February 14th: Hallmark would like you to think that this is the only day to shower someone with love. If you think about it, it is kind of silly to show our loved ones that we love them only one day a year. If you love someone, whether a spouse, child, friend, or neighbor, it’s more fun and real to show them love all year long.
Speak the Five Love Languages to Your Loved One
Showing someone you love them doesn’t need to be expensive. The five love languages—words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, physical touch, and quality time—are acts of love that can show love in a huge way, no money necessary.
Everyone has a unique love language. We can all show love in the five languages, but one or two speak the most to our hearts. The five love languages were discovered by marriage and family therapist Dr. Gary Chapman.
Here’s a quick summary of them:
- Words of Affirmation: Positive and affirming words used to express love and appreciation.
- Acts of Service: Actions “do speak louder than words” in this love language.
- Receiving Gifts: For some, receiving thoughtful gifts tells them “I love you.”
- Physical Touch: Hugs and other loving touches speak into the heart of this person
- Quality Time: These people feel most loved when given your undivided, full attention.
Discovering A Love Language
So how can you discover your loved one’s or your own love language? One way is to take the quick quiz here, or try the process of elimination. Or do some observation. Chapman suggests asking these questions to help you uncover a spouse or child’s love language:
- How does s/he most often express love to others?
- What does s/he complain about most often?
- What does s/he request most often?
For example, if your son can take or leave a gift, but gets thrilled by playing basketball with you, chances are his love language is “quality time”. If a wife complains she isn’t praised enough or requests appreciation, her love language is probably “Words of Affirmation.” Wise observation will help you to discern it.
Budget-Friendly Valentines for Each Love Language
Write a note
Write a love note for your “words of affirmation” valentine. Write a note in a card, send an email or even a text. For fun, hide the note or tuck it into their lunch. Share your gratitude for them and tell them what you appreciate about them—no need to be fancy, just share your sincere, loving praise. Maybe even a single friend would love to hear what you appreciate about them as friend.
Make a Meal or Help Out
Others really feel love when served. Make a special Valentine a special meal--heart shaped cupcakes, pizza, or brownies, maybe? Or make a favorite meal and do the clean up afterward. Chip in by doing some extra chores or tackling that task they'd love to see finished.
Give a Little Trinket
The gifts-receiver really loves getting little gifts. Fill a mug with chocolate kisses, conversation hearts, teabags, or a coffee-shop gift card and tie it off with a ribbon. Or agree to celebrate Valentine’s day after February 14, and buy a gift for $10 or less from the post-Valentine’s day sales.
Give a Hug or Backrub
If physical touch is your loved one’s love language, do give affectionate touches, whether hugs, snuggling, back rubs or tickle time! Observe and ask what touches show them love and respect their desire to not be touched in certain ways or times. What if giving touch isn’t natural for you? Then make a special effort to give this loved one lots of affectionate touches through the day, since it will really communicate “I love you.”
Spend Undistracted Time Together
Some people want nothing more than to spend 30 undistracted minutes with their loved one, even if it’s sitting together on the couch. For the quality time person, just being together is meaningful. It can be anything from going out for coffee, sledding or simple hanging out, as long you are enjoying time together, fully present with them.
Celebrating Valentine’s Day need not be expensive or limited to one day only...make a habit to show love to your Valentine February 14 (or appreciation for a single friend) and continue it for the rest of the year!