Valentine’s Gifts, According to Their Love LanguageWritten by Adela Cardona
A celebration of romantic love, Valentine’s Day brings about images of chocolate boxes, flowers or serenades. However, such demonstrations of affection are not for everyone. As humans, we all have unique ways to express and like to receive love. You might like to be pampered in the form of your favorite dessert but your partner might prefer a walk in the park by your side.
These slight differences in the way we give or receive affection are what the marriage counselor Gary Chapman calls the 5 Love Languages™. “Different people, with different personalities, give and receive love in different ways,” he says. Chapman discovered these languages after seeing a myriad of people who did not feel loved by their partner, even though said partner thought they were doing everything in their power to make the other person feel cared for, seen and heard. So why didn’t their partner feel loved?
What Champan understood is that it was a problem of communication. It was as if one person was loving in Russian and the other only understood Spanish - couples got lost in translation. This is why he came up with the 5 Love Languages™5 love languages that we all have:
- Words of Affirmation
- Receiving Gifts
- Acts of Service
- Quality Time
- Physical Touch
The primary ones are the one or two we each prefer. We could fall either on words of affirmation, receiving gifts, acts of service, quality time or physical touch, as our primary one.
So if you are thinking about doing something special for your significant other on Valentine’s Day (and every day), you could use the 5 languages tool to choose the right fit. Here are some ideas that can help you on your quest:
Words of Affirmation:
If your valentine feels love in the form of compliments or affirmations, then one idea for a gift could be a jar with little notes of what you admire and find endearing about them. That way, they can pull out a note whenever they want to feel loved or need a confidence boost.
In this case, why not make it extra special by giving them something that has a positive impact? You can get your gifts from social enterprises and nonprofits that work with skilled artisans, under fair conditions, or have circular models. A bag of fair trade coffee, a pair of handcrafted sneakers for their morning walk or even a mug that you made in clay class could be great options.
Acts of Service:
If this is your partner’s Love Language, you could offer to cook when they need to meet a deadline. Or, you could arrange for the both of you to donate your skills and spend the day together helping at a cause they are passionate about. You could also make a donation in their name to their favorite charity. Or even make coupons with something like “In case of emergency, I’ll do it for you,” that your partner can use any time they are too overwhelmed and need your help.
Giving them your undivided attention is what fills this person’s heart, so if this is your significant other, why not plan an evening together where you can enjoy some time and explore? A National Parks Pass, so you can bask in nature with each other could be right up their alley. If they are more cityfolk, you can opt for a clandestine dinner, an open mic or a live music concert. Or you could plan a cool staycation for the both of you. What matters is you leave your phones away and be present with each other.
Cuddling, a light caress, a massage; if these are the ways your partner likes to receive affection, then these are some possible Valentine’s gifts for them: find a dance class in your neighborhood or even a zoom instructor and learn together, it has the physical element and you get to have fun while doing something new. You can also make an at home spa for your partner: fill a basin with hot water and add bath salts for their feet, light a scented candle, use some oils or cream to rub their feet and put on a soothing playlist. It’s a simple and relaxing way to show them how much you care.
It’s Got to Be Tailormade
The important takeaway is that no matter what you give them, it should be tailored to them. There is nothing that says I love you like something that shows your partner that you know them, see them and hear them.
And in a world of mass produced items, considering making your gifts an experience, DIY or an item from a responsible business, will go a long way towards showing them that you not only care about them, but also about people and the planet.