want to ask for a piggyback ride instead!).
- Take dancing classes together, or just go out dancing. Even better, turn the lights low at home, put on a few candles and your favorite music and move together. Whether it’s fast and fun, or slow and snuggly, it’s touch. And that doesn’t cost a thing in itself!
The best part of all? Every one of these can be done any day of the year. So while Valentine’s Day shouldn’t be the ONLY day we take to express love in an outward fashion, I do believe we absolutely should. Whether it’s to reaffirm those emotions to our beloved or to remind ourselves of the romance, or just to rekindle the flame that can often grow dim throughout a year of day-to-day, take some time – tomorrow, this weekend, every month – to keep the romance fresh, true, and just as alive as it ever was.