I've never considered myself someone who cares about material things, so I was surprised to recently learn from the Love Languages Quiz that my love language is "Receiving Gifts." The love languages, created by Dr. Gary Chapman, and explained in his book The 5 Love Languages, are the five different ways people feel loved in relationships: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch. So, even if you don't really care what objects you possess, your love language is gifts if you (like me) feel most loved when someone gives you one. By understanding our own and our partners' love languages, you can gain a lot of valuable information, like how to solve problems and which dates work best for us.
Knowing your love language really can help you make more informed decisions in your relationship. Maybe, for example, you're feeling like your partner doesn't show you enough attention, but they say they're always asking you questions. If your love language is touch, you may need more physical affection to feel acknowledged.
Once each of you figures out what the other needs, you can start giving these things to each other. Here are some recommendations from Lori Salkin, SawYouatSinai.com Senior Matchmaker and Dating Coach, to cater to each other's love languages via dates.
Acts Of Service: Surprise Them With A Cleaning Spree
Surprise your partner by taking care of all their chores for a day. Once they get home, you can go out to celebrate all their new free time. "By recognizing your significant other's need to get these things done and wanting to help make their life easier so you can enjoy more together — as opposed to adding more stress by taking up their time with dates and then leaving them with their personal tasks at 2 a.m. while you get a good night's sleep — you show that you respect their time," says Salkin.
Receiving Gifts: Arts And Crafts
Go to Build A Bear, Paint Nite, or a pottery-painting place and create something personalized for each other. "Giving a personalized gift that you had to go out of your way to create — and doing it making memories together — is even more important and special than just swiping your credit card to get something on your lunch break," says Salkin.
Quality Time: An Extra Car Ride
Whatever your date is, text your partner beforehand to tell them how excited you are, and afterward, circle around the block an extra time to show that you don't want to say "goodbye" just yet. When you have to go, thank them for the time they've spent with you. "Waiting anxiously to be together and thinking about after they've gone makes them feel they every single moment together is cherished," says Salkin.
Physical Touch: Try The 36 Questions
In a famous experiment, psychologist Arthur Aron found that these 36 questions help bring couples closer. Answering them and staring into each other's eyes will feel "pretty intense and even more intimate that physical touch," says Salkin.
Chances are, your partner will not only enjoy the date catered to their love language but also appreciate that you catered it to them.