It’s hard to believe how quickly January is flying by! It’s been a good month for us though because we’ve actually had a couple of do-nothing days. It’s kind of amazing!! We’re crazy busy pretty much all the time, so when we have those moments where it’s just the two of us we soak it up.
Having those moments where we can cuddle, watch a movie, or just lay in bed all morning are incredibly important to us. We learned pretty early in our relationship that we share the same primary love language….Physical touch. The fastest way for us to recharge our love bank is a good long snuggle on the couch.
When we can’t touch for whatever reason (usually because Dustin is sick) we notice and it’s rough!! At some point one of us will just crash into the other and demand a hug! But when it comes to our secondary language we are definitely different!
For Dustin he is very much a words of affirmation kind of guy! It’s important for him to HEAR that I love him and that I’m proud of him. I’m pretty ok with that, since words are my job! I love writing him notes in his lunch, I’m pretty good about remembering to tell him how proud I am to be his wife. I’m working on being better about not using my words to cut.
My secondary language on the other hand is acts of service. You can tell me you love me til you turn blue in the face, but I won’t believe it until I see it in your actions. I spent a lot time being told one thing and seeing something else in how they acted. So for me, having someone do something kind and thoughtful is the best way to show your love.
If you haven’t read The 5 Love Languages yet I really highly recommend it. It’s a book that I picked up after my divorce and it really spoke to me. Realizing what your own love language is helps you better identify your needs. Understanding your own needs helps you communicate those needs to your spouse.
Similarly, understanding your spouse’s needs helps reduce conflict. How often do couples fight because their love tank is empty. I notice it for sure. When I am feeling extra frustrated and wench-life towards Dustin I can pretty quickly identify that we’ve been out of touch (literally) for too long.
With Valentine’s Day coming up I couldn’t help but think about ways that we can help make our spouse/significant other feel loved in signifcant ways. Ways that are meaningful and powerful, and don’t break the bank. Valentine’s Day is so over-commercialized and hyped up that you can’t turn around without seeing another ad for some gift or another to buy.
This year, put your wallet away. Leave the cheesy gifts at the store and instead do something for your spouse that really fills their love bank! I’ve got two ideas per love language listed below, these are just a few ideas to get you thinking. If you’re not sure which love language you or your spouse are pick a couple! Most of them are free or low cost so you can do more than one easily!
This love language is all about physically connecting with your loved one. It doesn’t have to be sexual, honestly it can be as simple as holding hands. It’s all about connecting with our largest organ (skin) and having those endorphines release! Not all touches are created equal, and each person who responds to touch will respond differently! But the following ideas are a pretty good idea to anyone with touch as a love language.
Give them a massage, and don’t expect anything in return.
We got ourselves a massage table for Christmas and love it so much. Put some real effort into it, do some googling, learn how to give a good massage and treat your spouse to some real pampering. Go all out, light some candles, use a good massage oil, really focus on the areas that your spouse always complains about. For Dustin it’s his upper back. For me it’s my lower back.
Put on some music, lower the lights. Get into it! But most importantly, do not expect anything in return!! Let’s say this again: DO NOT EXPECT ANYTHING IN RETURN!! As soon as you expect something in return the thoughtfulness of the gift is lost. Now, if your spouse feels inspired to return the favor, or show a little affection of their own feel free to enjoy it!
Wash their hair
This seems like a weird one doesn’t it? But honestly, I think one of the most loving and caring acts I’ve ever experienced was when Dustin washed my hair for me. I’d pulled a muscle in my shoulder and couldn’t even lift my arm over my head. After 2 days on the couch I was feeling really gross. He hopped in the shower with me and took such care of me. It brings tears to my eyes still.
There is something so loving and caring about physically caring for your spouse in this way! If you’re lucky enough to have a great tub fill it with bubbles, light some candles, lay back to chest and soak up the love. If you’re like us and have a crappy tub you can shower together instead! Scrub their backs, wash their hair, love on each other!
Acts of Service:
This is my secondary love language for sure. This language is all about how actions speak louder than words. It’s all about the doing!! Giving your time, energy, and love to your spouse by your actions is great for action oriented people. This love is sacrificial, it isn’t about doing the things you enjoy doing (though that can also show love) it’s all about giving because you want to, not because you’re expected to!
Do a chore your spouse hates
We live in a house without a dishwasher. Most of the time I do the dishes, it honestly isn’t a chore that bothers me. But I hate being expected to do them! To me, when I come home and see Dustin doing dishes I FEEL loved. Becaues he hates doing them just as much as me. For him to take the time to do this chore means a lot to me.
Maybe your spouse/significant other is the one who usually takes care of the laundry, or filling the gas tank. Maybe they usually do the grocery shopping or clean the litter box. Whatever it is that they usually do is a great opportunity for you to show them love! Give them the day off from their chores. Force them to sit and read a book or take a nap while you take care of things.
