Posted By: Kelly Seal Date: 12-18-2018 Comments: 0
Are you stuck trying to come up with new ideas of what to give someone this holiday season, but would love it to be something truly meaningful? Far too often, we spend our time researching the latest tech gadgets, or shopping for jewelry, or spending a lot of money on a vacation or romantic dinner – when all we had to do was look at that person’s love languages to give him or her the perfect gift.
The Five Love Languages written by Dr. Gary Chapman offered a new perspective on building healthy relationships at a time when many people, especially couples in romantic relationships, were struggling to connect. The basic essence of the book is this: instead of just assuming what you do for your partner is sufficient in expressing your love, Chapman asks that you understand what is meaningful to your partner, which might be very different from what you find meaningful.
The five love languages offer a way to more effectively express love in your relationship, broken down into five main categories. Some of us prefer physical touch, while others crave attention or kind acts of service, for example. In other words, we’re all different, and the best thing you can do for someone else is to understand what love language speaks to them.
Acts of Service.
For people who find acts of service most meaningful, actions speak louder than words. You might tell your partner she’s amazing, but what she’d really like you to do is take out the trash and cook dinner when she’s had a rough day at work. The perfect gift for someone who speaks this love language is offering to take care of things, whether it’s cleaning the garage, resurfacing the patio chairs, or making dinner for the week.
Words of Affirmation
Some people prefer to hear “I love you” and other words of affirmation to feel truly valued in their relationships, but even more to the point – they wish to hear why you love them. Kind, encouraging words and loving affirmations go a long way in these relationships. Let them know you’re proud of something they accomplished. This holiday season, write a card that states how you feel and how much you love them.
We all lead busy lives, so perhaps the biggest way to show love is to give your undivided attention to your loved one. That means putting your phone down, listening, and truly engaging with them, instead of thinking about what’s next on your to-do list. Carve out quality time to do something fun together over the holidays.
Some people respond best to physical touch. This doesn’t only mean sex, but also small gestures of affection, like holding hands, hugging, kissing, or thoughtful touches that express love. This holiday season, ramp up the romance and curl up together by the fire.
While some might rush to judgment, this isn’t about being materialistic. When your partner appreciates gifts that show you’re thinking about him, that you know who he is and what he likes, that you provide a visual representation of love, it can make all the difference to surprise him every now and then with a small gift. So instead of limiting gift-giving to Christmas or Hanukkah, surprise him over New Year with a small, thoughtful gift.
What if you don’t know what love language your partner speaks? This is a good time to test the waters, so do some investigating!
Here are a few questions to think about: Does she get excited when you compliment her successes or tell her she’s beautiful? Or does she express her love for you by doing your laundry or paying the bills? The key is to understand not only how she responds when you express love to her, but how she expresses love to you. Chances are, she treats you how she would like to be treated.
Connection is all about understanding. When you learn someone’s love language, you have a starting point for true intimacy, love, and fulfillment all year round.
Kelly Seal is a freelance writer, dating expert, and author of the book “Date Expectations: A Guide to Changing Your Dating Life and Finding Real Love.” She got her start in the dating industry by hosting speed dating events around southern California and offering advice and encouragement to attendees. She now lives in L.A. and spends her free time hiking in the Santa Monica mountains and blogging at www.kellyseal.com.