Valentine's Day is just around the corner and I've been thinking about love and how it appears in different forms. We use more than words to express love; writing notes, saying "you're beautiful!", sending flowers, giving hugs and kisses, even taking out the garbage! All of these are expressions or "languages" of love! If the concept sounds familiar you may have read or heard about it in Gary Chapman's successful book, The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts. The book explores how people communicate through different love languages with each other. The more we learn about the languages the better we know what makes our own hearts tick, as well understand and appreciate what makes the hearts of our loved ones skip a beat.
What are the 5 languages and how do they relate to you? I highly recommend reading the book at some point but for now, I'm just going to list them with a brief description; there might be a couple which resonate and perhaps even a few you recognize in others!
Words of Affirmation:
Sometimes when I'm having a bad day, hearing words of affirmation make me feel better and boost my confidence to keep on going! Our schedules have become so hectic as of late I am recognizing more and more everything my husband does for me. I use words of affirmation on a regular basis now. It's not so much having to think about doing it but more of me outwardly expressing my appreciation, which in turn he appreciates!
"You look fantastic today"; "I appreciate you making dinner"; "Thank you for being there for me"; "Thinking of you makes me smile"; "You did a difficult job really well"; "I love the way you giggle"; "You smell great!" The list is endless. It could be anything that you love and appreciate about someone, as long as you're saying it out loud and with a genuine heart!
Acts of Service:
"Actions speak louder than words". This is very true for ones who appreciate acts of service as their primary love language. But what kinds of service are we talking about? A seven course meal? Probably not! It might be as simple as doing the dishes if your spouse has had a long frustrating day. If it is done out of love without having being asked to do it it will speak VOLUMES of your love and devotion. Other examples might include: folding and putting away the laundry; picking up something from the grocery you know he/she likes but didn't ask for; making their favorite dinner; fueling up their car or bringing lunch to their office.
Every once in awhile my husband offers to make dinner if things have been going non-stop and I'm too frazzled to think about food. Whenever it happens it's like a weight has been lifted and it's an amazing feeling. In return I use words of affirmation by saying "I appreciate you making dinner; thank you for doing it for me". See? Two love languages for one situation. BOOM!
One time I took a test to see which language is my primary love language. I have three because a lot of things say "I love you" to me. Of the top 3, Gifts is my favorite. And no, don't feel sorry for my husband; he isn't out buying diamonds and pearls for me all the time!
It's not so much the gift as the thought which goes into it. It could be as simple as a single Lindt truffle; I love those! Actually chocolate in general works because I love chocolate. Mmm..now I'm hungry so back on track! It doesn't have to be chocolate; it could be a little note by my toothbrush, a random "Thinking of you" text during the day or a few stems of my favorite flowers. These are all little gifts which say big things about his love for me.
Sitting and watching tv I like to lean on my husband. I also like to cover his eyes during scary parts of movies that I don't want to see while burying my face in his side. He doesn't appreciate that as much but I do it anyway. We could be at the grocery store and I'll take a moment to put my hand on his shoulder or maybe at home I'll bump into him on purpose while getting milk out of the fridge. These little gestures are fun, random, and say "I love you" without me having to speak a word.
Physical touch doesn't have to be limited to hugs, holding hands and cuddling although those are just as lovely. These actions speak mountains to someone whose love language is physical touch. Another case of actions speaking louder than words.
We are great at multi-tasking. We can listen to the radio, direct kids with their chores, fix dinner with one hand while checking the recipe with our other, fumble for pots and pans with our feet and throw a few comments at our spouse since they are at the kitchen table paying bills! We are awesome; communicating and accomplishing stuff at the same time. Go team! Yes!
That's great! All the multi-tasking but now it's time to put your phone away, avert your eyes from any mobile device which might have your attention, switch off the screen to your computer, turn off the tv and look at each other. Well...maybe after finishing this blog, then you can do it.
Quality time is not just spending time together; it's giving each other your undivided attention. You are looking at each other, holding a conversation, making eye contact, and completely "into" the moment of just being with your loved one with no mobile devices attached. It doesn't have to be for hours; even twenty minutes of your undivided attention goes a long way. I know this is a problem area for me. There is always something to do, something, someone, some child always needs attention, it's difficult to set aside quiet time just for us. When I make the effort, it is more than worth it; it's a chance to re-connect and enjoy why I married this guy.
So that's it in a very large nutshell. Maybe more the size of a watermelon shell, but you get the drift. There are so many ways for us to say "I love you". We don't have to wait for Valentine's Day to speak any of the 5 love languages. You can do something today, right now, in fact! Send a text, say "You're pretty!", be like Stevie Wonder and call to say "I love you"!, grab their hand, hug them and bring them home flowers!
If you are planning on saying "I love you" in a big way on Valentine's day, check out some of the unique designs we have this year. Or stop by our shop and pick out some beautiful blooms from our cooler and make your own bouquet!