Posted on: Wednesday, February 12th, 2014
We have all had the experience of receiving a gift that made our heart sink, and that’s not the feeling we want to give our partners this Friday. You can do better than the predictable stand-bys like lingerie for him and flowers for her, and when you do your significant other will be reminded of how wonderful you are!
The trick to blowing their socks off is decoding what makes them feel the most loved. Sure, some people feel the most loved when they unwrap a gift, but some feel it most when they hear the words, or when spending quality time together, or when they see that their partner has spent time doing something considerate for them, and some feel it (literally!) through physical contact.
If your significant other has already made it clear what she or he craves then this is your invitation to think outside the heart-shaped chocolate box and show that you have been listening. If not, how can we figure out what kind of gift or experience will earn us a beaming grin instead of that polite, forced smile?
One hint is often in how our significant others naturally show love for us. If he cooked dinner for you on a special occasion in the hopes of making you swoon then it’s more likely that he sees that as an expression of love and will see it that way if you return the favour. If she has said “I don’t need expensive presents, I have too much stuff already” but took you to a game or show that she knew you would enjoy, then there’s a good chance that signing up for that cooking class date night she mentioned will make her happier than a necklace. Think back about all the big and small ways your sweetie has done each of these five things. If one or two come up over and over, particularly on special occasions, those are probably the ones that mean the most to her or him.
Q#1: I know which of those things my partner would like most but it seems silly/annoying/selfish!
It’s important to respect that all of these are equally legitimate. I like time with my partner the best, and material gifts always felt superficial to me until it was explained that sometimes a person might prefer receiving a gift because it is a tangible reminder of their partner’s love for them every time they see it. Hmm, not as shallow as I thought! Likewise, some people feel offended when they learn that their significant other would really like them to do things for them, and respond with “I’m not your personal chef/maid/landscaper/errand boy!” and so on, but try to give your partner the benefit of the doubt. Who among us wouldn’t feel cared for if we came home starving and exhausted and our partner had dinner ready?!
Q#2: My significant other would be touched if I put my love into words, but I’m not sure how to do that…
If you struggle with communicating verbally, writing it down will probably help a lot. This could be a full letter or just a 3-sentence love note, and it has the added benefit that he or she can re-read it later. If your pen dried out while you were staring at a blank page, you’re not alone: that’s why Hallmark exists. Take the time to find a great card (and when you do you might even be inspired to write in a little personal touch).
Q#3: My partner is definitely in to physical affection, but how would I base a whole evening on that?
This depends on what kind of physical contact your partner craves. If they wish you would be more affectionate in public, you could go to a restaurant where you sit side-by-side (and make a conscious effort to show affection) or go to the slow-dance party this Friday (http://www.wskeo.com/events/
Q#4: I really have no idea what kind of gifts or experiences my partner would like best.
You could a) read the book “The 5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman, b) show them this article and ask them, c) have them take a quiz at 5lovelanguages.com, or d)how about the buckshot approach?! If what you really want to do is floor them then do something considerate for them, plan an activity, give a gift with a love note, and top it off with physical affection! Afterward, don’t be afraid to ask them what they liked best and least. Then, when their birthday rolls around, you will know how to make sure they feel that they are loved… by someone amazing!
If you would like to learn how to make your relationship even happier and stronger, take our one-day Marriage Preparation Program!Sign up at www.calgarymarriageprep.ca