This Valentines Day I want to gift you and the one you love an experience of deepening the love and intimacy that you already share. When we slow down and share with our partners what they already do that nurtures us in feeling loved and cared for, it not only informs them how we receive love, but it also encourages them to continue doing those things that light us up.
When you see the best in your partner and celebrate them in it, it cultivates appreciation and in the process deepens your love. In cultivating these qualities in our relationships during times that are both celebratory and challenging, we can consciously express and experience more love.
These questions below are designed to inspire a genuine, heartfelt conversation filled with flirtation and play to spice things up in your relationship.
Here’s what to do. Print two copies of this quiz below (direct download here and at the bottom of the page) and bring it with you on your date – either out for a nice dinner, or create a special environment at home with a glass of wine and a fire, or romantic picnic with candles in the backyard… however you connect most with your sweetie. Make sure to each have a pen and watch the magic unfold!
Fill Part I out separately, then share with each other one line at a time, going back and forth, pausing to make sure you take it all in.
What are at least three specific things your partner already does that makes you to feel loved, nurtured and appreciated? What do you interpret their behavior to mean to you? How do you feel when they do this?
Ex: I feel most loved when you make me breakfast and I’m in a hurry. Ex: I feel so taken care of when you randomly put gas in my car.
Read and fill out Part II together…
What is your Love Language? I’m sure most of us have heard of author Gary Chapman’s book, “The 5 Languages of Love,” where he shares that there are five main ways we give, and receive love and that each way is like a completely different dialect. You could be speaking Spanish and your partner French and saying nice things to each other, but not quite connecting. For example your partner may think that bringing you flowers is a big deal and although you may like that, for you it means the world when he takes quality time during the day to truly connect and be together. In order to experience more intimacy we need to speak each other’s language. Most of us probably enjoy all the ways of giving and receiving love but one or two of them are your primary ones. Let’s see if learning about the love languages below can help you discover yours and your partner’s way of relating.
Languages Of Love
1. Words of Affirmation – Compliments mean the world to this person. Hearing the reasons behind why someone loves them lights them up! On the other hand insults may crush them and are not easy to forget.
2. Quality Time – The best way to show this person “I love you,” is in giving them your full attention and undivided presence. Spending time with them at a picnic or at an event makes them feel truly special and loved.
3. Receiving Gifts – This love language is not about materialism; the receiver appreciates the thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. It shows them you care for them and thought of them when you are apart.
4. Acts of Service – Anything you do that lightens the burden of responsibilities for someone with this love language, speaks volumes to them. Alleviating their load or providing assistance is highly valued. The words he or she most wants to hear are: “Let me do that for you.”
5. Physical Touch – It’s not all about the bedroom. Physical touch can range from hugs to pats on the back and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face. You could be verbally communicating how much you care for someone with this language but giving him or her a shoulder rub is received louder than words!
What do you think your love language is?
What do you think your partners’ love language is?
Separately fill out Part III and then share with each other, one at a time going back and forth, giving one another the space to talk about whatever comes up for you.
List new ways you would like your partner to show you love. Maybe there are things that you’ve always wanted and haven’t shared because you thought they were too needy, extravagant, selfish or kinky. This could also be a place to share with them things they used to do that you loved and would appreciate more of.
It is important to know this is not an opportunity to criticize or complain about the ways your partner hasn’t shown up. It’s a way of lovingly suggesting other ways you would like to be cared for. Remember that within any criticism there is a desire, so turn the complaint into a request. Share that so it can be heard without defense and gives them some direction.
Make statements in the positive, for example: “What I would love is…” rather than what you don’t want or they don’t do. There are no obligations here, just ways of informing our partners so that if they feel inspired to stretch into new ways of showing their love, they are more educated and inspired with new ideas on how.
Ex: I would love it if you opened my door. Ex: One thing I’ve always fantasized about is…
Fill it out Part VI separately then surprise them by doing it later!
List 3 ways you could express love using your partner’s love language:
“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” – Lao Tzu
PRINT QUIZ DIRECTLY HERE and take on your date!
Alyssa Nobriga, trained as a psychotherapist, works as a professional and personal life coach supporting people in living more authentic, loving, and fulfilling lives. She takes groups through transformational intensives and also leads wellness retreats around the world. You can follow Alyssa on Facebook or Twitter.
Image courtesy of BigStock.