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Win Valentine’s Day with the Powerful Gift of Presence

Gentlemen, Valentine’s Day is upon us. Interestingly, this Hallmark Holiday is quite polarizing too. People either love it or hate it. There’s very little grey area. The reasons are pretty equal on each side of the argument:

LOVE IT

  • Romantic
  • Reason to give/receive nice gestures
  • It’s all about love
  • Who doesn’t love chocolate?!?!

HATE IT

  • Hallmark Holiday (just for money)
  • Unnecessarily expensive ($70 for roses?!?!)
  • Validation of love disguised as romance
  • Obligation to give into the commercialism

My wife and I are a good example of opposites attracting. I’m a hopeless romantic and she’s much more practical. I’ll plan grand gestures of romance, cloaked in secrecy for surprise, and deliver a symphony of Kodak moments we’ll cherish forever. It’s all orchestrated for my own satisfaction. I do it because it’s fun for me. Yes, of course, she enjoys the romance, but grand gestures aren’t really that important to her. So I do it for me.

This exact truth got me thinking about all of you guys.

Do you know what your significant other wants? I mean, truly wants…  Not what kind of jewelry she wants, or whether chocolate is better than flowers. No, I’m talking about what makes her feel the most appreciated, most valued, most heard, most loved – her love language.

Look, you can keep up the charade and buy flowers and chocolates for Valentine’s day, or you can hear me out and take your relationship to another level. This episode is dedicated to deepening your relationship by exploring her love language, your love language, and the ridiculously powerful impact it will have in your life.

Ready to step up your love game? Take a listen and let me know what you think in the comments below. [Subscribe Here]

SHOW NOTES:

Picture this cliché: A couple is having an argument about something–anything. She’s storming around the house, visibly frustrated with him, their relationship, and maybe life in general. He’s not sure what to do, or what he did. He’s following her around trying to find out what the hell is wrong.

“You know, would it kill you to pay a little more attention?” she chides, using her tone to tell him exactly how much he isn’t paying attention.

“What are you talking about? I’m always here for you! I’m home every night! What am I missing?!?” he exclaims, defending himself against this unplanned confrontation.

“You aren’t sweet like you were in the beginning. You don’t tell me you love me anymore, and it’s like pulling teeth to get you to do things with me!” she retorts.

“How can you not know I love you?!?” he cries out, amazed she could accuse him of not paying attention. “Have you ever looked around at all the stuff I do for you? The work I put in every day to provide for us, and the work I do at home – I’m always working for us! Have you ever thought about that? What do you want from me?!?!”

– – – – – – –

How to Win Valentine's DayI purposely put key parts of this argument in bold so it is easier to identify the different language-markers. So many relationships are like this. One of them (usually the man) is a provider of service and will outwardly show his affection by doing things, building things, and creating things to support his partner. He may not say “I love you, Karen” very often, but he feels that he shows his love in other ways.

The woman (in most cases) is not looking for acts of service as an indicator of love. Hell, other men do nice things for her and she doesn’t love them, so it’s not on her radar. In this example, she’s looking for quality time, and words of affirmation to make her feel appreciated and validate their love together.

A startling number of relationships are like this, and that’s why it’s such a familiar cliché. This disconnect causes marriages to feel like more work than they’re worth, and if left unaddressed, perpetuate the “strong, silent man” that doesn’t share feelings and thinks his emotional wife is ridiculous.

Gentlemen, there is absolutely no reason to be uninformed anymore. It’s 2018, and still operating as an emotionally untrained dude is just plain lazy. There are books, audios, websites, and speakers dedicated to making relationships and communication exponentially more powerful, and they’re all over the internet.

So let’s just stop the ignorance train right now. You deserve everything you focus on, and that includes your relationships. If you remain ignorant, you’ll remain unsatisfied… and honestly, so will she.

