How to Select the Right Gift For Your Valentine
You may be surprised that although your Valentine's Day gift of candy or flowers is expensive and impressive, it may not communicate love to your partner.
That is because, according to Dr. Gary Chapman, counselor and author of The Five Love Languages, there are different ways to communicate love; and each person has a preferred mode of communication (a love language) in which he or she likes to receive love.
If you choose a gift which does not say “I love you,” in the other person's love language, you could fall short of your desired intent. Selecting the perfect gift for the right person is an art.
What are Love Languages?
Chapman cites five love languages. For our purpose of selecting the perfect gift, we may think of the language as the preferred dialect in which a person wants to hear "I love you." If your gift is presented in any other dialect, the message stands the chance of being lost.
Here are Chapman's five love languages:
(1) Affirmation – words of appreciation or encouragement;
(2) Time – quality time spent together, focusing attention on each other;
(3) Service – acts of kindness which help to make life easier;
(4) Touch – physical show of affection, not necessarily sexual;
(5) Gifts – not necessarily expensive, but obviously from the heart.
The challenge is to identify your partner's love language (yours too). In case you cannot tell simply by conversation and observation, it would be a good idea to acquaint yourselves with the concept of love languages and take the quiz to help you confirm yours and your partner's.
It is a fun activity, and understanding your love languages will empower you to give the most satisfying gifts.
Origin of "Love Languages" (under 2 mins)
“If I had to choose between breathing or loving you, I would say 'I love you' with my last breath." ―Shannon Dermott
For the partner whose love language is affirmation, add that to the box of chocolates. Attach an inscription which gives an assurance of love, which says that the person is valuable.
- "You're the only one for me."
- "I would be lost without your love."
- "With you in my life, everyday is Valentine's."
It will mean even more if the inscription is hand-written. If you do not have the skill to produce the caliber of handwriting you will like to see, an office supply store can transform your sketch into something classy; or go all the way with something personalized from a gift store like PersonalizationMall.Com. Your partner will interpret your gift as genuine love, especially because of the affirmation.
"Spending time with you showed me what I’ve been missing in my life. The more time we spent together, the more I could imagine it lasting in the future." ―Nicholas Sparks
Next to your undivided attention, any other gift you give will be a pale expression of love. So plan on spending quality time, perhaps hosting a dinner for two at home or at your favorite spot, or even take a long leisurely drive to a concert you would both enjoy.
If your relationship is long distance, make short calls while on your journey home to ensure that the loved one is in your thoughts. Remember also that the partner who wants quality time, feels loved when you honor your schedule time for being together. It feels great to know that time spent together takes precedence over time for anything else. Even if the chosen activity is not your first choice, being together will make it worthwhile and your partner will likely reciprocate by letting you choose the next event.
"When you love you wish to do things for. You wish to sacrifice for. You wish to serve."— Ernest Hemingway
If your Valentine interprets acts of service as genuine love, it is because he or she thinks, “If you love me, you’ll help me. It’s as simple as that.”
Choose practical gifts that show your intention to help. Think of ways to show love in action —breakfast in bed or some type of pampering. "Let me do this today while you relax," will sound like a love song. If your present a gift item that requires assembly, include an assembly-help coupon.
Anything that says, “I love to serve you,” will be the perfect gift for your partner.
“I was mistaken when I said you live in my heart. How absurd I was when you live in my fingertips so that everything I touch is you." ― Kamand Kojouri
For the person who interprets touch as a symbol of love, choose gifts that are evaluated by how they feel:
- plush towels
- woolly socks
- bubble baths
- huggable teddy bears
Your Valentine wants to be touched by love whether on his or her face, hands or feet. The need for touch is always a feel for affection, not always for sexual satisfaction. The cute teddy bear is an appropriate gift--to hug, cuddle and squeeze. Even men appreciate them as gifts.
In an ABC report (August 24, 2010) Travelodge decided to follow up on the thousands of stuffed animals left at their hotels. Twenty-five percent of the men they surveyed admitted to taking their bears on business trips. Others said that they found cuddling the bear comforting and helpful in lowering the stress level. My guess is that the love language of these men is touch.
"The best gifts come from the heart, not the store.” ―Sarah Dessen
Generally, everyone likes to receive gifts, but the persons whose love language is “gifts” are serious about what the gift means. For them, flowers and candy are treasures not based on what they cost, or how long they last, but on any gesture which shows that the recipient is special. Did you have to order to get the right one? Did you buy it weeks ago and save it because it was exactly what he or she wanted?
Valentine’s Day is their day. Heart-felt sentiments are the currency of the moment. Deliver early so your partner can enjoy your expression of love all day long.
© 2012 Dora Weithers