Your Perfect Valentine’s Day, According to Your Love Language

Are you fluent in the language of love? No, I’m not talking about French. I’m talking about Dr. Gary Chapman’s five love languages. In honor of Valentine’s Day’s rapid approach, I figured I’d break down these love languages and what they mean for you, your bae or your BFF.

We all give and receive love in different ways: some people enjoy compliments and gifts, while others are happy to just be in the same room with a person they love. There’s obviously no way to put someone completely in a box, since the way we show love is always changing, but if you’re having trouble thinking of what to get someone for V-Day, learning their love language is a good place to start. You can take a quiz to find out your love language here, but here’s a rundown of each type.

1. Quality Time:

All these people need is a little undivided attention from their loved ones. We spend so much time on our phones, watching TV or doing literally anything but simply enjoying the presence of another human being that we hardly know what to do when it’s just one-on-one. Sure, looking at memes together is great, but if you don’t know when to stop and spend time just enjoying the company of the person you love, it’s an issue. With these people, it’s all about balance.

Their Perfect Valentine’s Day: dinner and a movie, a concert, five minutes of completely uninterrupted eye contact.       

2. Receiving Gifts:

Personally, I feel that those who show love via gift-giving should also belong to this category, but I’m not exactly sure where Dr. Chapman stands on this because I didn’t want to pay $15 for the book when I could find all the information I needed on the world wide web. Assuming this is your love language, and that I’m somewhat valid in lumping gift-givers into this category, you express and appreciate love best with tangible items. In this case, the word “gift” doesn’t necessarily mean a Rolex (though I’m sure it will always be appreciated). A gift can be anything from a sweet note to a Land Rover or anything in between, as long as the person has a physical token of your love.

Their Perfect Valentine’s Day: a love letter, chocolates or an all-expenses-paid vacation to Cancun.

3. Acts of Service:

For those who speak the language of service, actions speak louder than words. To show this person you love them, all you have to do is help them out a little. He or she wants you to care enough about them to do the occasional favor or to kill the spider on the ceiling when they’re too afraid. After a stressful day of being a college student, the last thing this person wants is for someone they love to make their life more difficult, so if you pick up on a loved one’s stress, think about what you can do to make their life a little less stressful.

Their Perfect Valentine’s Day: a romantic home-cooked meal reviewed by Gordon Ramsey and a back massage.

4. Words of Affirmation:

Some people say “talk is cheap,” but for this person, it’s expensive af (but totally worth it). They just want to hear how much they mean to you. For them, actions don’t always speak louder than words. Nothing means more than a simple compliment or an “I love you.” They want to hear not only that you love and appreciated them, but also why you love and appreciate them.

Their Perfect Valentine’s Day: all 365 love letters that you’ve definitely been writing for the past year.

5. Physical Touch:

It’s easy to think of this one as pretty straightforward, but it’s not as cut and dry as it may seem. You might assume that this is talking about sex, but Chapman places more emphasis on everyday physical contact, like hand-holding or hugging. Someone whose love language is physical touch feels most loved when someone offers them any kind of re-affirming physical contact, but make sure you keep in mind that not all of them are into PDA. Honestly, neither is the public, so just try to keep PDA at an appropriate minimum.

Their Perfect Valentine’s Day: snuggling under a pillow fort of your own making, creating a secret handshake.

Remember that these languages do not just apply to romantic love! Chapman has written three other books about applying the love languages to almost any relationship, from familial to friendly to professional.

All images courtesy of Giphy.