On Learning To Speak The Language Of Love

- - - By SOSM contributor, Sarah

February 14th. The day we all love and love to hate. The day we pull out that red dress, black shoes, and oddly negative attitude towards relationships, happiness, and love. Valentine's Day.

I for one have always loved Valentine’s Day. There was, however, a brief moment in highschool where I pretended to hate it because all of my friends did. Yes… I was that angsty girl who walked around and repeated the ever so popular line, “Valentine’s Day isn't even a real holiday! It was made up by a card company and it is sad if you only celebrate love one day a year!”

Growing up, I thought my best Valentine’s Days would come around when I was in a super serious relationship. I pictured a day full of every cliche in the book: roses, chocolates, jewelry I could only wear to a Ball that I would never actually be invited to, a puppy, a carriage ride, and a night of steamy passionate sex.

I would consider marriage to be a “super serious relationship” and to be honest, Valentine’s Day has changed a bit for me. I still love it, don’t get me wrong. In fact, I love it more now than I ever did, but only because I can give Valentines to my 337 students and they bring me cupcakes.

There is just something different about it now. Maybe there is a sense of permanency that feels new? Maybe other factors in the life we have started building overshadow a $10 box of chocolates (yes please…) and that $80 dinner? One thing I know for sure is that celebrating the love I have for my husband on February 14th is easy, but truly knowing HOW to love him takes hard work.

My husband Bradley and I are polar opposites. Something we have been figuring and working on since the day we met. The things I need to feel love are apparently very different from what Bradley needs. For example, I have always been a gift giver...that’s how I show my love and affection. So occasionally I will buy the fancy cheese at the store and some of Bradley's favorite spicy chicken… how romantic, right? It used to drive me CRAZY that he was not hanging all over me drowning me in appreciation, but it all makes sense now.

Our Love Language is different. We both took a quiz online and it showed us that we need certain things in certain ways to feel loved and appreciated. My top two scores where Quality Time and Words of Affirmation: So I need Netflix and Chill time as well as the occasional text message that says I am a Goddess. Bradley’s highest scores were Acts of Service and Words of Affirmation.

The fact that Bradley would feel loved the most when I am helping out around the house or running errands for him sounds like an absolute joke, but it is something I need to work on. I actually made an extra effort this week and took care of dinner and cleaning up after work. He was so happy and relaxed! IT WORKED!

So this Valentine’s Day, I thought about how to best celebrate my love for that tall drink of water... I was mindful to speak his Love Language and love him in ways he responds the most (Not in a gross way. Ok, maybe a few gross ways…). These are, after all, the best Valentine’s Days right? They will still be steamy and passionate, but maybe over a Netflix documentary and an evening that starts out with me vacuuming the couch. He loves that.