Valentine’s Day is tomorrow and it’s a day when many men and women will spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on gifts, activities, and other acts of lavishness in the name of love and affection. If you’re one of the many procrastinators out there, you probably will pick your gift today. However, have you ever considered that the object of your affection has no interest in objects whatsoever? Have you considered that he or she may actually prefer quality time over a trinket? What I’m talking about is a concept known as love languages and one that my friend Fred (who writes at a home improvement blog called One Project Closer) mentioned to me today. The concept of Five Love Languages was popularized by one Dr. Chapman and you can discover your love language in a mere thirty seconds (it’s actually far quicker).
So, why am I writing about this? So many people erroneously think that gifts are the way to a person’s heart, by this I really mean mostly men (but some women). A lot of guys think that if they spend a lot of money then they can get away with something last minute that requires very little thought. I know a friend who, when he thought his girlfriend would be upset, just ran off and bought a bathrobe and some perfume for her (I have no idea if it worked but it did cost him $60). For some people, that works. For others, it’s never going to work. Understanding the love languages is crucial to ensuring that you’re spending money and effort in a way that the recipient will fully appreciate and react favorably to.
Now, back to the five love languages. They are:
- Words of Affirmation – People who speak this language respond most favorably to words of encouragement, compliments, and other acts of verbal kindness.
- Quality Time – People who speak this language respond most favorably to spending quality time with their loved ones.
- Receiving Gifts – People who speak this language respond most favorably to gifts and visual symbols of love.
- Acts of Service – People who speak this language respond most favorably to favors and things that their partner does on their behalf, regardless of size or significance.
- Physical Touch – Vavavoooom baby. Actually, it’s more than that but you get the idea.
How do you apply this? Well, if you know that your partner responds more favorably to acts of service, then you know that buying him or her a lavish gift just isn’t going to get the results you want. If your partner wants quality time, give him or her quality time… not high fives or a congratulations on a job well done. And if your partner wants physical touch, heck it’s Valentine’s Day, touch them.