Don’t Let Your Gift Get Lost in Translation
Posted On Feb 08, 2018
The days of awful and tasteless Valentine’s Day gifts are over. Rather than being stumped on trying to decipher what to get your significant other, why not get them something they’ll truly cherish? This Valentines’ Day, show them how much they mean to you by speaking their love language.
Dr. Gary Chapman, the author of The Five Love Languages, noticed through his years of couples counseling and research that people primarily “speak” a love language. A love language is a way people express and interpret emotional love. Love languages don’t always match between partners, and that’s okay! By learning and understanding each other’s love languages, you’re opening up the opportunity to connect with them on a more intimate level by effectively communicating and expressing your love. Take the quiz to learn your strongest one, what it means, and share it with your significant other.
Here’s a quick guide on what to get your significant other this Valentine’s Day so they “hear” you speaking their love language loud and clear:
Words of Affirmation
If this is their love language, actions don’t always speak louder than words. For them, hearing the reasons behind the “I love you” is the greatest expression of love because that thoughtful choice of words makes them feel cherished and acknowledged.
- Take a jar or a vintage wood box and label it “I love…” then fill it with bits of paper that say all the things you love about them.
- Create a mix CD with songs that are meaningful to your relationship or songs that include lyrics that they’ll appreciate.
- Handwrite a heartfelt and honest letter detailing what you love and value about them. Have the presentation of the letter go the extra mile – whether it’s rolled up and with a wax stamp or in a big box stuffed with tissue paper.
People whose strongest love language is Quality Time value when someone plans to spend the day with them. You don’t have to schedule anything or figure out logistics. Knowing you’ve set aside the day to hang out together will say plenty!
- Look for a fun class to take – Whether it’s a cooking, dance, or wine tasting class, show them you want to spend time with them and learn together.
- If you know what their interests or hobbies are, dedicate time to share that with them. For example, if they’re into painting, take them to a Painting with a Twist class or set up a small art studio for you both at home.
- Whether it’s a day trip or a weekend getaway, they will value the time you’re making for them while being on the road and creating memories together.
The great thing about physical touch is that it can be easily combined with quality time. This love language isn’t an exclusive translation to wanting sex all the time. It means they value touching and physical contact in general.
- Set up a full movie date night: cuddle together on the couch or bed to watch their favorite movies accompanied with snacks and a comfy blanket.
- A couple’s massage is perfect! A fun date night can be a day at the spa with a two-hour massage session or an aromatherapy session.
- Stimulate their sense of touch – gift them a soft throw blanket, a pack of bath bombs of soothing scents, or a set of robe and slippers.
Acts of Service
If this is their love language, they love to hear “Let me do that for you.” For someone who loves through acts of service, ask yourself what you can do to make their life easier.
- As cheesy and old-school as this might be, cook dinner for them, and everything it entails. Buy the ingredients, cook their favorite meal (three-course dinner for extra brownie points), and clean up after.
- You can never fail with breakfast in bed. Make them a delicious breakfast meal and let them lounge in the comfort of their bed as long as they desire while you take care of the rest.
- Clean their car so they can drive in comfort without having to worry about it.
While, yes, this may be a bit obvious especially for Valentine’s Day, there’s a specific approach that will make your gift the best. “Don’t mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift,” says Dr. Chapman.
- Give them the gift of the stars: The Night Sky allows you to create a custom map of the night sky of your choosing – whether it’s when you met or when you started dating.
- Surprise them with something from their Amazon Wish List or something they’ve mentioned they wanted for a while. It’ll show that you acknowledge the value of this item and what it means to them.
- Make a journal or scrapbook with inspirational quotes and pictures of you two together.
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