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My husband and I took the 5 Love Languages quiz from the book by Dr. Gary Chapman and we discovered something surprising—our expressions of love to each other have been lost in translation for years. While my husband had assumed his thoughtfully-chosen gifts and tokens of affection were the way to my heart, the love language that most speaks to me is ‘quality time.’ I was sure his love language would be ‘words of affirmation,’ but instead it is ‘acts of service’—so every time I offered a compliment, it didn’t reach his heart in the way I thought it would. Who knew? Now that we’ve figured out our love languages, finding the perfect Valentine's Day gift is far less stressful.
This Valentine’s Day, how can you choose the perfect gift to suit your spouse’s love language? We’ve put together a list of Valentine’s Day gifts for each of the five love languages, so you can show your partner affection in a way that speaks to them.
The ‘receiving gifts’ love language doesn’t mean you can grab any stuffed bear off the shelf on your way home from work. It’s not just about the gifts. Your spouse wants to know what makes the gift special. Meaningful gifts say you’ve been thinking of them throughout the day. This Valentine’s Day, a bouquet of flowers and a picture frame with a photo of the two of you is a wonderful gift for this love language—but make sure you tell them why the photo is your favorite. Some other Valentine’s ideas for those who prefer receiving gifts include:
> A journal with inspirational quotes and notes about your memories together> Jewelry that shares her faith and celebrates who she is in Christ> A perpetual calendar full of scriptural truths to remind him daily of his strength and courage
Spending time together doesn’t have to mean going out. Dinner and a movie is a fun way to spend an evening, but it’s impossible to talk to each other at a movie theater. Instead, make some gourmet-flavored popcorn together and watch your favorite romantic movie at home. This will allow you to talk about how the main characters’ love story inspires your own. Try these other ways to spend quality time together this Valentine’s Day:
> Surprise her with a road trip—either to a local destination she's always wanted to visit, or make it a weekend getaway farther away.> Instead of going to a restaurant, take a cooking class together and create a memorable dinner experience.> Make big mugs of hot cocoa and have a game night at home—you’ll definitely get bonus points if you create an ‘all about us’ trivia game.
Building up your spouse with heartfelt words of affirmation has even more impact when you tell them why you love them. Give her a handwritten card that expresses your favorite things about her and watch her light up as she discovers what you admire about her. She’s likely got every card you’ve given her tucked away in a memory box, so add to her collection at every occasion. Other opportunities to share gifts of affirmation with your spouse include:
> Placing sticky prayer notes around the house to remind your partner that you’re praying for them> Sneaking a little love note into their lunch in the morning to remind them how much they mean to you> Creating a playlist of the songs that make you think of your spouse and playing it on the way to dinner
Taking over a project for your spouse is a surefire way to their heart if they cherish acts of service—checking something off their to-do list will fill them with love. Making him his favorite meal for dinner—even if you're not fond of it—can speak volumes to someone whose love language is ‘acts of service.’ Other ideas for gifts of service this Valentine’s Day include:
> Surprising her with breakfast in bed—and letting her lounge for a while without interruptions> A coupon book filled with vouchers that can be redeemed for help with a project, a back rub, or an evening off> Scheduling an appointment at an auto detailing shop so they can get a sparking clean vehicle without lifting a finger
There are many activities you can try if physical touch fills your spouse’s love tank. Get your wife a necklace or bracelet—but place it around her neck for her so she can connect with you through physical touch. Some other ways to show love through touch include:
> Going ice skating and holding hands as you glide around the rink together> Taking a nature hike and cuddling on a picnic blanket at the summit as you take in the glorious view He has provided> A gift certificate for a couple’s massage and getting pampered together
No matter what your love languages are, you can mix and match gifts to create a Valentine’s Day experience that fulfills both of your desires. The most important thing is to focus on the connection the two of you have in each other and in the Lord. This year, I’m combining his need for acts of service with my love of quality time in a weekend-long Valentine’s Day celebration—we will work together to cross ‘remodeling the bathroom’ off his list. It may not seem glamorous, but the memories we build will be with us for a lifetime, and that’s the beauty of the 5 Love Languages.
Check out the whole collection of gifts inspired by Dr. Gary Chapman's The 5 Love Languages, or browse our collection of Valentine’s Day gifts for something they’ll truly appreciate on February 14th—and year-round. You can also download the new Love Nudge app by the 5 Love Languages team. Use the app to learn your love language and connect with your partner.
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Therefore encourage one another
and build each other up as you are already doing.
1 Thess 5:11 CSB