The Five Love Languages

Gary Chapman wrote a book I’ve mentioned in other episodes and articles, but today’s post is a deeper look into it. In The 5 Love Languages, Chapman introduces you to the ways you express your love, the ways you recognize love, and the same for any potential partner. The languages are:

  • Words of Affirmation (you’re a wonderful man, Kyle)
  • Quality Time (one-on-one attention)
  • Physical Touch (not limited to sex – hand holding, hugging, etc.)
  • Acts of Service (doing things show her how much you love her, right?)
  • Receiving / Giving Gifts (I’m talking to you, Valentine shoppers)

You really want to make an impact? Here’s how you win Valentine’s Day: Discover each other’s love languages and honor them as a couple. 

how to win valentine's dayGentlemen, I cannot tell you how powerful this is. If you’ve had arguments like the example at the beginning of the show, then you owe it to yourself and your relationship to get your head out of your ass and pay attention. If you are expressing your love in one style and she’s looking for another to know she’s loved, you’re only spinning your wheels.

It’s like calling Papa Johns for a pizza, but you only know how to order in German, so your order shows up wrong every time, and sometimes doesn’t show up at all. That would be frustrating, right? Imagine the employees that have to receive your call and try to make it work!

I’ve posted a download to the love language questionnaire at the end of this post, but let’s review each language with examples so you know which one feels like you.

Words of Affirmation

This is as easy as it gets. If this is your language, you are vocal about telling people how great they are. You can easily tell others when they’re doing a good job. You love hearing how great you are. A bad day can be almost completely corrected by hearing someone you care about tell you how much you are loved, how strong you are, how much they respect you, and/or how much they believe in you.

Things I create about my wife...This is my personal favorite. It’s my number one language. I find that I’ll go above and beyond my duties if the people I’m helping recognize my work and appreciate me verbally. A lot of men have this language on the receiving channel, but not the giving channel. They want to hear that they’re loved, but they don’t necessarily find value in saying it very often.

If your partner or significant other is vocal about expressing his/her feelings, chances are good that they’re also looking for that language from you. saying nice things can go a long way, my friends.

Quality Time

Not to be confused with the line from Bad Boys (1995 movie… c’mon, you know the one), quality time isn’t just about sex. Marcus is looking for quality time with his wife, and in reality, he’s just looking for some quality naked time in the bedroom. His wife, however, is looking for one-on-one attention… and not in the bedroom.

If you or your partner is always looking to do stuff “just the two of us” it’s a good indicator that this is the love language in play. Date nights, day trips, adventures to the grocery store together, and curling up on the couch to watch TV together are all examples of quality time.

“It’s amazing because when it’s just the two of us, it feels like the world is all ours. Nobody else really matters. I like our little moments together the best.”

In a plot twist, women that have children with a man that doesn’t speak this language will distance themselves from him because they’re getting their language met from the undivided attention of her children. If you’ve ever felt like your kids have replaced you in your marriage, it’s time to pay attention to the language she’s receiving from them, and not you.

Physical Touch

This language is about so much more than sex. This can also be a misunderstood language when one party speaks it while the other does not. For example, let’s imagine a man that has a physical touch love language, so he’s always touching others – sometimes it’s a hand on the shoulder of his buddy as he tells a story, sometimes it’s his hand on the small of her back when he walking into a room together, and sometimes it’s his hand on her shoulder as he stands behind her and looks over her work.

Sometimes these touches are invited and innocuous, and sometimes they can come off as creepy or an invasion of space. You should be able to discern the differences without having to be told, gentlemen.

Physical Touch is my second strongest love language, but mostly on the receiving end. I love when my wife takes my hand, rests her head on my shoulder, put her arms around my neck, or just generally touches me. On the giving channel, I’ve got an automatic switch somewhere in my subconscious that allows me to touch her in more intimate ways, like a hand on the small or her back, etc., and everyone else that isn’t her gets high-fives, handshakes, and the occasional hug.

