When I started this blog, I wanted to include a weekly series "Wedding Wednesdays." I'd still like to do that, as once you plan your wedding you find yourself with a newly acquired set of skills and not much to do with them but share them. Even more important than the logistics of the event, however, are the relationships at the center of that wedding.
And when better to begin discussing relationships than on Valentine's Day?
You'll notice I said "relationships," not "relationship," because as anyone who's been involved in the wedding planning process knows, the relationship between the bride and groom is not the only one that is celebrated. The relationships between the bride and groom and their parents, extended families, and close friends all constitute a significant part of your wedding day. Even if they aren't physically present. Even if you elope!
So today, I wanted to share some ideas around showing all of the important people in your life love by honoring their love language. If you aren't familiar with love languages, you can read more here.
I believe we all have two love languages: the one we prefer when receiving love, and the one we prefer when showing love. Honoring both of those means that even if your loved one chooses to show you love in a way that does not fulfill your top love language, recognizing and cherishing those gestures is still important. Additionally, the way you choose to give love to someone needn't be a giant undertaking. Read on for my suggestions for small gestures to honor each of the five primary love languages:
If your sweetheart, mom, or best friend feels loved when they receive gifts, know that gifts don't need to be extravagant. You can shower the gift-lover with love by picking up their favorite snack for them or a cute tchotchke from the Target $1 aisles - any little tangible token that shows you were thinking of them.
Receiving gifts is not my love language, but my husband loves to spoil those he loves with gifts. Therefore, I receive every gift he gives me with great joy, knowing much it means to him to demonstrate his love for me in that manner.
Bless those whose love language is physical affection - this language takes almost no time, effort or money to "speak"! There are those of us who are uncomfortable getting "touchy-feely" and frequent hugs may be asking too much. Even a simple gesture like placing your hand on someone's arm during conversation can demonstrate that you care.
Words of Affirmation
This one is my love language! I like not only to be loved, but to be told that I am loved. I like clear, spoken or written feedback on how someone feels about me. I don't need long, poetic professions of love (although those are nice). Just hearing "You are doing a great job with...." or "Thank you for..." makes me feel valued.
Spending quality time with those with whom we don't live can be difficult. Quality time with those with whom we do live can be difficult, as well! Simply taking the time to put down your phone, turn off the TV, and ask your partner about their day can make a huge impact on how loved they feel. With your friends and family, what small commitment can you make? If not an in-person visit, can you commit to calling them over facetime? Can you create a monthly or even annual tradition that involves being together? Know your limits, and do your best.
Acts of Service
This is my husband's love language, and the poor man is married to one lazy cat. Recognizing his love language has pushed me to commit to serving him and I think (I hope!) I've improved. Thankfully, it doesn't take much - wiping down our counters at the end of the day, dusting our bedroom, cleaning the toilets like a true glamazon - any of those five-minute tasks show my husband that I value and respect him. Completely worth getting off the couch!
Acts of service is how my dad and one of my brothers show love. I often feel guilty asking for help, but since I know what those gestures mean to them, I find joy in letting them help me and I know they find joy in offering their help.
I hope these little suggestions have inspired you to take a few small actions today to spread love.
I'd love to hear from you!
What's your love language?
How do you like to show love?
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