Love languages by the numbers: inexpensive ways to celebrate Valentine's Day
Valentine’s Day is all about love, not money! Expensive flowers, chocolate, gifts and dinners out aren’t always the most romantic choice for your partner. In fact, most of the time, it’s the less costly things that really make a Valentine’s Day special - but only if you know what your partner’s love language is.
Ready to get fluent? Read on...
LOVE LANGUAGES 101
The idea of love languages is that everybody has their own way of expressing their affection for their partner. If people don’t speak the same language, they could misinterpret each other and could feel frustrated and even unloved.
By understanding your partner’s love language and your own, you can both better express your love to one another and understand when the other person is saying “I love you”. An important thing to be able to do on Valentine’s Day!
While the idea of love languages has expanded, the original 5 presented by Dr Chapman still hold a lot of weight. They are:
- Gift giving.
- Quality time.
- Physical touch.
- Acts of service.
- Words of affirmation.
Every language has a different set of acts that best express them. The idea is to perform these acts of love according to your partner’s preferred language(s) rather than your own - and vice versa. That way, they know you’re saying “I love you”, whether that means a cuddle, a gift, a handwritten letter or just doing their chores for them.
You can discover your (and your partner’s) love language with this handy quiz.
And, best of all for those on a budget, there are ways to speak these languages without spending a huge amount of money - yes, even for gift giving. Here’s where to get started for each one:
If your partner often brings home little treats for you or always takes a lot of time choosing a birthday gift for someone in their family, they might have Gift Giving as a love language. This doesn’t, however, mean they are materialistic. A present doesn’t need a big price tag to be appreciated.
- Making and wrapping your partner’s favourite treat.
- Framing and wrapping a photo of a special moment for the two of you.
- Picking and tying a wildflower bouquet.
For bonus points, surprise your partner with the gift. The last thing you want to do is give them something generic!
If your partner prefers a conversation with you to watching a movie, they might have Quality Time as a love language. There are lots of ways to spend time with your partner on Valentine’s Day, and it can be combined with other love languages easily too.
- Taking a walk somewhere new.
- Go camping or tramping.
- Make a ‘memory box’ and spend time reminiscing together.
Try combining this with an Act of Service by making a meal at home and eating together with no interruptions: phones off, Facebook messenger muted, kids put to bed.
If you find your partner often holding your hand, touching your back or giving out hugs, they may have Physical Touch as a love language. In the everyday, this love language often expresses itself in small acts of intimacy, but on Valentine’s Day, it’s better to do something more specific.
- Setting up a two-person hammock and spending time in it together.
- Cuddling your partner to wake them up in the morning.
- Giving your partner a massage.
Cuddles and conversation go a long way for people who have quality time and physical touch as their love languages.
ACTS OF SERVICE
If you come home from work and find the dishes done for you, your partner may have Acts of Service as a love language. This is a fantastically diverse language with lots of options, especially on Valentine’s Day.
- Getting up early to make them breakfast.
- Fixing something that’s bothering them.
- Cleaning their car or doing another chore so they don’t have to.
The essence of Acts of Service is to find something in their life that’s busy or chaotic and resolving it for them. One less thing on their to-do list is an excellent gift for those with this love language.
WORDS OF AFFIRMATION
If a kind word can completely turn your partner’s day around, they might have Words of Affirmation as a love language. Don’t worry - you don’t have to be a poet to speak this one!
- Writing a letter that outlines the progress your relationship has made for the last year.
- Leave them kind words to find in their jacket pocket or driver’s seat of the car.
- Mixtapes might be 90’s, but they never really go out of style.
These are just a few ideas to help you get started. Start by figuring out your partner’s love language, and learn to speak it with an appropriate Valentine’s Day gift. And remember: it’s about love, not money, so don’t feel the need to splurge to express your affection. Effort, thought and care go much further than $$$!
There are over 200,000 single-parent families in New Zealand, and many more with a stay-at-home parent – plenty are living on a single income! Whether this is just for now