What’s Your Favorite Chocolate?
By Bonnie Hoover
I find myself in the minority of women when I admit that I’ve never really been a fan of Valentine’s Day. I’m sure you’re wondering why I wouldn’t be interested in a day devoted to romance, love, and chocolate. I have my reasons. Maybe I’m too practical, cheap, and a bit cynical, but let’s just say I spent some time working at a florist in college and got too much of a glimpse behind the scenes.
Seriously though, in our first year of marriage, I explained to Daniel that I’d much rather he show me love in simple, consistent ways on his own accord throughout the year than make some grand gesture on a day retailers dictate once a year. Over the years, I’ve come to understand that my disdain for the holiday reflects more on my personal tastes than on the holiday itself.
So, why don’t I connect with a day devoted to expressions of love through heart-shaped chocolates, candy quips, quirky cards, and over-priced dinner date “specials” in the middle of the week? Because I score a big fat ZERO in the love language of Gifts! Receiving gifts is simply not how I feel loved or show love, and I feel forced to spend lots of money on something that’s entirely unnatural to me.
In his book, The Five Love Languages, Gary Chapman explains that we all feel loved and show love in a personal way. Whether through Quality Time, Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Giving and Receiving Gifts, or Physical Touch, we all have a unique language that speaks love to us. What does that mean on Valentine’s Day? Everyone prefers a different brand of chocolate, so why buy the same box of cordials for everyone?
If my husband’s love language is Words of Affirmation, the Dollar Store card may be too trite to mean anything to him. A better approach might be to write him a love letter expressing how much I love and appreciate him. Or, if he’s an Acts of Service kind of guy, I could have his truck washed and detailed for him. Perhaps a foot rub or massage would be appreciated by your spouse who feels loved through physical touch. An uninterrupted dinner, a fun date night, or some sweet pillow talk could be meaningful Quality Time. But if your spouse feels loved through Gifts, Happy Valentine’s Day! This one is designed for you!
So, this Valentine’s Day, why not show your spouse love in a way that means the most to them? And if you’re not sure, go ahead and ask them, “Babe, what’s your favorite chocolate?”