My husband came home with a dozen red roses on Valentine’s Day last year.
I was thankful but not ‘feeling the love.’ Before you decide I’m an ungrateful spouse, hear me out.
I love flowers. I really do. But for me love is best communicated through words of affirmation.
Gary Chapman, the author, of the bestselling book The Five Love Languages, describes this as my ‘love language.’
The premise is that each of us has a primary love language.
The five love languages are quality time, words of affirmation, gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. We all prefer one.
When we identify this particular love language in our spouse and also in ourselves, we can use this knowledge to enhance our relationship.
For example, you may truly love your spouse but if you say “I love you” when your spouse’s love language is ‘acts of service,’ he will not feel it.
Your spouse will register your love if you make his favorite cookies or replace the burned out light bulb in the garage.
Still further, you may feel you are slaving away all day demonstrating your love for your spouse (acts of service), but if your partner’s love language is physical touch, both of you will be frustrated.
By identifying your spouse’s love language and ‘speaking’ it, you communicate directly: “I see you. I love you. You matter,” –in a way that is received.
Why is this important?
Because in all the world there is no greater gift than to feel loved and be seen for who you are.
Being seen for who you are is the quickest way to heal the past and inspire one to reach his greatest potential in the future.
This week: Put a deposit in your relationship’s emotional bank account. Ask your partner what his love language is. Then communicate “I love you” in the way that is received.
Next, let your partner know what your love language is. For example you can say, “I realize nothing means more to me than when we spend quality time together.”
Don’t expect the other to know what you want. Be specific…and you will feel the love.
As for me, my husband already knows a big card explaining how I am his alpha and his omega is all I need to feel loved.
(Oh, he knows the flowers add a nice flare too–because I am specific!)
Here are some ideas if your partner’s love language is…
Quality time: Make a date to go out to dinner or walk in the park.
Words of affirmation: Say or write in a card, “I love the way you support our family.” “Thank you for giving your best in that difficult situation.”
Gifts: Give flowers or tickets to a game.
Acts of service: Bake his favorite cake. Fill the window washer fluid in the car.
Physical Touch: Give massage or a hug when she walks in the room.
BONUS: If you are still looking for a gift that says “I love you,” then consider giving the gift of Coaching. I’ve been struck by how many of you are buying Coaching as a gift for your spouses this year.
To make sure everyone has the same opportunity, now through Valentine’s Day, I am offering a Valentine Coaching Package:
Four private coaching sessions for your significant other (or yourself) versus the normal minimum of ten.
This is a unique offer. If you or your spouse have been thinking about working with a Coach, this is a great way to get started.
This offer runs through Valentine’s Day. Write firstname.lastname@example.org and type “Valentine Package” in the subject. The details will be sent to you right away.
Happy Valentines’ Day!