Do This to Tell Your Valentine How Much You Love Them

Do This to Tell Your Valentine How Much You Love Them

It is Valentine’s Day and you want to communicate how much you love that special person.  What should you say?  We want to help you communicate your love in the most effective way.  We will share how this is possible and how you can put a smile on their face.

You may be familiar with the idea that people have different love languages.  Dr. Gary Chapman has popularized this idea that each of us has a preference on how we show someone that we care about them. He identifies five ways to communicate:

  • Words of Affirmation
  • Acts of Service
  • Receiving Gifts
  • Quality Time
  • Physical Touch

This awareness can be of great help as you plan your Valentines celebration.  I am one of those people that appreciates all five of those ways!  Tell me what you appreciate about me!  Make me my favorite dinner!  Buy me a new Mercedes!  Spend a whole daydreaming about the future as we walk through beautiful trailers at the statewide RV show!  Give me a great back rub and snuggle up to me as we watch a romantic comedy!  I find that all of these ways can be used to express love and care, but the way each of them is done is perhaps more important to me.

For example, I like when my wife snuggles up to me or embraces me when we ride on my motorcycle, but I don’t like a deep muscle back massage.  It is more about the “kind” of touch that makes the difference.  I have a preference not only on the means care is shared, but the way it is done.  I love receiving gifts but the gift itself is important!  If my wife buys me a mop, I don’t have the same fuzzy feelings as when a new golf driver shows up.  I’m sure you are the same way.  You have preferences not only for the means love is shared, but also the way it comes.

The tip I want to share with you today has to do with the way (which words) you use words of affirmation (one of the love languages).  Words are powerful.  We all use them.  The question is, what words will you choose to express your thoughts this Valentine’s Day?  Why not make them count?  Which words you use matter.  Some will not not make much of an impact.  But others will be remembered for a long time.  If you take this tip to heart, you have an opportunity to make their Valentine’s Day special.

Because you are trained in Relational Intelligence through the Strength Deployment Inventory (SDI), you understand that each one of us is wired differently and are motivated differently.  This is a key ingredient to knowing what words to use so they fall on receptive ears.  There are three primary ways people are motivated.  They are motivated to help People, achieve Performance, and focus on Process.  There are also people who are combinations of these motivations including the people who have all three of these motivations in equal amounts which we would call Perspective.  If you know your valentine’s motivation, you will be able to construct words that will hit the target so your words will have the greatest meaning for them.

My wife is motivated by both People and Process, but more for People.  She wants to help people above everything else.  Her motivation is a clue to what she values and how she would want to be loved.  Really her love language is “helping” because that is what she does for others.  If I want to express my love to her in a way that makes the greatest impact, I will show her appreciation by finding ways to help her (vacuum without being asked or clean the bathroom) and use words that appreciate how she cares for other people.  I will be as specific as possible about how she makes a difference in the lives of people by what she does.  Because she has some Process in her, I know that it is important for me to numerate specific examples.

What is your Valentine’s motivation?  What is important to them?  What words will make them feel valued and appreciated the most?  If your Valentine is motivated by Performance, you will show appreciation for all they have accomplished and how they make such a difference in your life and the life of others.  You will emphasize the way they overcome obstacles and appreciate their achievements.  If your Valentine is Process motivated, you will want to appreciate the ways they think through things deeply and do things well.  If your Valentine is motivated by Perspective, be sure to appreciate them from each perspective.

You don’t want to be mechanical about how you go about telling your Valentine how much you love them, but if you don’t think about it, you may miss the mark.  Our tendency is to use words that would be effective if directed towards ourselves.  Because I am Performance motivated, I might make the mistake of appreciating the great work my wife does on managing our business – pointing out to her how successful she has been.  However, it would mean so much more to her if I tell her how her work has helped me be free to develop our ministry and how her accuracy and efficiencies have served our customers in such a way that they all feel supported.

Your Valentine is special, and they deserve to know how much you love them and appreciate them.  Take some time to think about how you can use words and other love languages to show them the full extent of your love in a way that they will receive it.  Happy Valentine’s Day!

Bruce Terpstra

Our President, Dr. Bruce Terpstra, has 36 years of pastoral ministry experience. He is a veteran of 17 years in denominational leadership and developed more than 70 new churches in the New York metro area and has given oversight to almost 400 pastors. He holds a doctorate in Leadership Development and is also the founder of 3KeyCoaching and the author of Three Passions of the Soul.