Choose Your Valentine’s Day Gifts Wisely
By: Ganel, LCMFT Owner/Principal Therapist

Valentine’s day is just a week away. If it has caught you by surprise again this year, or if you are merely at a loss for how to express your feelings, consider your partner’s love language. What are the ways your partner takes in feeling loved? Most people have a primary love language and appreciate one or two of the others. Here they are: words of affirmation, physical touch, receiving gifts, quality time, and acts of service. A quick internet search could give you more information, but we’ve only got 6 days to find the best expression of our love, so dive in for some ideas below. 

Has your partner ever mentioned needing to hear that they’re great, done something well, made your day? Then Words of Affirmation are the way to go. Perhaps a handwritten card with a poem or a personalized photobook documenting how each photo makes you love your partner more (Walmart offers same day pickup, if you’re pressed for time). Consider this scene from “The Wedding Date.” Debra really hams it up here, but words have power.

PHYSICAL TOUCH: Now this one might seem simple, but feeling love through physical touch, isn’t all about sex. It could be as simple as setting the alarm 10 minutes earlier to cuddle your loved one. Suggest  “No Alarm Friday” putting the focus on being cozy in bed before heading to work. This simple connection reminds you both of what you have to look forward to when you get home. If you want to throw in some luxurious pajamas or a faux fur blanket, that might get you bonus points but it won’t be the primary way to their heart. 

RECEIVING GIFTS: Thanks to Hallmark and marketing teams around the world, there are an infinite supply of teddy bears, fluffy hearts, and sweets for your sweetie. If your SO likes receiving gifts, consider going next level, some organizations send a gift with your donation. Check out The World Wildlife Fund to go the traditional stuffed animal route. Should you decide to go the jewelry route, pick something you’d like to see them in or a piece that you can add to, like a charm bracelet. 

Reduce the pressure to create the perfect Valentine’s celebration by approaching it together. If your partner craves quality time suggest finding a copycat recipe from your favorite restaurant and recreating it together. If you don’t know how to cook you’ll learn together, make memories, and even if you have to order in, you did it together. I’m confident you’ll do better than this guy. Want to get out of the house? Ask your partner to unplug, go to a town you haven’t explored and have a new experiences together without your phones going off. 

How can you make your partner’s day a little easier? What are things your could potentially take off their plate? The small act of doing something your partner normally does, demonstrates that you see all that they do, but maybe don’t get enough recognition for. Don’t want to step on their toes or mess up their routine? Have lunch delivered to their work, there are so many options! Or book a spa day in appreciation for all that they do. 
Still not sure, dabble in all 5! A handpicked card, filled with your personalized “roses are red” poem, a bottle of wine that you wouldn’t normally buy, put your phones in a different room, snuggle into the sofa, and grant a wish!  

The art of Relationship Intelligence means being attuned to what your partner likes and dislikes, what they say about their needs and feelings. This can clue you in to their love language. And if you’re unsure, ASK! Direct communication is another part of being a great partner.

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