14 February 2012

To Valentine's Day & Beyond...

Perhaps it's because I'm older and maybe a little bit jaded but I'm a bit ambivalent about Valentine's Day this year.  That's not to say that I'm not in love with my fabulous man, but I'm just not that interested in participating in something that seems a bit....well.... let's say 'forced into prominence for commercial reasons'.  
New Year's Eve can evoke the same emotions in me.

Captain V [the 'V' being short for Valentine] and I have been together for less than five years.
I shared our love story here this time last year.
As with most couples trying to blend one of the partners into their own family, we've been through a lot and the ride has had its share of rough waters.
However we navigate our way through and the tough times have come & gone [as they invariably do].
It's in the calm after each bout of turbulence that we're able to see that we've grown a little more - both as individuals and as a couple.

We are also very aware of how precious our relationship is and make an effort every day to kindle its glow.

One of the challenges in our relationship is that our love languages [the ways in which we prefer to give and receive love] are not only different but completely opposite to each others needs.
The good thing is that we're both aware of this fact and know that it will take extra effort on both of our parts to show our love to the other person.

If you're not familiar with Garry Chapman's five languages of love, here's a brief summary:

1. Words of Affirmation
Actions don't always speak louder than words. 
If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you.  Hearing the words. "I love you" are important - hearing the reason behind that words sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten.

2. Quality Time
In the vernacular of Quality Time, nothing says "I love you" like full, undivided attention.
Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there - with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby - makes your significant other feel truly special and loved.
Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful.

3. Receiving Gifts
Don't mistake this love language for materialism; 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 prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you.
A missed birthday, anniversary, or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous - so would the absence of everyday gestures.

4. Acts of Service
Can vacuuming the floors 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 want to hear: "Lt 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, car, and love.
Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive.

I've really found that knowing Captain V's love languages has been a gift and I'd hope that if any of this resonates with you, that you'll pop on over to the Gary's website to read some more, take a quick quiz to find out your own love language, and most importantly learn how to weave acts of loving into your everyday experience so that the joy of loving each other is not just something to be celebrated on one day of the year. 

Happy day my friend, may it be replete with connection.

23 comments:

  1. It's funny how different men and women are, especially in how we express our feelings. I have come to learn that telling Lyndon that the freshly mown lawns look great is sort of the same as saying "I love you" it's funny but it works! X

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    1. So true Sarah.

      As time goes by I'm finally coming to grips with what it is that makes me truly happy and I guess when I'm able to share this with Captain V [like you Lyndon & the lawn] it helps make it easier for both of us to be more thoughtful in our actions.

      Happy day lovely lady I hope that there are some special moments to treasure.
      x

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  2. My husband introduced me to the book and I found it really useful , especially the importance of the physical touch...and somehow I make a connection with everyday love. In our family , Valentine's Day is a reason to celebrate everyday love or at least to stop and think how blessed we are with the love we put in everything we do .
    Lovely week to you !

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    1. What a lovely note Sylvia.
      Thank you for stopping by and I hope that your family have a day filled with thoughtfulness and love.

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  3. Lovely post Felicity I agree we should love each other every day, my hubby always says he shouldn't be told when to express his love so he does other things too through out the year. The kids love us getting a card & little something on Valentines my Sophie is such a romantic I think she would be upset if we didn't she is always eager to see what card we got each other :))

    I love the 4th & 5th comment I am such a touchy person always have to give hugs carn't help myself, & gosh when I get home & see hubby has swept or hung out the washing I think I am so blessed to have him :)) I try & remember all those things when ever we have a little tiff. Have a lovely day Felicity xxx

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  4. I read about these many years ago. Personally, I think any good relationship will touch them all, but it is important to know how things are received. He also teaches a lot about how to use word-pictures to create more empathy and communicate needs.

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    1. I totally agree Michael and I have a feeling that there are times in our lives when some will shift in their importance.
      You've reminded me that we also have the "Love Languages For Families" book on our parenting bookshelf and I should dig that out for inclusion on my 'Vive le livre' booklist.

      Happy day to you and your lovely wife.

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  5. Calico Child has left a new comment on your post "To Vanlentine's Day & Beyond...":

    Lovely post Felicity I agree we should love each other every day, my hubby always says he shouldn't be told when to express his love so he does other things too through out the year. The kids love us getting a card & little something on Valentines my Sophie is such a romantic I think she would be upset if we didn't she is always eager to see what card we got each other :))

    I love the 4th & 5th comment I am such a touchy person always have to give hugs carn't help myself, & gosh when I get home & see hubby has swept or hung out the washing I think I am so blessed to have him :)) I try & remember all those things when ever we have a little tiff. Have a lovely day Felicity xxx

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    1. Your beautiful handmade heart is something that I look at everyday Lainey as I've popped it next to a favourite photo of my niece on my office pinboard. Thank you for this thoughtful gift and for the many ways that you brighten my heart.
      May you and your family enjoy as special day of lovely moments,
      x

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  6. Lovely sweets! Happy hearts day to you!

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  7. Hi Felicity,
    I agree, Valentine's Day does feel forced upon us, nothing wrong with a special day for love, but you're right, we need to weave acts of love into our everyday, thanks for the link, I'll be checking it out :)Sam

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    1. Nice work Sam, I think you'll find quite a bit that resonates.
      x

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  8. Absolutely, it's SO not about what money you spend, it's about time, thought, dedication that you spend, things money cannot buy. Gorgeous. Speaking of touch, i'm up to 5 months since my husband flew away to war, trust me, we both need a big cuddle. My next post will be dedicated to you, not saying why but you will be jaw-on-the-floor. Love Posie

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    1. 5 months without the touch of the man you love! This really speaks volumes about what the partners of our service men and women endure.

      As for the jaw-on-the-floor....intriguing, you've sent my imagination 'a-flutter'.

      xx

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  9. Firstly a little editorial apology.
    I wrote and posted this in quite a rush and there were a gazillion errors including the title "To Vanlentines Day & Beyond"....what the? Sorry for this slipshod effort friends, I hope you can see past it.

    Secondly Captain Valentine really knocked my socks off this afternoon coming home after a long day in the hot sun and presenting me with the most beautiful words in a card [words of affirmation] a bottle of my favourite champagne & an evergreen magnolia tree [receiving gifts].

    We spent a long time together snuggling in the hammock [quality time & physical touch] and tonight we'll get to enjoy a lovely stirfry with the children whilst we talk about love around the dining table.
    The last bit is a major bonus as Captain V normally drives the middle Gift to basketball on Tuesdays and doesn't return home until late and I was going to do this for him tonight [act of service] so that he could have a break...but she's injured her tailbone and training would be unwise, so we have a reprieve = yay!

    I truly treasure this man and although I'll won't be sharing the many ways I've shown my love, you can be sure that just like the beautiful plant I received today, I will be gently nurturing our relationship so that we may enjoy its beauty well into the future.

    xx's

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  10. Sounds like you had a lovely day. Mine was pretty good too! I'd heard about that book from a friend recently, I can see a lot of sense in what you've posted up there. Might have to get it and have a read. x

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    1. So pleased that you popped in Anna - start with the website and then try the book/s.
      x

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  11. We don't worry about Valentine's Day either in our house. Seems a little forced and silly. We have an anniversary coming up so we'd rather worry about that. Xo

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    1. Hey K, sounds like Chambo has a great opportunity coming up to spoil his gorgeous wife.

      Happy day Lovely!

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  12. I am going to pop
    over to your love story
    post and have a look : )

    I know how I like to show
    love, but am not certain
    what my love language,
    on the receiving end is.
    Going to take the quiz!

    Sending you heaps of
    love, even if you think
    V-day is mainly a commercial
    endeavor!

    Love & Hugs,
    Suzanne

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    1. Suzanne, I hope I haven't come across as the St. Valentine's version of Scrooge (and if you read my PS: you'd see that we did give each other gifts), I'm just not a fan of the schmaltzy commercialism of love.

      Hope you enjoy reading my love story my friend.

      My biggest hug all the way over the seas to you,
      x

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  13. Oh, I especially loved your PS, Gorgeous. I'm so delighted you had such an enjoyable evening. J x

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Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.
Each new comment is a gift - unexpected and lovely.
Although I'd love to reply to each and every one, this isn't always possible, but know that I read and appreciate them all.

Felicity x