by Julia Scalise
One of my Mom’s favorite sayings was “Always the garden, never the rose.” It took me years to fully understand what she meant. She was a person who found joys in the little things in life. She was not the type of person who needed the “Cecil B. DeMille productions” in life. She understood that many times small things can have exponential impact. She never liked “over the top” expressions of love. So she preferred the “one rose” philosophy versus the “whole garden” philosophy in the things that brought her the most joy. Whenever my Dad would start to Cecil B. DeMille anything, she would always remind him that she didn’t want the garden, just the rose.
So many people approach relationships in that “over the top” manner, wanting to give the garden and not the rose – but that may not be what your partner wants (or what you want).
Gary Chapman, a pastor and marriage counselor with decades of experience, wrote a book “The 5 Love Languages, The Secret to Love that Lasts”. On his website: www.5lovelanguages.com, there is a quiz to take that lets you know the best way you and your partner would FEEL that they were loved. I strongly urge everyone to take this test.
He believes there are 5 languages of love. They are: Quality Time, Words of Affirmation, Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch. Each of us needs a different type of expression of love from our significant other in order to feel loved.
Quality Time – Maybe you need to turn off the phones, computers, iPads and have a conversation over dinner. Maybe you need a weeknight or weekend, just the two of you, without children around or other distractions. Maybe you need a few nights here and there at a bed and breakfast by yourselves. Or how about doing something you usually don’t like to do, such as attend a cultural event or a sports event, only because you know your significant other enjoys it. Try getting some tickets and share the experience, just the two of you, doing something your significant other likes to do with “enthusiasm”.
Words of Affirmation – Some people respond to words of praise or appreciation or hearing “I love you” often. Besides verbally telling your partner you love them, or value them, or appreciate them, start hiding post it notes in a wallet, purse, on a computer screen, or in a box or jar daily with written reminders telling your significant other that they matter. This may be all it takes to make your relationship soar.
Gifts – If gifts are important, it doesn’t always have to be expensive jewelry or sports cars with a bow on top delivered to your driveway. Maybe all it takes to show the person who requires gifts that they are loved are small, inexpensive presents that lets someone know you thought of them enough to get them a surprise token of affection.
Acts of Service – Does your significant other like help to feel loved? Many couples fall into ruts regarding household management. Cooking, cleaning, food shopping, dishes, laundry, yard work, and home maintenance- the chores are endless and usually early on in co-habitation these responsibilities are soon set in stone. Well how about just doing another’s chores for a day, a week, a year. If you can’t manage to add any more into your list of things to do, consider hiring a service to help out once in a while. If you are not at the stage of co-habitation with your love interest, find ways to help them on projects such as painting a room, or helping them to move, or just showing up to shovel a walkway or driveway after a snowstorm.
Physical Touch – Just because you may not feel the need for physical demonstrations of affection, your partner may have a different set of priorities. Levels of intensity of physical affection vary also. It may only need to be holding someone’s hand, hugging them, stroking their arm or hair, kissing them often, or showing more enthusiasm and passion during love-making. Offer to give a massage, or get a couple’s massage at a spa when time and finances allow it. Touching is a very healing discipline as it releases a lot of feel-good hormones and neurotransmitters in the brain for most and enhances the feelings of bonding with your partner.
So if you are looking for 3 ways to make for a more special or happier Valentine’s Day, or just improve your relationship all year long:
- Both of you take the quiz
- Discover and find ways to DO what makes your PARTNER happy (both of you!)
- Remember to always show your appreciation when they do
For more tips on living a better life on all levels, read my book “Do One Thing Feel Better/ Live Better ”. If you wish to work with me as a client, just contact me through my website. All consultations are done by phone, so distance is not an issue.
Wishing you all a very Happy Valentine’s Day and the best relationships you can have.
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