Where do I begin? This is the third draft I have written for this post. Though it’s not my favorite day of the year, I thought I would take a few minutes to talk about it.
Women, if you happen to have read this to the end, you can thank my mom for raising a guy who knows there are just some things that aren’t worth the energy to fuss over.
Have you ever wondered why your woman doesn’t respond to you the way she did when you first fell in love? You probably don’t respond to her the same way either. They say that the honeymoon only lasts for just a few months and then your true colors start showing. When you first started dating, certain things just didn’t matter. But well into the second and third years, you begin to notice that your woman just isn’t the same person you met, dated and married all those years or months ago. You’ve begun to notice that it really does bother you that when she brushes her hair, she leaves it all over the house. She thinks the same of your after you’ve finished shaving. You’ve begun to notice that it really does bother you that she has way more clothes than you do and she takes up most of the closet space. It really does bother you that she has an entire closet dedicated to shoes and purses. Let’s go there and make it an entire room of the house.
But what about you guys? You’ve gotten sloppy over the years. You’ve started leaving your hair all over the sink when you shave. You’ve stopped putting the toilet seat down. You’ve stopped aiming when you relieve yourself. Cupboards and drawers are left open. Your shoes and dirty socks are left in the living room. Maybe you’ve stopped shaving or combing your hair. You have forgotten how to put on a new role of toilet paper (the right way being to pull from the front of the role, not the back). The list could go on.
Those are just trivial things. They really aren’t that important, but they’ve begun to drive you crazy and irritate you to the point that you start getting annoyed with each other. If you aren’t careful, they will begin to drive you apart. And we all know what can happen if those “problems” don’t get resolved.
Maybe you’ve been married for ten years and have found yourself in the place where you don’t think there’s much hope left for you and your woman. I want to tell you it’s not too late to start over. It’ll be too late when you’re dead.
Myriads of books and articles have been written on the subject. Some good, some excellent and some not so good. And while I understand and know that this is not the only way to fix problems in a relationship or to prevent them, it is but one method that has worked for many people.
You may have heard of the Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. His theory is that everyone has a ‘love tank’ of sorts that needs to be filled regularly in order to feel loved. In his book, there are five languages or ways to communicate to your spouse or boy/girl friend in such a way that they feel loved.
- Words of Affirmation
- Quality Time
- Physical Touch
- Receiving Gifts
- Acts of Service
Gary goes into detail in his book as to what each of these look like and gives example stories of how each one impacted different relationships for better or worse.
The concept is that you feel loved most when ___________ insert action or phrase. You may even have two of these languages you speak fluently, but your spouse or boy/girl friend will speak another language. For instance, you feel loved the most when your husband does the dishes for you after working a long day at the office. Guys, you may feel loved the most when your wife gives you a back massage or just touches your shoulder for a moment. Or maybe, you need to hear her say she loves you or gives you an encouraging word.
The idea is that we need to learn how to speak the other person’s love language or particular style so that we can effectively communicate love to them. Sometimes, we make the mistake of showing love the way we want to be shown love. For instance, I love just being alone with my wife. Just being alone with her and no one else. She is my world. Fortunately for, me we are one of the rare couples who have the same primary love language. But for this example, I love to just spend time with her and I want her to spend time with me. But if her primary love language is acts of service, I am not showing her love by spending time with her. Likewise, her hanging up my coat wouldn’t show me that she loves me. It would, but not as much as it would as if either I did the dishes for her or she came and saw me during my lunch break at work.
The concept is that we need to learn how to communicate to the other love the way that they speak. If the primary love language is acts of service, learn to speak this way. If the primary language is quality time, learn to speak this way. A good indicator is when your wife or husband starts nagging you that you never do or say such and such any more. When you learn how to communicate love to your loved one in a way they feel loved the most, you will feel you can conquer the world.
Again, this is just one of many thousands of ways to help heal and/or prevent problems in a relationship. But this would be a good way to start the process.
With this information in mind, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and guys, your lady is expecting you to come through once again for her on this day. Time to dust off the big boy pants and remember how much you love your woman. Go ahead and buy her the entire dozen of roses in the color she likes best. Go ahead and make that reservation to her favorite restaurant. Just make sure you have the money to do so and do. not. be. late. Don’t make it at the last minute, either. Go out of your way to tell your girl you love her the way that makes her feel loved the most, no matter how uncomfortable it makes you. It’s like learning how to speak Spanish. The more you practice, the better you get.
Ladies, if your man doesn’t quite get it right on Valentine’s Day this year, have some compassion on him. After all, unless he has an extremely romantic side, he did put in the effort to do something special for you. If you know he doesn’t really like this day, let him know that you appreciate the attention and that you love him still. Because he loves you and he knows how much you love Valentine’s Day, doesn’t he deserve at least a little credit for trying?
Don’t be afraid to get out there and have a romantic Valentine’s Day.