As Valentine's Day rolls around, we can sometimes feel stuck about what to do for our special someone. I thought it would be nice to write about the 5 languages of love and hopefully inspire you all to give the best Valentine's gift possible - the gift of speaking to the other person's heart in the language it naturally hears.
First of all, it's good to try and assess what your own love language is. We often times assume that our loves speak the same language and more often than not, it is not so. So let's see what your love language is and how it can best walk hand in hand with someone else!
What's Your Love LanguageEither take the assessment right here, or simply discover your own love language by asking yourself the following questions:
❤ How do I express love to others?
❤ What do I complain about the most?
❤ What do I request most often?
It probably won't feel totally natural to you, when speaking in your spouse's love language. Dr. Chapman says, "We're not talking comfort. We're talking love. Love is something we do for someone else. So often couples love one another but they aren't connecting. They are sincere, but sincerity isn't enough."
Moving right along...
The languages of love
Words of Affirmation
People say that actions speak louder than words, but that isn't always true. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing “I love you,” is so important—and going farther - hearing the reasons behind that love skyrockets your heart to the sky. Equally, insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten.
Here are some examples:
Encouraging words: We all have areas in which we feel insecure. We lack courage, which often hinders us from accomplishing the positive things that we would like to do. Perhaps you or your spouse has untapped talent or potential in work or creativity. That creative potential may just be waiting encouraging words to set the inspiration free.
Kind words: If we’re to communicate love verbally, we must use kind words when we speak. “I love you”, when said with sincerity and tenderness, can be a beautiful expression of love.
Humble words: Love requests, not demands. If we are to develop intimate relationships, we need to know each other’s desires. If we make our needs known in the form of a request, we’re giving respectful guidance, not just stubborn expectations.
Valentine's Tip: Think of some encouraging, kind and humble words that are meant to appreciate and inspire your loved one. Have them placed on a candy graham, write them on a decorated card or simply leave affirming statements on sticky notes to be found all over the house!
For this person, nothing says, “I love you,” like complete, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there with all distractions of home, work and life set aside, makes your significant other feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be incredibly hurtful.
Keep in mind that quality time does not usually mean TV, movies or hanging with a bunch of people. It means just the two of you! Go on a walk, hike, enjoy dinner together - maybe even at home - make eye contact. Eye contact is HUGE for this person. Quality + Time = deep connection in this language. A relationship calls for sincere and sympathetic listening with a view toward understanding the other person’s desires. We must be ready but not waiting to give advice, remembering to be supportive and never condescending.
Valentine's Tip: CREATE a dinner for two. Make it for your loved one and show them that they have your full attention! (make sure it's a dish they like!) Turn all electronics off and don't talk about your stresses. Ask how he/she is doing ... dive in and learn more about the one you love!
GiftsThis one is not about materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and mainly - the effort behind the gift. If this is your language, then the perfect gesture shows that you are known, cared for, and prized above whatever money/time/effort was sacrificed to bring the gift to you. A missed birthday, anniversary, or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be painful and insulting; as would forgetting simple gestures in the day to day.
Valentine's Tip: You don't have to go to Tiffany's. But you can think through the list of things she's been coveting. Maybe that one thing he has been wanting but accepts that 'we just can't afford it right now'.
Acts of Service
Can doing the dishes really be an expression of love? Of course! Anything you're able to do to ease the burden of responsibility from the shoulders of an “Acts of Service” person will speak with mass volume. He or she feels such relief and care with the words, “Let me do that for you.” Additional mess, laziness, flakiness, and creating more work for them will translate as a lack of regard and that their feelings don’t matter.
So be of service to this person and express love for them by easing their stresses with things such as cooking, preparing the table, doing the dishes, putting the kids to bed or dealing with annoyances. Please, also do these things with a positive spirit and as a lover. Don't be walked on by any means - but serve out of a desire to connect and show your partners value to you.
Valentine's Tip: Come home early and surprise your lover with a clean home. Pick up the groceries. Make the dinner reservation and be the luxury chauffeur. Make all the arrangements for your special evening as a surprise relief of obligation. Trust me, this way, your receiver will be able to enjoy the night much better with the lessened stress.
Physical TouchThis isn’t bound to the bedroom, although that's a wonderful and beautiful place to touch beyond the heart. The person who responds to touch most is also - no surprise - very touchy. Hugs, holding hands, a gentle touch to the neck, shoulder, or face are all ways ways to show how you feel. Physical presence and accessibility are vital to any relationship, while neglecting touch or forceful touch is opposite - abusive and destructive.
Holding hands, kissing, cuddling and sex – all of these are necessary someone who speaks a love language of physical touch. It helps the love feel secure and do not take too much time. The touch requires thought and intention though if it isn't natural for the giver.
Valentine's Tip: Touch. Really. Sit closer. Kiss on the street. Hold hands. Place your hand on the small of her back. Gently rub the stress away from his neck. Nest into each other and breathe into the closeness. You are a blessing to each other and you both deserve to know it.
So there you have it! Over here at Ontario Bakery we are in full support of love in bloom. Please tell your partner that you love them in the way that speaks the loudest to them. While you're at it, a great compliment to those love languages can be found in the form of chocolaty decadence at our California bakery! Stop on by and have a wonderful, love-filled weekend!