Oh men, only six weeks after Christmas and again you’re under pressure to find the perfect gift. And let's face it, we don't make it easy on you. You are expected to read our minds and know what the perfectly perfect gift is our heart is craving. Y'all have no idea how many tears I shed in during our relationship because my husband didn't inherently know what I wanted to receive. Of course I couldn't tell him, that would take every ounce of romance out of it.
For the past week I've been thinking of what I would love to receive myself for Valentine's Day. My thoughts kept going a bit beyond the tangible. I began thinking about what, for me, would communicate: I love you, I adore you, I still want to date you, I'm thankful for you, I cherish you, I appreciate you, I see the many things you do that go unnoticed, I love how you take care of our children.
I'm sure you've all heard about the popular series of books by Gary Chapman based on what he calls The 5 Love Languages. The main concept of the book is that there are 5 main ways in which people receive and give love: words of affirmation, physical touch, acts of service, gifts and quality time. The primary way in which you express love is also the main way in which you receive love from others. Being aware of how your partner communicates love is key here. If you aren't aware of how they naturally communicate love, you may very well be missing out on all of the ways they ARE expressing love to you on the daily. Take the time to figure out her love language, and gift giving will be made easy!
The gift ideas I offer to you today are those which touch on the intangible. Gifts, that when coupled with some simple actions will communicate more than any one present has the ability to do.
The Gift of Planning
For Valentine's Day (or honestly any other day of the year), most women would love for their husbands to just plan a date all on their own. Y'all, she would love this! I would love this. Women love for you to take the lead when it comes to pursuing them! You don't need to ask her what she wants to do or where she wants to eat, just plan it. She'll adore you taking the time and initiative to plan an entire date, and it will make her feel so appreciated. If you're married, trust your instincts. You know her likes and dislikes, just go with it. Trust me, she won't be disappointed.
The Gift of Words
Tell her what she means to you. Tell her. Tell her over and over again. Write her a note to tell her and hide it in a place she'll find it. Put it on her pillow, on the washing machine or in that book she's reading. Believe me, she'll appreciate that more than you know. And she'll more than likely shed a few tears. Give her a big hug and kiss when you walk in the door after work. Just hold her in your arms. From a woman's perspective, this little act of kindness can wash away the negative things that happened during the day and change the tone of the evening. To me, this would mean more than all the flowers and chocolate in the world. The Gift of Free Time
This might be the most simple, yet one of the best gifts ever that a wife could receive! While it is so important to regularly spend time together as a couple-- there's something to be said for a woman having time alone with absolutely NO agenda. Free time without kids, no one needing their noses wiped, no curfew of when to be home by and no cell phone interruptions. Allow her to be completely unplugged. Wives, imagine your husband saying, "Saturday I'm getting up with the kids and taking them out. Just sleep in, take a bath and then take the day and do whatever you want to do. Don't worry about us, just enjoy your day." If you're wondering if this is an actual gift, all you need is ten minutes on Facebook. You'll see just how many Mama's post about a trip alone to Target feeling like a vacation or craving they could actually go to the bathroom by themselves for 2 minutes. Yep, this absolutely would qualify as a gift! And I guarantee when you get home, she'll feel like a new woman! Want to take this gift to an entire new level? Add in some gift cards to her favorite stores and one for her lunch. She'll adore her free day and not having to worry about her spending!
The Gift of Service
As women, we are the keepers of our home. As a full-time stay at home wife and mom who also runs a business, the tasks I do daily often feel not only repetitious but also like they aren't seen or noticed. Women are generally the ones who have everyone's schedule and needs simultaneously ticking through our minds at any given moment. We're always thinking out beyond the present moment to what needs to happen next to keep it all on track, on schedule and sane. Read this as we're stressed. Tell her your taking over her chores for the day and for her to go sit in the living room and catch up on her DVR'd shows. This will show her that you not only recognize what she does daily, but that you appreciate it. And guess what? She's going to be like "Wow, this is amazing. I so super love you.". And guess who is going to look like the hero? Yeah, you. And who will reap the rewards of said hero? Yep, you will!
Hopefully I've given you some good ideas, or just some inspiration to come up with your own ideas. I know this post isn't full of easy-to-click links with flashy pictures, but I hope it challenges you to think about how you communicate love to your partner and how she receives love. Above all, I really challenge you to not just settle into a groove where your spouse is concerned. True love is not selfish, but the amazing thing is that when when you are loved well, you will love well in return. Be inspired, love well, make it an unforgettable Valentine's Day and move beyond the ordinary into the extraordinary.