When most Americans think of Valentine’s Day they immediately think of roses/flowers, hearts, chocolates, and a romantic dinner. It often revolves around giving your significant other a gift of sorts and perhaps a bit of quality time together. Dr. Gary Chapman, author of “The 5 Love Languages,” would say that gift-giving and quality time are two ways, or “love languages”, that your partner may prefer. The other three love languages are words of affirmation, acts of service, and physical touch. Everybody has their own preference for a love language.
Now you might be thinking, “wait, words of affirmation could be expressed in a Valentine’s card, cooking her a nice romantic dinner is an act of service, and having sex at the end of the night is physical touch,” and you would be correct – kind of. The problem is not what you are doing, but rather how you are doing what you are doing.
What love language speaks to your partner?
For example, your spouse might value words of affirmation more than gifts. So you could run out and shower her with flowers, a diamond ring, perfume, etc… and she will love it. But it would mean more to her if instead you wrote a handmade card expressing your gratitude for her being an amazing mother, wife, or lover. A handmade card shows more effort on your part and is truly one-of-a-kind gesture that cannot be purchased at your local diamond or boutique store.
Avoid “comfortably numb”
Couples who have been together for some time can fall into the “Comfortably numb” trap where you both know each other so well that you don’t express words of kindness regularly because you both know how you feel about each other. But, just because your partner knows you love them, doesn’t mean that they do not want to still hear you say it. Your partner may want you to express your love now as much as you did when you first fell in love.
For those facing that problem, a quick tip is to put the reason before the “I love you.” For example, “Thank you for helping the kids get ready this morning when I was running late for work, I love you.” Or “The way you look at me like that still drives me crazy like when we first met, I love you.” That way you can avoid the redundant “I love you babe” only to hear “I love you too” being echoed back. Repeating anything in life day after day will become boring and bland.
Reach out today
Rick Merillat, LCSW provides couples and relationship counseling to Cape Coral and Fort Myers. Reach out today for a free 15-minute phone consult to see if he can help.Please share this post!