Valentine's Day giftValentine’s Day gift-giving can feel like an almost impossible task. Flowers? Candy? A romantic dinner date? With so many options, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and resort to wandering blindly from store to store until you find something you hope might be right. You could just ask what they want, but where’s the fun in that? No, if only there was some way to figure out exactly what would make them happy. Some kind of clue to help crack the secret Valentine’s Day puzzle, how great would that be? Actually, he or she may already be giving you the right cues. All you need is to listen closely.

Published several years ago and written by Gary Chapman, “The Five Love Languages” explains how all of us use one of five “languages” to express and receive love. These languages are: words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, physical touch and acts of service. This is how we feel truly loved and cared for. Chapman describes this as a person’s primary love language. For example if your spouse’s primary language is quality time, it won’t matter how many beautiful or expensive gifts you shower her with, she’s still going to be disappointed. That’s because what she really wants is your time. A day or even a few hours where you give her your undivided attention, no checking email, cell phone calls – just the two of you. Another idea would be to plan a fun activity she really enjoys and do it together. Of course if her language is gifts, then gorgeous bouquets of flowers or delicious chocolates are the perfect choice. Don’t think that just because someone’s love language is gifts means they are any more materialistic than some of the other languages. These people also value the actual time and thought someone puts into selecting a gift just as much as the gift itself.

Learning to Speak the Same Language

Often, we show our affection for someone in the way that we like to receive love; however, if we’re not speaking the same language, it can seem as if we really don’t undertand each other. If a man feels loved through words of affirmation, but his girlfriend’s love language is gifts, she might spend hours searching out just the right gift, and then feel frustrated and hurt when he doesn’t seem to appreciate it. Unfortunately, she’s trying to communicate her feelings through her own love language and not the one he understands.

So how do we learn to speak our loved one’s love language? Or know what it even is? Probably the easiest way to find out is to simply ask what you do that makes him or her feel the most loved. If it’s when you surprise her with flowers for no reason, then her language is probably gifts. If holding his hand as you walk along together makes him feel loved, then his language is most likely physical touch. Learning what it is that makes your loved one feel special and cared for is the key to unlocking what they really want. Creating the ideal Valentine’s Day for your wife, husband, boyfriend or girlfriend is simple once you know the language that speaks to their heart.

Find out which of The Five Love Languages your and your Valentine are speaking.