I promise, even if you do it all wrong, even if the dishes/laundry end up in the wrong place, even if you mess up your spouse will appreciate the effort!
Cook them a special meal
Forget going out, Valentine’s Day is always a mess at restaurants! Instead, cook your significant other a nice meal. Light some candles. Turn down the lights. Actually sit down together at the table. Enjoy a meal together rather than just hurrying through dinner or eating in front of your TV.
Maybe you’re a terrible cook, that’s ok pick up take-out. Put it on real plates, set the table, go all out! If you’ve got fancy China pull it out and use it! Remember, don’t make your loved one clean up after this meal!!
Words of Affirmation:
This is Dustin’s secondary love language. For him, he feels loved when I genuinely tell him why I love him. It’s all about complimenting your spouse, putting into words what you love about them, why you’re proud of them, how much you appreciate them. Don’t just say the words, mean them! You don’t have to be fancy or write them endless sonnets. Just speak from the heart!
Tell them why you love them
Find some way to creatively tell them why you love them. Dustin still loves his deck of cards with 52 reasons why I love him! It’s such a fun gift to make and to give! Write them a good old fashioned love letter. Make them an old-school mixed tape with all the love songs that make you think of them.
Keep it simple and just sit them down, look them in the eye and tell them what it is about them that makes your heart flutter. I promise, simplicity is not a bad thing. Be honest, genuine, and you’ll have no problems making your spouse feel loved!
Record your favorite memories
This one can be done in a couple ways. If you’re planning for next year you can spend the year writing something each day or week that you loved about your spouse or your life together. If you’re short on time just write out some of your favorite memories of your life together. Make them a CD or podcast of your favorite memories, it will be a great gift they can hold onto for years!
This love language is all about spending time together. And I don’t mean just being in the same room. Quality is key to this love language. It’s really all about being connected to your significant other! Take the time to focus on each other, remember why you love each other, be friends again! Dustin really and truly is my best friend. We share hobbies and interests and that all comes out in the time we spend together.
Do something they enjoy
This is all about sacrifical love again! Show your love by doing something they enjoy that you might not love yourself! Let them pick a movie. Go to yoga together. Play their favorite video game. Give up control of the radio.
Pick their passion and do it together. Let them show you what it is they love. When we let our significant other express their passions you will learn more about them, and who knows you might find a new passion yourself.
Learn something new together
Learning something new together is a great way to show your love! It’s exciting to try something new and that excitment will energize your relationship and give you some great memories together. Schedule a lesson on something you’ve always wanted to do together. Or try something you’ve never even thought of!! Cooking lessons, art classes, paddle boarding, check out the Amazon local for some good deals and ideas.
This love language is probably last for me. I mean, don’t get me wrong I love getting gifts. But it doesn’t really speak to me on a meaningful level. So it’s not one that I often think about. I do enjoy giving gifts though so I guess you could say it’s high on my list of expressing love! I’m not talking about buying someones love, it’s more about gifts being a visual symbol of your love.
Buy something simple but meaningful
Again, this isn’t about buying someones love!! Remember that, the most expensive gift in the world will mean nothing if it doesn’t have thought behind it. Instead, use clues to buy something for your significant other that they’ll truly love. Maybe it’s a book or cd they haven’t bought for themselves. Maybe it’s fuzzy socks and pedicure kit to pamper themselves and stay warm this winter.
Think outside the box and put together a gift that shows you really listened to their needs and wants! Buy them a copy of the movie from your first date. Get a CD of the band that you saw in concert together. Get tickets to a show they’d love to see!
Craft them something
Put your artistic skills to use and create a gift for your loved one! If you’re a writer you could create a story about love. Maybe you are a talented painter, or a fair hand at drawing! Create a meaningful image, collage, or heck even a doodle. Put your heart into it! Know why parents love those macaroni necklaces from their kids? Because that’s something they put their whole heart into.
I’ve got friends who are stupid talented. It’s enough to make a person sick seeing what they can create. Woodworking, painting, music, knitting, all of it! They put their time and passion into these creations and gifting your significant other with something like this is incredibly meaningful!
Hopefully these ideas have sparked something for you, you’ve got just under a month to get it ready and surprise your spouse this Valentine’s Day. I hope you’ll set aside the cheesy card and chocolates and instead focus on something meaningful for your spouse.
And you know what…you don’t have to wait for Valentine’s Day to do it! Show your love 365 days a year (or 366 since this is a leap year). I promise, learning their love language will create a healthier happier relationship all around!
Be sure to check out these ideas from some of my favorite bloggers for a sweet and simple Valentine’s Day. Without even realizing it we all took this same perspective on Valentine’s Day! Forget commercialization, focus on true love and great food this year!
10 Ways to Make Your Spouse Feel Loved, Little Blog on the Homestead
Dark Chocolate Raspberry Whoopie Pies, Cook. Craft. Love.
Surviving Valentine’s Solo, An Aiming High Wife
Brolos – Rolo Brownies, Goodie Godmother