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Trea Tijmens

Trea Tijmens is a successful matchmaker and dating coach. Since 2005, Trea has met and helped thousands of single, divorced and widowed professionals. In this blog she shares dating and relationships tips and advice and humor. Enjoy!

Valentine’s Day – do we really have to do this also? YES, we do!

Valentine’s Day – do we really have to do this also? YES, we do! Here is why and how.

I know, I know… We have barely emerged from Christmas and already Valentine’s Day is coming up! I can hear the groanswoman valentine roses and despairing looks at credit card bills… Do we really have to celebrate this also?

Saint Valentine’s Day, which falls each year on February 14, is celebrated by millions of people around the world by showing appreciation for the people they love, adore or cherish.

In some countries and cultures it is also a special day to show appreciation for friends. For example, Valentine's Day in Finland refers to “Friend's day”, which is more about remembering all friends rather than focusing solely on romance. In Guatemala, St. Valentine’s Day is known as the Day of Love and Friendship, and is also a day to show appreciation for friends.

But now back to the romance.
For those romantics among us, Valentine’s can be the most wonderful day of the year, yet for sceptics it is the most commercialized day of the year.
Let’s face it. Isn’t Valentine’s Day just one big over commercialized invention?
And we have just barely emerged from Christmas, do we really have to do this also?
Do we really need a special day to show our loved ones we care?

Let’s compare Valentine’s to another commercial invention, “Mother’s Day”.
Mother’s Day has also become subject to major commercial hype (albeit that Mother’s Day takes place on different dates in different countries, rather than one day globally). Yet still, if you did not get your mother a gift for Mother’s Day she will still love you; however, a little attention, even a simple phone call is HUGELY appreciated.
So not doing anything on St. Valentine’s Day is a mistake – a missed opportunity. Valentine’s Day offers us a special extra opportunity to show our loved ones we care. And when we do that, we may as well do it right.

Valentine’s Day traditionally often involves gift giving.
This can be a tricky thing!
How can you find him or her that perfect gift?

The Key to the art of gift giving for Valentine’s (and beyond) is actually understanding your partner’s language of love and learning to communicate in it!
Once you understand and speak your partner’s language of love, you can give her or him the perfect Valentine’s gift.

We all have a different way or language in which we like to receive and express love.
The way in which we would like to receive love is often the way we express love too.
Dr. Gary Chapman wrote a book many years ago that became a New York bestseller, called The 5 Love Languages.
Of the countless ways we can show love to one another, Dr. Chapman identified five key categories, or as he termed them, five love languages. The different languages are; words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, acts of service and physical touch.

The below definitions are taken directly from Dr. Chapman’s ‘The 5 Love Languages’.
#1: Words of Affirmation
You are using words to give verbal affirmation to let others know what you appreciate about them, their personality, their actions, the way they look.
If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important—hearing the reasons behind that love makes you really happy. It makes you feel, cherished, loved and appreciated.
Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten.

#2: Quality Time
If your love language is Quality Time, nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention.
Being there for this type of person is critical, not just sitting in the same room watching TV but actually looking at each other, talking to each other, doing an activity together. It makes your partner feel truly special and loved.
Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful.

#3: Gifts
Gifts as an expression of love. Mind you, this is not about materialism, the gifts do not have to be expensive, it’s the thought that counts. But it is not the thought that stays in your head, it’s the gift that came out of that thought.
The receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift.
If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are appreciated and loved. A missed birthday, anniversary, Valentine’s Day or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous.

#4: Acts of Service
Can helping out with chores around the house really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an ‘Acts of Service’ person will speak volumes.
The words he or she most wants to hear: “Let me do that for you.”
Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t matter.

#5: Physical Touch
This language isn’t all about the bedroom. A person whose primary language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face—they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive. To this person nothing speaks more deeply than the appropriate touch.

Each of us has a primary love language, with one of the five languages speaking to us more deeply to us than the other four, but the other four can also have secondary roles and contributions to varying degrees.
However, partners hardly ever speak exactly the same love language – plus we tend to speak to others in our own love language.

Even if you are sincere in expressing your love to your partner, if you do not speak the same love language you – and as a result, he or she – could very well be missing the point.

Once you understand each other’s love language, how you and your partner experience and receive love, and learn to speak each other’s language, it will make it easier to understand not only what your partner will appreciate as a Valentine’s Day gift, but also how you can have a relationship in which you will both feel loved!

To identify someone’s love language is easy.
You can of course go to the website http://www.5lovelanguages.com/ and do the quick online questionnaire, but you can also just observe how they express their love.
Is your partner always doing things for you? Most likely their language is acts of service.
Is your partner always praising and complimenting you? Their language is most likely words of affirmation.

Ok, back to the Valentine’s Day Gifts.
Now for example, if your partner has just told you that in 2017 they would like to lose 15 pounds, offering her or him a gym membership is not necessarily the gift that will make him or her most happy. If his or her love language is words of affirmation, or quality time or physical touch, then a gym membership is not the gift that will make your partner feel most loved.
If you buy your partner a very expensive piece of jewelry for Valentine’s but his or her language of love is physical touch, then make sure that when you give him or her the gift, there is a kiss and hug that comes with it. And if his or her love language is words of affirmation, make sure there is a nice handwritten card with the gift that expresses your appreciation of your partner.
Another example; Gentlemen, if her love language is acts of service and you have already ordered 999 long stem red roses to be delivered to the house, then that doesn’t mean that she will not appreciate those roses but what would really make her happy is if you personally delivered them, cooked her dinner and cleaned up the kitchen afterwards.
We all have a love language and whenever someone delivers in it, that is when we feel most appreciated and loved.

I hope this post not only helps you with choosing your Valentine’s Day gift this year, but also with expressing your love, so your partner feels loved the other 364 other days of the year!

Remember that if you are currently not in a relationship, you can:
1 always celebrate love, for your family, your friends and your community, but especially for yourself. . .
2 contact SuccessMatch and find out how we can help you find him or her.

Attn: I am hosting a live webinar from 7 till 9pm CET on Valentines Day exclusively for single ladies.
Limited space -> more info and registration for the Valentine’s Webinar here

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