Get clear on your physical touch level. You may think that it’s important because you think it’s just sex. If you’re not a hand-holding, cuddle on the couch, arms around her waist kind of guy, then your physical touch level may not be what you think it is. Discover your level with the questionnaire at the end of this post.

Acts of Service

Gentlemen, welcome home. This is where hundreds of millions of you live and work. You show your love by doing things for others. Your relationship with your family –especially your father– may involve your acts of service. We’ve even romanticized the relationship in which the man never needs to say “I love you” to anyone, but everyone knows he does because he does so much for them.

For me, this is a love language I give with value, but don’t find value in receiving. I will go above and beyond to help and show my love. I’ll show up early and stay late. I’ll commit to the cause and I’ll be the hero and save the day by doing or providing more than my fair share. I’ll do nice things for you and never expect reciprocity.

I don’t personally feel loved if things are done for me, however. That’s why I point out that you want to be clear on the languages you value giving and those your value receiving. They may be different. If you are a provider, but a man of few words, acts of service is probably your love language. Now you just need to determine what language you want to receive to feel loved.

Giving & Receiving Gifts

Win Valentine's Day with CookingGentlemen, this may surprise you, but only around 20% of women want gifts as a sign that you love them. They don’t need jewelry, flowers, or chocolate –– scratch that, humans always need chocolate. Always give chocolate.

The idea that we can make women happy by showering them with gifts is only true for a fifth of the population. That’s a LOT of wasted gifts! If you want to win Valentine’s day, pay attention to whether a physical gift is necessary at all. If your partner likes to receive gifts, then you stay the commercialized course. If your partner could care less about the stuff, but likes quality time and words of affirmation, create a new plan.

Grab a bunch of ingredients, a bottle of wine, and a card. Write out all the ways you love her. Tell her how special she is. Tell her that you would be a a fraction of the man you are today if you didn’t have her by your side. Tell her you love her.

Then, open that bottle of wine and work together to cook a fancy dinner! You’ll have an adventure making something together, you’ll learn about each other, you’ll say things she needs to hear to feel loved, and you’ll have a bottle of wine to give you a little extra strength in learning to communicate in new languages.

That’s a gift far more valuable that flowers and a knock-off tennis bracelet from the local department store. Trust me.

Win Valentine’s Day and Every Other Day

Gentlemen, it’s not about winning one day a year. It’s about winning every day, including Valentine’s Day. If you truly want to win in life, you have to be multi-lingual. Winning in love is winning in life, and the best way to make that a reality is to not only understand your own love languages, but know how to speak and honor the love languages of your partner.

Take the Questionnaire Together

5 Love Languages for MenYou can learn a lot from an assessment, and this is one for the record books, my friends. Take the 5 Love Languages Quiz today, and see where you land. You can take it as a single, in a relationship, individually, or as a couple.

I can already hear some of you saying, “yeah, but how do I get her to take the assessment too? It’s going to be awkward.”

Don’t let it be awkward. Take ownership. How could taking a step to make your relationship better be a bad thing?

“Hey, I was listening to this amazing podcast about Valentine’s Day, and I want to make our relationship incredible, so I want to take a love assessment with you. It will tell us our love languages and help us communicate like rockstars. Sounds good, right?!”

I honestly think if you said those exact words to your partner, you’d already be a thousand steps ahead of where you are currently. Truthful, humble ambition to build a better relationship with someone is gold, my friend.

Take the next step. Take the quiz. Take your relationship to the next level.

Win Valentine’s Day.

Do you know YOUR love languages? Do you know your partner’s?
How has knowing your languages helped your relationship?

Leave a comment below so we can connect!

 

 

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The Author

Blake Hammerton

Blake Hammerton

Blake Hammerton is the founder and coach at The Sharp Gentleman, and helps men earn more respect while gaining confidence in who they are. He is a certified relationship coach and loves writing about men's fashion, style, character-building, relationships, travel, adventure, and more.