Dr. Gary Chapman is a world-renowned marriage counselor and author of the book The 5 Love Languages. In his book, Dr. Chapman writes that everyone has a love language, a way that they prefer to be loved.
For Joseph, my husband, his love language is quality time. Mine, however, is physical touch. Joseph feels unloved when I don’t make time for the both of us to just be together. When I schedule events in the evening that don’t allow time for us to unwind, visit about our day, or just sit on the couch together, I’m not speaking his love language very well.
I would feel neglected if Joseph wouldn’t give me a hug when he came home after a long day at work, or if we never touched when we were out in public. When we speak each other’s love languages, we’re reminding each other that we’re loved intentionally.
Have to Stay On Your Toes
In a relationship, we default to expressing love in the way we feel loved, which may or may not be the way that your significant other would prefer to be loved. If your love languages are the same as your partner’s, you naturally show love in a way that you both appreciate.
While this is convenient, it can also be easy to sink into a routine and not put any effort into loving your partner or take their love language similarities for granted. If your top choices of love languages couldn’t be further apart, this means you have to be much more intentional with your loving.
If your top love language is quality time, and your significant other’s top language is physical touch, you’ll have to decide to appreciate an expression of love that you don’t naturally tend towards yourself. But, since love is willing the good of the other, this allows for plenty of great opportunities to truly love your significant other.
Just As Important to Love the Lover’s Language Too
If you read Saint Pope John Paul II’s writings on Theology of the Body, he writes that, in a relationship, we give ourselves as a total gift to each other. Actually, the way wedding vows were originally worded was: “I am yours and you are mine.” Intentional relationships call us to make a gift of ourselves to the other. In marriage, this is what Saint John Paul II calls the nuptial (or spousal) meaning of the body.
The holiday season offers many opportunities to become a smart lover by loving the other person in a way that they would most appreciate. If you haven’t done so yet, use the official 5 Love Languages Assessment tool to find out what love language you and your significant other speak. Then, use this gift guide to get some ideas for great presents to surprise them with—and show them that you love them and their love language.
If their love language is physical touch
Snuggle up. You’re a physical touch lover will fall head over heels for this cozy blanket. They’ll think of you every time they snuggle up under this warm blanket on those chilly winter nights.
- A gift for your senses. This Essential Oil starter kit makes a great gift for those of us whose love language is physical touch. They can fill a whole room with welcoming scents of the season!
- Therapeutic massage. Nothing brings comfort after a long holiday season like a therapeutic massage. Your partner will love a relaxing day at the local spa after all the holiday hustle and bustle!
If their love language is quality time
- A Year of dates. Do you love going on dates together? Plan out a year of dates to spend quality time together. They don’t have to be fancy or expensive, just a reminder that you love spending time with your partner.
- Your night is booked. Sitting around the fireplace in winter with a good book is great—reading a book together is even better. You’ll spend time together and think of each other when you pick up the book.
- Put me on your schedule. There’s nothing that makes planning quality time together more fun than having a great calendar to write things down in. They’ll never forget another appointment again!
If there love language is acts of service
- A volunteering date. If acts of service are your lover’s language, then plan a date to volunteer at one of your favorite charities together. You’ll spend time together and help those in need at the same time.
- Wait, I have a coupon. Acts of service lovers may often take on all the chores around the house. But if they hate laundry or dishes, give them a set of coupons so that when that chore comes up again, you can pitch in.
- A place for everything. Organizing their desk or coat closet with this practical organization system? They’ll think of you every time they know exactly where to find what they’re looking for.
If their love language is words of affirmation
- Let me count the ways. If words of affirmation fill up your significant other’s love language, make this little book out of a deck of cards telling them 52 ways you love and appreciate them.
- For you, my dear. A love letter from you is an intentional way to speak words of affirmation. Whenever your significant other is feeling down, they can pull out your letter and read it again and again!
- A love journal. Keep the words of affirmation going all year long with this love journal. You trade it back and forth with your partner, exchanging words of affirmation and love letters!
If their love language is gifts
- A gift that keeps on giving. If your lover speaks the love language of gift-giving, they love to give gifts as much as receiving them! Speak their love language by giving them this three-pack of candles!
- A gift from the heart. A donation to a charity that your significant other is passionate about is a great way to give to them and others this holiday season.
- It’s a wrap. For those who love gift giving and receiving, the packaging for the gift is just as important as what’s inside! Check out this chalkboard wrapping paper that you can personalize with your own message!