With Valentine’s Day just over a week away, now is the time to start planning for the holiday! Whether you plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day with a significant other, or opt for the friend-focused “Galentine’s Day” version, it’s time to think about how you can shower your partner, friends, and/or family members with love.
In today’s post, we’re sharing 5 ways you can make your loved ones feel extra special based on love languages. Check it out!
The five love languages
If you haven’t yet heard of the five love languages, you’re in for a real treat. The concept was created by relationship expert and author Gary Chapman. The idea is simple: love is not experienced the same way. People have different ways of expressing love and receiving love—and knowing which ways work for you, your partner, and your family and friends, can make relationships more meaningful and fulfilling.
Chapman coined the 5 love languages as: words of affirmation, acts of service, gifts, quality time, and physical touch. The differences in these languages defines how we best receive and give love. Some of us may need to hear “I love you” or other verbal cues regularly, others may need to spend quality time with their loved ones to feel connected. It’s all about understanding the different needs of each person and how to best connect with them. Below, we break down simple, easy ways to share your love based on these popular love languages.
Love language #1: Words of affirmation
First up, words of affirmation. As a culture we don’t share words of affirmation with our partners, friends and family as much as we need to. Tell the people in your life that you love them and appreciate them—it’s time. A few ways to do this could be:
- Tell your person you love them or that you’re proud of them—every day, multiple times a day. Do it in an authentic way.
- Send a heartfelt text to your partner, a friend, colleague, mentor, or family member to tell them that you recognize their impact and how much it means to you.
- Write down things that you love about that person. Be as specific as possible. Then share it with them!
Love language #2: Acts of service
Acts of service are all about showing your love through action. For some, finishing a ‘honey-do list’ is the most impactful way to love or feel loved. The following are some ideas for how to show love through acts of service:
- Shoveling the driveway after a snowstorm. Try doing this for an unsuspecting friend or family member!
- Identifying, starting, and finishing items on a never ending to-do list and surprising your partner with the result.
- Filling your partner’s gas tank before the work week starts.
Love language #3: Gifts
Some of us feel love when gifts, whether tangible or intangible, are shared—reminding us that we’re special. The gifts don’t have to be significant or expensive. In fact, the more thoughtful and specific the gift is to that particular person, the more meaningful they are. A few examples might be:
- Picking up your partner’s favorite coffee order and dropping it off before they go to work.
- Delivering flowers or cookies to your partner, friend, or family member—bonus points if it’s delivered to school or work where they can show it off to their friends.
- Showing you remembered the holiday with a small gift you know your partner or friend would like: a framed picture, a book in the genre they like most, concert tickets to their favorite band. You know, stuff like that!
Love language #4: Quality time
Next up, for some of us the words, the service, and the gifts just don’t cut it. We want to spend quality time creating lasting memories with our partners, friends, and/or family members. Simple ways to do this can be:
- Coordinating a time each night to put your phones away and do an activity with just you and your partner like watching a show, playing a board game, making a new recipe.
- Planning a surprise date night for your significant other. Make a reservation at a new restaurant or book a new activity to try together.
- Hiring a babysitter so you can do something your partner loves. Think about their favorite hobby, recreational activity or interest. Find time to do more of that, together.
Love language #5: Physical touch
Lastly, as humans we crave intimacy and connection with others. For many of us, we need physical touch to truly feel love. Studies have shown how impactful hugging and touching can be—for example, the physical nature of skin-to-skin contact with a mother and a newborn baby has incredible benefits. Ways to show love through physical touch can be:
- Holding hands with your partner, touching their shoulder, or sitting close to them in small moments throughout the day.
- Hugging your friends, family members or loved one with intention.
- Making time for intimacy with your partner or significant other.
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