Since it’s the week of Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d write a blog about Dr. Gary Chapman’s excellent book, The Five Love Languages. Originally published in 1992, this book of enduring value is simple, practical and readily applicable to loving relationships…
So, each year in February the media outlets are polluted with commentary about how guys hate Valentine’s Day and how they’re doomed to failure, so why bother? They say it’s a bogus holiday. They say they don’t want to be told when and how to express their love. They say the restaurants are too crowded and their significant others are too demanding. They resent the expense. They resent the inherent gender bias involved in this one-sided give and take exchange. If they celebrate at all, they do it on a day other than Valentine’s Day to avoid the hassle (thereby avoiding the appearance of having to celebrate the day). Then there’s the ones who patently refuse to celebrate at all; they declare their independence from the shameless consumerism.
Well, to all these folks I say, maybe you have a good point. Perhaps one designated day per year of showing your significant other (and all her friends) how much you care is a ridiculous pursuit, a total sham. However, there’s just one question I have to ask, “What are you doing the other 364 days of the year to show you care?” I hope you’re not operating under the premise of She knows I love her. I don’t have to prove anything. Because, well… Here’s the thing. The fact that you continue to return to your home each night isn’t exactly demonstrating much more than the fact that you remember how to get there; and the fact that you haven’t left her yet doesn’t necessarily reflect more than the possibility that you have nowhere else to go.
Also, another question springs to mind; “Do you feel like she loves you?” Does she show you that she loves you in ways that you can experience and appreciate- on a daily basis? Can you give specific examples? If the answer is no (or a series of ‘no’s’), then maybe you need to ask yourself, “What do I need her to do to show me how she feels?”
Dr. Chapman’s Five Love Languages can help you determine what it is that you need from your mate to feel loved. Briefly, they are as follows:
1. Words of Affirmation: Compliments mean everything, everything
2. Quality Time: Being there for you, with you, without distractions
3. Receiving gifts: It’s all about the thoughtfulness and effort behind the gift you receive
4. Acts of Service: Doing chores, making your life easier, helping out
5. Physical Touch: Physical presence and accessibility
My theory is that if you know your love language and your partner knows hers- and you both know each other’s- then Valentine’s Day will become a non-issue. Too often, the difficulties couples have within their relationships become magnified when expectations run high –especially during the holidays. So, maybe you could start today. Sit down with your mate and figure out your love languages. You know what to do next: Learn to speak them FLUENTLY!! When the holidays roll around again, you’ll be more than prepared. It’ll be just like it says in the old song My Funny Valentine…”every day is Valentine’s Day.”
Check out: The Five Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman
If you feel like you need more help with your relationship, give us a call at life Skills Resource Group in Orlando. Our counselors and life coaches are here for you. 407-355-7378.