It’s Valentine’s Day today and unfortunately modern society have created this day to be about roses, chocolates, teddy bears and heart-shaped candies. Every year leading up to Valentine’s day, I always try to think very hard about how to make my loved ones feel loved… Yes, you should express love everyday whether it’s Valentine’s day or not… But this is an excuse, a reminder and a special day to make your loved ones feel EXTRA loved.
What makes every family member or partner feel loved is different. Chocolates are always a great gift, but they give my particular loved ones about 5 seconds of feeling loved and they feel a little impersonal for us. This leads to questions about what really makes them feel loved?
As Gary Chapman wrote in his book 5 Love Languages®: “Inside every child is an 'emotional tank’ waiting to be filled with love.” He continued to say in his book ‘Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married’ that each adult have a love tank too. There’s also a saying “you can’t pour from an empty cup”. The question then becomes: how do we fill these love tanks?
Gary Chapman suggests that there are 5 different love languages: Quality Time, Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Physical Touch and Gifts. These are 5 categories of all the ways you can give/receive love. While it is true that we feel loved by receiving something from any of the categories, we put different weights to these categories. For example, someone’s love tank may fill faster with acts of service (helping them do the things they need to do, like house chores, errands, etc) compared to if you buy them gifts while another person may be the complete opposite.
This love language theory is also good for children. In fact, Gary Chapman wrote that:
“When a child [and adult] really feels loved, he [or she] will develop normally but when the love tank is empty, the child will misbehave. Much of the misbehavior of children [and adults] is motivated by the cravings of an empty 'love tank’.” (Gary Chapman, 5 Love Languages®)
Figuring out the dominant love language for you and your loved ones is not hard at all. You can take a short test yourself and on behalf of your partner or child(ren) via this link: https://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/ and start to better fill up their love tanks almost immediately.
My husband and I were lucky enough to have come across and figure out our love language well before we were married. We found that his most dominant love language is words of affirmation and mine is quality time. I’m not one to be too excited over bouquets of roses, chocolates or teddy bears and neither is my husband. So, we are doing none of that and it’s OK (well, maybe we will raid those delicious Ferrero Rochers that are on sale because of the holiday). Actually, it’s PERFECT. Instead, I make it an EXTRA IMPORTANT point today to give him more compliments and tell him how much I love him while he made it an extra important point that we will spend every minute together just being with each other today. This is how we fill each other’s love tanks.
What’s your love language? Have you been filling up your loved ones’ love tanks in the best way possible?
- Sita Carolina