Christmas is coming up and many feel pressure to find the "perfect" gift. This week Imagine Hope is giving you tips on what to give based on your partner's love language. There is a great book that helps couples examine which love languages they speak: The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. We all have needs in relationships, and it is important to know what those needs are so you can make sure you are loving your partner the way they need to feel loved. Most of us receive love through five different love languages: Acts of service, Affirmations, Physical Touch, Quality Time, and Receiving Gifts. This book is an amazing tool for people to discover how they give and receive love. Today try to see which love language you think your partner speaks and keep reading all week for suggestions of gifts for Christmas that will really say "I love you"! 1. Words of Affirmation. This includes giving verbal or written praise, compliments, encouraging/kind words, and humble words. Some individuals thrive on verbal praise and kind words. This can include complimenting someone on their appearance, letting someone know how much you appreciate them, thanking them for things they do around the house, or ways in which they are helpful.
2. Gift Giving. This is wanting and showing love in the form of gifts. A gift is anything given to you/given to someone else to say “I was thinking of you”….a visual symbol of love. Gifts can be purchased (small or large) or handmade. There’s also giving the gift of self. This is giving the gift of your presence (physically & emotionally), or in other words, being there for your significant other when they need you. For some individuals gift giving has nothing to do with monetary value, and everything to do with love.
3. Acts of Service. Did you ever think you might be showing love to your partner by doing chores? The key is that your attitude is about doing the act of service out of love, not out of obligation. Make sure you get clarity on which act of service means the most to your partner. Don't assume any act will show love. If this is your love language, make sure you teach your partner what this means to you and define the specifics around it.
4. Physical Touch. Many people get this one confused with sex. Yes, sexual intimacy is one way to speak to your partners love language if it is physical touch, however, it also includes holding hands, hugs, kisses, scratching their back….anything that you are doing to touch them. Touching them in the way they like to to be touched says, “I love you”.
5. Quality Time. This is focused and undivided time, where you go to the other persons emotional level to connect with them. Quality time means putting away the cell phones and computer related gadgets, turning off the TV, and focusing exclusively on spending good, intimate time with your partner. It’s important to have direct eye contact, and listen with no distractions.
Tomorrow check in for gift tips for Words of Affirmation!
Written by Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW, LCAC
Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW, LCAC is a licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Teri enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Teri also does family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield.