How does your person like to receive love? Speak their language with a Valentine's Day gift that they truly want. Here's an expert guide to navigating the day of romance thoughtfully.
Certified Sex Therapist & Clinical Counsellor
0 minute read
Published: February 2023
It can be a day to celebrate your romantic relationship, and shower each other in gifts. It can also be a day that reminds you just how single you are.
So this article is for all of you— single, coupled, or somewhere in between. Because I want you to treat Valentine's Day as a day to romance yourself, or another.
I also want to acknowledge how performative Valentine's Day can be. It can seem like a day to prove to strangers on the internet that your relationship is loving, or that you’re okay with being single in a society that definitely favours couples.
It can trigger a lot of pressure. Instead, we’re going to come at this day of romance from a perspective of celebrating love in all its forms with thoughtfulness, and sensuality.
You’re allowed to celebrate all kinds of relationships. Perhaps Valentine's Day is a chance to celebrate a romantic relationship, a friendship, or familial relationship. After all— romantic love isn’t the only kind of love we can experience.
Because I struggle with gift giving, I will be quite direct and ask people straight out what they want. I will also go as far as sending them a link like the one above and say, “pick something under $100 and let me know".
But if I want to be more spontaneous, I resort to sensory things. Things that smell good, feel good, taste good, and look good.
This can include body oils, candles, moisturisers, essential oils, yummy things like coffee or chocolates, or aesthetically pleasing things to look at like ornaments for the home.
If you’re looking to buy sex products this V-Day, I would encourage you to do some research before purchasing. You might want to find out whether your gift recipient prefers water or silicone based lubricant and what kind of sex toy stimulation they’d like to explore to determine what kind of toy to invest in.
In saying all of this, did you know that gift giving is only 1 of the 5 love languages?
Love languages are ways that we express our love for others, and enjoy receiving love from others.
You can do a fun little quiz to learn about your own love languages here.
+ Words of Affirmation- you need verbal connection, to hear how much someone loves and appreciates you- “I love you so much.”
+ Gift Giving- you love giving and receiving thoughtful gifts. You’ll buy things for people because you think they’ll like it.
+ Acts of Service- you show love by being helpful, and doing things for others. You love being cooked for, or having someone do something for you.
+ Physical Touch- you show love through physical touch and affection, and you enjoy receiving touch from loved ones.
+ Quality Time- you enjoy intentional time with loved ones where you can be present in each other’s company. Date nights are big for you.
The thing about love languages is that we all vary in how we prefer to give and receive love.
Often, we show love in the way we’d actually like to receive it ourselves— but that’s not always how others would like to receive love.
It’s helpful to encourage your loved ones (romantic parents, friends, family, children) to do the quiz to find out exactly how they like to give and receive love.
You can use this information to make a gift for V-Day even better, by accompanying it with loving words, quality time, acts of service or physical touch.
Learning people’s love languages also means that you begin to recognise loving gestures, and learn to give love in ways that truly land for other people.
I’m a Words of Affirmation gal, and love hearing “I love you”. And my ex was an Acts of Service person.
It took me time to recognise that their offer to pick me up from work, or build furniture, was them showing love.
It wasn’t necessarily how I wanted to receive it, but I learned to acknowledge and appreciate it more.
Understanding love languages also allows you to communicate your preferences. I have so many clients that are not physical touch people, and feel guilty about it. But really, it’s just not their love language, and that’s ok.
And if you’re like me, you can also use your results to justify why you’re a terrible gift giver.
So this V-Day, you can create the ultimate experience of showering yourself or someone else in love by addressing multiple love languages when you go to celebrate love.
Certified Sex Therapist & Clinical Counsellor